Last week we went over episodes 113 and 116 of Film Riot, which had video production tutorials on camera angles, coverage, and inserts. Now, we’ll take a look at some past episodes of Film Riot that cooperate (and sometimes overlap) nicely with those two recent entries, plus some extra techniques and special effects that these installments cover.
Film & Video Lingo
Way back in episode 11 (8/5/09) host Ryan Connolly and his brother Josh perform a skit where Josh asks what the various abbreviations mean in the lingo of film and video. This segment has a lot in common with the video production tutorial in episode 116.
In this episode, we find out that:
- CU = Close-Up, where the top of the head to just below the chin of your subject forms the frame.
- MC = Medium Close-Up, in which the frame goes from the top of the head to about the chest of the subject.
- MS = Medium Shot, head to hips.
- LS = Long Shot, entire body.
- OTS = Over-the-Shoulder, a shot over the shoulder of one subject to shoot another subject.
- POV = Point-of-View, where the shot is from the perspective of your subject’s eyes.
- Dutch Angle, an angle where the camera is tilted, usually used when you are trying to make the scene off-kilter in some way.
- HA = High Angle, the camera is set above the subject.
- LA = Low Angle, below.
- Reverse Angle: where you shoot a subject from one angle and then shoot a matching shot 180 degrees away, usually seen when a movie cuts between two people who are talking in over-the-shoulder shots.
- Master Shot: the opening shot that establishes the “geography” of the scene.
- Dolly Shot: The skit also offers a free, cheap tip on how to make a dolly shot, where the camera moves towards or away from a subject without the use of zooming. Ryan describes how to mount the camera on a tripod, which sits on a car, which will be slowly driven towards or away from the subject to complete the technique. This is good for those who don’t have a track for their camera or a Steadicam.
Visual Effects Tips: Cloning Effects
The centerpiece of Episode 11 is how to make what could be called the “Multiplicity” effect, where you want to have clones of a character all in the same shot.
This can be accomplished with green screen or masking, in which you take individual shots of your subject in different places with the same background, and lay them on top of each other using After Effects or similar software. Film Riot uses the latter. Ryan makes sure to remind you that this type of shot should be used with a camera mounted on a tripod and the camera should never move, or else it won’t work.