As video has proliferated on the web, and the skills required to make high-quality clips have become more accessible, there’s been a revolution at play.
The walls have been broken down between videographer and video consumer, with the audience’s impressions and wishes more important than ever. You could argue that since video is all around us these days, it’s even harder to stand out from the crowd.
Article By Danny Groner
But there’s also a case to be made that the truly great videos, that were labored over with love, will grab the reader in a way that makes others seem like background noise.
As most everyone is armed with a camera in their pockets, some veteran filmmakers might just give up and call it a day; the sophisticated audience they’re seeking, they might determine, is lost and gone forever.
Keeping motivated in the face of adversity and competition is just the latest barrier that some filmmakers must grapple with in this digital age. They can channel their passion into even better work that showcases smarter and more strategic ways to get what might seem like a simple shot anyone can produce.
There’s an inherent democratization and fairness built into any wide collection of art that leaves the viewer sifting through in search of the clip he or she is pursuing until he or she finds it. Stock videographers have long dealt with these issues that can either lead to frustration or to euphoria, depending on whether their stock video clips are judged to be useless or useful over time. It takes more than experience — the right techniques can make all the difference between the most wanted and the most ignored.
Here’s a look at how one particular technique, the different uses of zooming in, can change the entire shaping and character of a video clip:
Go Wide: Open Your Zoom Lens Up
Short of actually being at this concert, and experiencing this moshing for yourself, you get a perfect feel for what the crowd is like through watching these few seconds.
Any video about concerts or youth culture would be enhanced by a wide shot like this one. They allow you to squeeze a great deal more into the frame, and not just physically. The repetitive motions of the jumping indicates not just that the young people are having a good time, but that they’re also engaged with the music being performed in front of them. This is a clip that tells a story about joiners in a large pack.
You get the impression that there are thousands of others nearby.
Reeling in the Action: Zooming into Action
By bringing it in closer to one concertgoer amid the crowd of others, you can draw particular attention to how the music and the surroundings can impact someone.
In addition, the contrast between the lights of the stage and the darkness of the crowd illustrate here some great use of shadows in the background. If the last scene felt chaotic and exciting, this one conveys a understated, yet personal tone.
Through focusing on one character amidst the crowd, the videographer showcases not just that there’s a party going on, but really hones in on the way that the music gets inside you; it makes you want to get up, wave your arms, and dance.
Close and Personal: The Close Up Shot
Narrowing the shot even further, by taking the rest of the event out of the frame and landing on one person’s experience, you can show the rawest of emotions.
Whether set at a concert or anywhere else, the first story you’re always looking to tell revolves around people and their basic instincts. In this example, this concertgoer is letting loose to the point where you can’t help but bring your eyes closer, as if you’re a member of the crowd behind him, watching his every move, and studying him.
Putting the Zoom Lens into Use
At a concert, or really anywhere else, videographers must determine the best way to show others not in attendance what it was like to be in that room.
Whether it’s the music, the performance, the crowd, or the theatrics, how you zoom will contribute to what people walk away knowing about the event, and likewise feeling about it.
Danny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock. He encourages everyone to consider how they achieve visual storytelling in the age of desktop editing and publishing.