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  1. Member
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    Hey, I'm planning on getting a camera soon so I've been noticing how scenes are set up on tv and such right, so I was just watching the new series "Men of a Certain Age" and I noticed the camera shook alot like went to sides / corners etc so I figured the camera guy was just holding the camera there, most of the hole show was shot like that, then right after that I watched "back to the future" was on, and every single shot was smooth as silk, even the action scenes and such the camera just went everywhere so smoothly (figure they had giant machines carrying camera guy around lol)

    Not sure what I'm getting at here, but I noticed on "The Office" they also shoot like "Men of a Certain Age" did, I kind of liked the way the camera slightly goes to corners then back up etc did they archive that with just holding the camera normally in their hands, or was some special tool / stablization thing added?

    here's a clip from The Office so you can see what I'm talking about

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-wf2pP7T0Y

    Everyone keeps saying you need tripods etc if you're going to get a camera, but these shows don't use them I don't think.

    If it is hand held would it be hard to shoot like this with a normal HV20, or would you need big cameras like sony EX1 to keep them steady?


    Sorry if this question was noobish I've never used a camera before :S
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    That crap style of zooming and shaking is somewhat new, past few years now. I hope it goes away, it gives me a headache. I've stopped watching several TV shows and movies because of it. The Office is one, as was the movie 10.5 (or the sequel, I forget).

    Some idiot thinks that shaking and zooming makes it more real, and it sadly caught on.
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  3. Member fitch.j's Avatar
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    'Shaky-Cam' Has indeed become a style that bad filmmakers seem to be adopting just because they dont really have any idea how to shoot their subject.

    In certain situations it is perfectly acceptable (upto a certain level)

    Generally however this is for certain scenes with high action and you are deliberately using the technique to enhance the film language and story-telling. Everything you do should be done for a reason.

    Super silky smooth camera moves create an effect as well and used properly can be just as powerfull as a shaky camera - just look for David Fincher's 'The Big Shot' in panic room.

    Basically the point is no one style is right or wrong, as long as they are deliberately used and thought through properly. Simply using it because another director did is not a reason to, and that is what has happened which is why i can't disagree with the views of people like lordsmurf.

    In short if you are getting a camera you WILL need a tripod.
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  4. Member Soopafresh's Avatar
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    Steadicams are often used for moving shots where a tripod, dolly, or crane doesn't work. You can either build your own or buy one for $100-$9000, depending on your requirements




    http://www.b-hague.co.uk/Camcorder%20Stabilizer%20HCS3.htm
    "Quality is cool, but don't forget... Content is King!"
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  5. Member
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    Originally Posted by fitch.j
    'Shaky-Cam' Has indeed become a style that bad filmmakers seem to be adopting just because they dont really have any idea how to shoot their subject.

    In certain situations it is perfectly acceptable (upto a certain level)

    Generally however this is for certain scenes with high action and you are deliberately using the technique to enhance the film language and story-telling. Everything you do should be done for a reason.

    Super silky smooth camera moves create an effect as well and used properly can be just as powerfull as a shaky camera - just look for David Fincher's 'The Big Shot' in panic room.

    Basically the point is no one style is right or wrong, as long as they are deliberately used and thought through properly. Simply using it because another director did is not a reason to, and that is what has happened which is why i can't disagree with the views of people like lordsmurf.

    In short if you are getting a camera you WILL need a tripod.
    Yeah, I also agree here, after rewatching the video I can see how it can be annoying, also after watching 30 more commercials all using smooth camera moves on nick@night lol

    but anyway I was wondering if they're getting the slightly shaky but still stablish footage with just holding the camera, I thought the footage would shake alot more if someone held it and was thinking they used some other device, but then again I still am clueless. I should just go to the store to atleast hold one, but It was a spur of the moment thing that poped in my head.

    I never use to pay attention to how the scenes were shot until now, and just noticing all the different techniques it takes to do the shots is amazing, like sometimes the camera glides, sometimes raises above small buildings (crain? lol), steadicams around, then of course tripod.

    I'll definitely be getting a tripod, but not at first cause the camera will drain my pocket.
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  6. Member
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    Ayim, that "shaky-cam" style is used to give the impression that what the viewer is seeing is something like a documentary. In theory, it is designed to heighten a sense of hyper-realism. In reality, however, it is simply poor composition and usually ends up giving the viewer motion sickness. Hopefully that shooting style will go away. There is no excuse for bad shot composition.

    You should never subject your viewers to such torture, nor should you expect anyone to enjoy any haphazardly shot crap.

    Go and pick up a copy of a magazine called Videomaker. Each issue has helpful tips for making good videos, and contains resources for books and training DVDs to help you do a good job.

    And yes, you will need a tripod.

    The world is full of bad videographers already. Don't join their numbers.
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  7. Member Soopafresh's Avatar
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    You can get a Velbon tripod for less than $100. Not bad for a starter tripod. Obviously the more you spend the better you get.
    "Quality is cool, but don't forget... Content is King!"
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  8. The Blair Witch Project started that shaky camera style.
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  9. Member fitch.j's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ayim
    but anyway I was wondering if they're getting the slightly shaky but still stablish footage with just holding the camera, I thought the footage would shake alot more if someone held it and was thinking they used some other device, but then again I still am clueless. I should just go to the store to atleast hold one, but It was a spur of the moment thing that poped in my head.
    It depends on the footage you are looking at. Certain cameras are hand held (very few), some are shoulder mounted with support straps, enabling the freedom of freehand movement whilst also being able to hold a steady shot, more complicated scenes may use a steadicam with a destabilizer, this is a technique that has been used more in large budget feature films, i'm unaware of other films (besides a few high budget shorts) that have used this technique, simply by reading 'steadicam with destabilizer it would seem to contradict itself, however you are able to destabilize on certain axis only, which leads to a steady composition with a shake on maybe the X axis. Finally it is more and more common for it to be done in post production. Filming the shot fairly steadily and then adding a shake to certain parts of the shot is a lot easier than to film it shakily (read:badly) and then stabalize it afterwards.

    I'm talking specificly about well made and well thought out projects here. Bad projects aren't thought through and end up being shaky simply because they didnt know how they wanted it filmed, and they didnt have the correct equipment.


    @jagabo the style has been used for much longer than that, that may just have been the first example to make an audience feel sick because they over-used it!
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  10. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    The Blair Witch Project started that shaky camera style.
    ...more like "David Holzman's Diary" c.1968, the Grandfather of modern mockumentary.
    Shakeycam is clearly not my favorite either, but there ARE times where it's totally appropriate/preferred WRT the story and impression to be given. Hopefully, in a few years it'll revert to being the exception rather than the rule.

    Some of those shots you see on The Office, etc. are STILL shot with a steadicam, just "loosened" up a little. But cinematographers/videographers who are veterans have learned lots of habits and tricks in how to hold the camera so it won't shake as much during handheld shots as Joe Blow and his Granny on holiday. Some of this is due to the size/bulk of the camera, some are using shoulder mounts or pistol grips or both, but alot is just practice, practice, practice.
    Notice, for example, that thw wider angle your shot is, the less motion you'll show, no matter what you're shooting.

    Scott
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  11. I realize Blair Witch wasn't the first film ever to use the shakycam technique. It started the first time somebody picked up a moving picture camera. But Blair Witch seemed to really popularize it as an intentional effect. There was a big explosion in its usage after that.
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  12. Member craigarta's Avatar
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    Nah just get one of these bad boys and the camera will not move plus will know where you are as well
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  13. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
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    I believe shakey cam style mimics amateur docu handheld and actually uses a tripod because the frame never rotates. What's next is to start rotating the frame (I just saw this on a commercial) but they will have to hand out barf bags at the theater. Perhaps they think it looks cute on the video-assist replay...but when it's blown up on the silver screen in the theater, it's amplified one hundred fold.

    I may use the style for an action shot as previously mentioned...but that's about it.

    While a cheap tripod may be fun in the studio, they're practically useless in the field. When a slight breeze comes along at an inopportune moment, the legs shake like a flag flapping in the breeze.

    Shakey cam is a flash in the pan relatively and shooting in this style will probably be regretted as the years go by favoring instead the professional smooth steady shots of a pro tripod. We're telling a story...not showing a fad technique.

    Just like those big bug-eyed eye-glasses that were all the rage for 18-24 months in the late 1990's, whenever we see them now, we all laugh at how preposterously rediculous they look.

    To me, the only thing worse than shakey cam is taking the glass out of the actors eye-glasses/car. I don't think sitting behind the wheel without a windshield/screen has actually fooled anyone yet...including children. We all just laugh in amazement about how stupid it looks...the same with the eyeglasses.

    I'm laughing about it right now as I type...Thanks Mega-shake!
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