Photography News 110 - Newsletter

Making movies

Working an angle

Whether you’re capturing B roll on a drone or action camera, shooting from on high, down low or POV, finding creative angles can add real pizzazz to your filmmaking

“Study well-shot TV dramas and you’ll see an astonishing number of shots from overhead and up high”

cam, but nowadays by far the most common way to get the shot from above is via drone. Once, these would have cost tens of thousands, required an expensive camera bolted on, plus extensive pilot training and pricey insurance. But it’s far cheaper and more accessible now. When it comes to drones, DJI is the clear market leader. Its latest Mini 2 SE is a palm-sized device weighing a mere 249g and exempt from many drone regulations. Its 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor records video at 2.7K and delivers 12-megapixel photos. It supports up to 6.2 miles of HD video transmission, with a flight time of 31 minutes. However, UK rules say we have to maintain line of sight with our drone at all times, so the quoted long range is purely academic. The gimbal has a three-axis mechanical stabilisation system, while the camera features a 4x

Study well-shot TV dramas and movies and you’ll see an astonishing number of shots from overhead and up high, or from unusual angles where a camera normally wouldn’t fit. For example, in the front of a car facing the driver, or sharing the point of view of a skydiver jumping out of an aeroplane. And while mounting a large camera to the outside of a racing car or renting a helicopter to track the movement of a motorcycle may still be methods employed by big-budget shows, it’s much easier for the rest of us to achieve similar results via affordable yet high-quality accessories and specialist cameras. The view from on high A top-down, bird’s-eye view is a well-used visual angle in film and TV drama. To achieve this, we could invest in a long boom arm or pole


SEEKING TO TRANSFORM your videos into something slick and polished? Then shooting additional footage from alternative angles can work wonders. Typically called B roll, as it’s from a second camera and is in addition to your main A roll content, this is where you can really go wild and try out striking shots that add significantly to the production values of your piece. As well as providing extra footage to help with the edit, you can alter the pace, help establish the subject or simply conjure up something seriously dramatic. REACH NEW HEIGHTS Getting some altitude with a drone is an ideal way to shoot a professional-looking establishing shot for your movie

PART EIGHT This series is designed to help you get to grips with the essentials of filmmaking. In every 2023 issue, we’ve been covering key parts of the process. Keep reading each month and you’ll end up with all the advice to be the next Spielberg! Your guide is Adam Duckworth, editor-in-chief of our sister title Pro Moviemaker. This month, learn how to shoot some alternative angles.

Issue 110 | Photography News 21

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