Christophe's Camera Tips

15 Mar 2016

Christophe's Camera Tips

Head of Technological Studies Christophe, gives you his top tips for filmmaking.


Cinematic terms you may not know:  

Establishing shot – usually the first shot of a scene. It's designed to show the audience where the action is taking place.

Bridging shot - used to cover a jump in time or place or maybe any other discontinuity. Examples could be falling calendar pages, railroad wheels, newspaper headlines, and seasonal changes.

Cross-cutting - Cutting between different sets of action that can be occurring simultaneously or at different times. Usually used to build suspense or to show a relation between action or stories.

Pan - An abbreviation of Panorama, explains the movement of the camera from either left to right or vice versa.

Deep focus - A technique in which objects very near the camera as well as those far away are in focus at the same time.

Bokeh – defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light"

Framing - simply the way in which subjects and objects are framed within a shot produces specific readings. Size and volume within the frame speak as much as dialogue as well as camera angles.

When deciding what frame/aspect ratio to use:

  • Shoot widescreen if you are shooting landscapes. Movies like Australia were shot in super widescreen allowing the director to capture the great expanses of Australia. 

  • Dialogue driven scenes work well in 16 x 9 enabling 1 to 2 actors to be in view.

  • For portraits, close up’s or emotional scenes shoot on a longer lens. This should give you a shallower depth of field and a deeper bokeh ensuring the background doesn’t impinge on the shots as much.

  • For establishing shots shoot on a wide lens, the bokeh or blur outside of the depth of field will not be as dense meaning an audience can see where people are. 

  • Remember when using our Red 1 that it shoots 4.5k on widescreen and 4k on 16x9 

Top Tips

  • Iso values are simply how much digital light or artificial light is added to the picture. Be careful not to add too much light because you get little white dots (we call this noise) and can cause the desaturation of colours.

  • If you are indoors, shoot iso 800 on red cameras and outdoors shoot 320 – known as zero ISO no digital light. 

  • Always unmount your media; pulling it straight out of the camera can cause loss of data and possibly your favourite shot ..Nooo!

  • Red cameras work on edge code not timecode. What does that mean? Basically the ‘time’ is known as timecode on most cameras - when you upload your footage to an editing software program it is in chronological order. 


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