Filming tactics: Giving The Subject Center Stage

Give The Subject Center Stage for your video film

In this chapter, you will learn:

  • What elements you will want in your video, regardless of type or topic
  • What kinds of video categories are the most helpful

Experience Videos

People watch videos for a million different reasons. Some are sheer escapism, others a spot of joy, and still others have deeper, more lasting meaning. When you begin to create your videos, be aware of what the real message is you want to send, and ensure that what you present has the impact you desire. If there one truth about presenting information through visual means, the interpretation of the viewer needs to match what you intend, or else your result will not be the response you were looking for.

Talents and Skills

A primary purpose for a video is to present the evidence that you can accomplish what you intend. Using this video message to demonstrate the talent, or to draw attention to the value or skill or unique method all have an intrinsic teaching value. Adding entertainment, cleverness, or snappy music can change it from just another snippet of video, and
turn it into sensation-worthy viewing.

Running Commentary

Very popular ‘as you play it’ videos suggest that viewers might get a kick out of video demonstrating the everyday in a more energetic way. Consider using some kind of commentary/monologue to make the routine seem to be so much more.

“How To” Videos

Not everyone has the skill sets and talents you have. By creating videos that share your secrets, your special knack for something that they, too, could do if they chose to, will create a fascinating montage of instructional and informational videos.

Specific and desired skills

There are particularly interesting videos to be made, if the job or task you want to train is particularly visual, or if you have a unique or fascinating way to accomplish it. Even basic tasks can be made entertaining, if you add humor or drama to the video.

“What’s Behind the Curtain”

Another aspect of video that can be done, is when the actual processes for something that is less well known is brought to the viewer in a way that shares secrets, surprises, or supplemental information not normally available. The concept of an upcoming revelation is sure to pique interest, particularly if there is a coherent buildup of excitement before the actual revelation is made.

Blasts From The Past.

As the Internet generation comes of age, there are a great many things about the past that are simply not common knowledge, By bringing these tidbits of information to awareness, the new generation learns more about its past and heritage. Whether it be old hardware that no longer is needed, old ways of doing things that have fallen out of favor, or even old terms and speech patterns that are no longer in vogue, such make great, informative video fodder.

Super Spontaneous Shots

Beyond the well-choreographed videos we have been speaking of, there are the more endearing, seemingly spontaneous shots, that bring our humanity nearer, make our appreciation for life itself dearer. Here are some tips, to help facilitate capturing these gems that can lead to more appreciation and viewership.

  • Keep your camera handy

While this is perfectly natural for photographers, it isn’t always for anyone else. Still, the Cellphone cameras of today are downright amazing in terms of imagery, and even the sound collection on many of them is more than sufficient for YouTube or other video outlets.

  • Use the long zoom.

Capturing candid imagery is all about the targets being unaware the cameras are rolling. By shooting at a reasonable range, you keep the shots natural and the action central to the filming space.

  • Kill the flash

Shooting action footage is particularly good if it seems no one else is there with a camera, that yours is the one and only true shot. So try to avoid making video that shows other cameras in the shot.

  • Take a lot of video

Sometimes it is the video taken between the formal videos that is the most entertaining and surprising. So keep the camera rolling. One can always cut the boring and the bland, but if you miss the special moment because the camera was off, it is awfully hard to recapture precisely as preciously again.

  • Position yourself strategically

Taking shots in the usual way will result in usual videos, so consider hanging the camera from a tree or scaffold, or running by the action on foot. The way in which you place and frame the shot will have a lot to do with its uniqueness and appeal.

  • Take shots ‘Where the Action is”

Shooting something amazing from across the room is cool, but for really engaging footage, consider the camera as the middle of the action, and taking the camera angles and shot framing into the center of the fray, to get a surround-sound kind of feel, like the action is on every side. People do this for concert footage, but imagine if you had it at a business event or public event.

  • Capture the confrontation/conflagration

While this may seem difficult to accomplish, think of the daredevil that mounts a camera on his head for a jump, or on the frame of his bike for a different shot. In like fashion, you can make even a family video more appealing if it is taken from the middle of a group hug, or from the chapel above the wedding. Just consider all the possible ways to capture the experiences, and go for the ones that are the most innovative, the most edgy.


Rmember the old ‘Batman” shots, taken from an angle to give a different frame of reference? So, too, consider the various ways your shots can be made, and take the time to experiment in advance as well.


There’s nothing more refreshing than seeking a traditional video shot from an interesting and refreshing point of view. Maybe as an ant on the front row. Or suspended behind the artist, to capture their moves from the other side of the stage. Thinking outside the box, beyond the sphere, is what will make your video stand out from the competition.


Keep the camera rolling, and get more shots on the center of the action than you will ever need. The fun stuff is found in the moments of humanity, when all the orchestration and choreography fails, and people are just people. Those are the moments that are most precious, most appealing.

  • rE-FRAME

Think also about the direction of the video’s story Think of what the rewind might look like, or the super slow mo. In all these cases, there are minutes of pure video gold to be investigated.


Adding to the comment above, by thinking in terms of composition, you can make a story into a masterpiece by just taking into account the drama that the action can represent, and taking it to the next level as well.

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