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Camera Movements Demo

Lesson 12 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

12. Camera Movements Demo


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


The Spark That Inspired Me


What Are Family Films?


Gear for Family Films


Camera Settings for Video


Frame Rates & Slow Motion


Picture Profiles & Color Grading


Settings for Audio Capture


Lesson Info

Camera Movements Demo

This is a film that I made, and I'm gonna stop and start this, and talk you through all of the camera movements that I did and how they then fit in to the film. Okay? So we're opening with this reveal slide that I showed you before. (acoustic music) This is just subtle movement, moving down. It's kind of more like a slide. (acoustic music) I'm getting in close, this is closer up. (acoustic music) This is a pan across. ♪ I woke up in the world I wanted ♪ That's that bird's eye pan. ♪ Sunrise dancing with the morning ♪ That's just a subtle slide. ♪ In your eyes, I swear I saw it ♪ (guitar playing) ♪ I wo-- ♪ In that one, I don't know if you noticed, but I I did this movement, it's hard to describe, but I was just from here and then pulled this way. So it's like a dolly out and a pan at the same time, kind of. It was like this movement and then the focus. And that pulled the focus under his feet and brought her body more in to the frame for that. Sometimes I just make up camera movements ...

as I go. ♪ --Ke up in the world I wanted ♪ So that is like the reveal side in reverse. I made sure for that scene that I had a way to open it, I had enough B-Roll in the middle, which we'll get to later. There were a lot of just subtle movements through out that, not anything really drastic, no other revealing type things. The revealing type movements I do at the beginning and the end of the scene. I don't try to throw those in, in the middle very much. Alright? But a dolly in, a dolly out, those things will work. The pan, any kind of pan, any kind of sliding movement, anything that's really subtle will work. Oh wait, (acoustic music) ♪ I woke up in the world you gave me ♪ ♪ New horizon in the making ♪ ♪ Wish I could bottle up, ♪ Okay, so for that movement, I was standing on the kitchen table, and they had lights hanging down from the ceiling, and I was like, "that will make a really cool shot," cause I wanted to get a wide angle of the kitchen, but I just wanna make it a little bit more interesting, than just a plain wide angle. So I started with the one light that was hanging, and then I just bent my knees, shifted my weight to the left one, and that's hard to do, but it made it kind of a cool visually interesting clip. And I got lucky that she was doing a counter movement at the same time. Like she was bringing her child over to the bench at the same time. Wooh, yeah! I keep trying to press the clicker, but I don't have to. ♪ To me ♪ ♪ New horizon in the making ♪ ♪ Wish I could bottle up, and save ♪ So it worked out really well. This was a hard clip because I was trying to chase the child, right? (crowd laughs) And (laughs) I love him, but they really wanted to show the chickens like he goes and lets the chickens out, and the kids, they don't know you need time to change your exposure from being inside to outside. So, I'm like, "oh, we're going" okay, yeah, let's go! And then I'm running, and I just sort of, it's out of focus, who cares, let go of perfection, right? Just gotta let it go. ♪ This moment ♪ And it's a little wobbly, but it's okay. We're still doing home videos for families. ♪ I woke up in the world I wanted ♪ ♪ You-- ♪ So this is another reveal because I'm changing scenes. I've gone from outside to now, we're inside, and I saw this moment that was happening, and I knew it was gonna be, I was gonna shoot a lot of these, but a little bit and I needed a reveal slide to introduce it. ♪ Be a dream ♪ (Guitar playing) ♪ But now it's-- ♪ I really like capturing steam. That's not a movement thing, but I'm just saying. I just really like it. So, those pancakes, they were really good. ♪ You and me ♪ (Guitar playing) That's that rack focus, from the child and the foreground to the story that's happening behind them. ♪ It used to be a dream, ♪ (guitar playing) Another reveal slide, this was a moment, like a really quiet moment he was doing on his own. I'd give myself the option, usually if I'm approaching a new scene, what I know in my head is gonna be a new scene while I'm editing, I'm gonna give myself this option of some way to reveal it. Whether that's the pedestal or whether it's the slide. I don't wanna include too many of these really predictable opening all the time, but it is a great way to introduce a scene. So, it could be that or it could also just be a rack focus that goes from really out of focus to focus, landing focus on the child, that could work too. You could combine the two, you could do a reveal slide where you're starting out of focus, and then as you move, you land focus on the child. That's a little more challenging, but incorporating all of these things helps. ♪ But now its you and me ♪ (Acoustic drums) ♪ I woke up in the world I wanted ♪ ♪ Better than I ever saw it ♪ ♪ All the dreams, the life, the hope you brought in ♪ It's that bird's eye, it was kinda more of like a slide not really much about the hand. ♪ I woke up in the world I wanted ♪ That's kind of that counter movement you saw, swing was coming at me and I was going down. (acoustic music) ♪ Used to be a dream ♪ Bird's eye. ♪ But now its you and-- ♪ Pedestal, I wanted to reveal him. He was so adorable, he was holding his little chicks. ♪ --Me ♪ (acoustic music) ♪ It used to be a dream, ♪ ♪ But now its you and me ♪ Kay, so you saw that transition, the way I did that with the camera movement was, closing the book, alright? And then we're on a new scene. I don't always neither introduce things in that way. Another thing I like to do for introducing would be like this, where, we're not seeing his face. We're just seeing now, we're introducing that we're in the car. So, no a lot of camera movement here. ♪ Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. ♪ ♪ Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. ♪ ♪ Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. ♪ Really subtle, this is one of those things we need to make sure that you're far back enough so that the movement that's happening in the frame has the space that it needs, right? Composition still matters. ♪ Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. ♪ And so that's another example, following the movement. Letting it come back, making that decision. (acoustic music) ♪ I woke up in the world I wanted ♪ ♪ And I reali-- ♪ The car was moving for me there. ♪ All of a sudden ♪ I was at the front. ♪ This used to be a dream, ♪ ♪ But now its you and me ♪ So, I don't know if you saw that, but this is a really cool thing about the lensbaby. This is the lensbaby. The lensbaby changes the focal plane to being like this, instead of like this, right? So what I did was I moved the focal plane here. So I could take the focus from this story, to that story. Which is just really cool. (acoustic music) ♪ But now its you and me ♪ ♪ It used to be a dream ♪ So, that's kind of a little bit of a reveal there, where I'm moving down, starting with the top of the fishing pole, to show him. So I'm like showing what's happening and then showing the subject, but we can still see where it lands in the frame. (acoustic music) It's just subtle movement. ♪ But now its you and me ♪ ♪ Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. ♪ ♪ Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. ♪ ♪ Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. ♪ ♪ Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. ♪ (acoustic music) And so for the ending, there wasn't even any camera movement there. I just used focus to kinda be blurry and have that be the ending. The part where they caught the fish, I was really off guard. I didn't expect them to actually get, they didn't expect to actually catch a fish. And then when they did, I was like, "oh not ready for this" and so that was hard, that was a hard part of it. I would've not shot that on the lensbaby, I would've had the sigma 'coz it's really hard to see what's going on there, but like I said, wasn't ready and it was better to shoot it with what I had on than to just not shoot it at all. And that was kinda the whole point of us going fishing, and they were really excited they caught a fish. Hadn't had that in there, but anyway, that's kind of an example of what I am looking for. The things that I'm trying to film in order to give myself options to edit with later. So, that song was, World I wanted, Secret Nation. Licensed through the Musicbed. Thank you Musicbed.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Shot List Worksheet Template
Shot List Worksheet Example
Ideas for Your First Film
Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews

Adam Nicholls

Worth a watch! Courtney provides a clear and organised class, she is also very passionate about what she does which is always nice to see. She has a great back story which is fantastic. This course is good for beginners who have some knowledge in photography and want to learn more about video. I would recommend that people do not refer this class to the bible of filmmaking as I feel you can expand further on what Courtney teaches. Some useful tips for beginners but some methods I personally feel can be taught differently. I feel a gimbal is a useful bit of kit if used correctly. You can still use a gimbal when in manual mode providing you follow the basics rules! Obviously if Courtney prefers not to use a gimbal then that's also fine but I wouldn't discourage students from exploring useful filmmaking tools. Slow motion can be achieved with 50/60fps however I feel other frame rates should have been discussed like 120fps. I liked that Courtney engaged with the students as it gets them involved and will help them remember what they have learned during the class. Thank you for taking the time to share some of your knowledge

a Creativelive Student

Courtney's work is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I feel lucky that she has chosen to share her process and that this class is available! After watching all the videos and trying my hand at this video thing, I am feeling really encouraged and inspired to do more- both personally and professionally. I appreciate the way that she breaks things down in the video and that she shares her thought process. A really great course!


Courtney’s course completes me! I have storytelling “holes” in my film previously, but this course helped fill those holes to create a flow and a film with emotion. Not only is the course wonderful (and well worth every penny) but Courtney is wonderful as well! I had such an amazing experience at Creative Live!!!!

Student Work