Video Techniques to Engage Your Audience

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Unique and exciting camera movements help make your company’s videos stand out among the competition, and they add an increased sense of professionalism to your work. Different styles and techniques create various moods within those watching your videos. It’s imperative to convey the feeling you actually want to get across to those viewers at the right time, and in the right way. Here are a few easy-to-implement, helpful shots to help you and your company get started, along with the emotions often associated with them:

Pan

During a pan, the camera is in a fixed position, and is often situated on a tripod or other stabilizing tool. The operator only turns the camera along a horizontal plane, and usually rotates it from left to right. This direction of movement is suggested to help the viewer form a natural connection with the video due to our eye’s familiar movement of reading from left to right. The most important usage of a pan is to reveal information to the audience. The speed of the pan can affect the mood of the shot as well. For example, a slow pan allows audiences to take in and understand the information easier, while a quick pan creates confusion and anxiety due to the fact that viewers have to process the same information in a much faster time.

Tilt

This shot shares many similar elements to the pan. In both, the camera itself does not actually move in space. The key difference is the direction of the camera movement. A tilt shot moves vertically up and down, and also reveals information about a subject or scene. Tilts often create a sense of scale for viewers, allowing them to awe at the height of a building as the camera tilts up, or chuckle at the size of a kitten as the camera tilts down.

Dolly

During this shot, the camera does move in space, specifically forward (dolly in) and backward (dolly out) in relation to the subject. It is important to note that a dolly is not the same as a zoom, where the camera remains in a fixed location, but the subject is enlarged or diminished by the lens. A dolly is used to follow the subject as it moves toward or away from the camera, usually at a fixed, constant distance. To create the optimal dolly shot, the camera would be placed on an actual dolly, which is a wheeled structured that creates very fluent video movements. If the camera were attached to a tripod or other mount, both would be moved during a dolly shot. A dolly movement can create a sense of intimacy and connection by allowing viewers to see an experience from a closer perspective, or it can distance viewers by creating separation between them and a subject.

Track

Similar to the dolly, a track shot moves the camera through space. The main difference is that a track moves horizontally, or parallel, in relation to the subject. This shot creates a sense of involvement and direction with the subject. An example of this would be moving a camera alongside a person walking down the street to work, making the viewer feel as if he/she is a part of the commute.

These camera movements can create a wide array of moods and emotions that have the ability to captivate or persuade an audience. While many more complex techniques are available, these simpler shots can significantly improve any video and can be achieved with relative ease. Business videos that correctly implement them can turn seemingly mind-numbing information into a more dynamic viewing experience, resulting in increased engagement and more customers.


Jason King is a senior at LSU majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Digital Advertising. In his spare time, he enjoys engaging in outdoor activities like hunting and fishing around South Louisiana.

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc.

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

 

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