How to Shoot Better Tracking Shots [Examples of #Trackingshots]

There is no silver bullet
for dynamic filmmaking. Motivated camera movement generates the much-needed energy
to keep your audience hooked. Today,
we’re going to talk about a shot that has become a
staple in Hollywood. The tracking shot. A tracking shot is any shot that physically moves the
camera through the scene. Today, we’re going to
show you three ways, you can improve
your tracking shots. Location, production design
and performance blocking. Then we’ll go over camera movement,
to build your perfect tracking shot. Let’s dive in. The first thing you want to
do is look at your location. Different locations will provide
their own unique pros and cons. Does the location
have columns or walls that can help create
layers and depth? Does some special angle or a set
of stairs provide the ability for the big reveal? The best tracking shots have a symbiotic relationship
with the location. This example from “The
Wrestler” shows you how the layout of the
kitchen is similar enough to an arena tunnel to evoke that
emotion from the protagonist. [Crown Cheering] If the location didn’t
have the appropriate look, it might not have
worked so well. The second aspect you’ll want to
consider is your production design. Your tracking shots can use props
and set dressing to your advantage. You can incorporate vehicles,
animals, breakaway set design. This tracking shot
from “Pulp Fiction” is a great example of how production
design allowed a creative tracking shot. Here, the design department
get the fence mobile so that it could be
retracted the moment, the steadicam operator
reach the hole, they could step
through seamlessly without any camera shake. The third thing you want to consider
is your performance blocking. Both with principal actors,
as well as background. Have an extra move past the
camera in the foreground, to break up some action and create depth. Have an actor walk through
frame in the opposite direction, to help create some
extra speed in your shot. This scene from “Atonement” is a
great example of creative blocking. Use actor movement to
motivate camera movement. This will help you introduce
important information in your scene. Which brings us to
our final point. How do you move your camera? A big part of camera movement is
direction and changes in level. But there are three other
aspects to consider. Speed. Stability. Duration. If you have a shot that is
exciting and action-packed, moving the camera quickly,
will amplify the energy of the scene. Conversely, if you want to give the
viewer an ominous experience, you may be better served by moving at a snail-like pace. What about camera stability? You may find that a scene that is
intended to make you feel uneasy is best served by
a shaky camera. In other cases, a floating camera
can get you closer to a desired emotional outcome. Another question. How long should my
tracking shot run? How do you want to use
your tracking shot? Is it to get through
plot points quickly? Is it to build anticipation? Is it to create a robust world? The only rule of
camera movement, is to give it some thought
beforehand and plan accordingly. Now you understand how to combine your location,
production design, blocking, and camera movement to
create a tracking shot that wow’s your audience. Organizing a tracking shot is
a bit of a logistic nightmare. Sometimes, you tracking shot
may require special equipment. Build a shot list. Create a perfect storyboard. StudioBinder features were created
to streamline your collaboration. Let us help you organize, plan and produce your
next great tracking shot. To see how you can incorporate
your tracking shot into a one, check out our video
on the long take. Subscribe to our channel, and see new videos the
moment, they are released. What are some other important
aspects of tracking shots? Which tracking shots are
your personal favorites? Let us know in the
comments below. [Music]

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