December 24, 2008 at 9:41 PM #37445
Hi, I’m new to this forum and pretty new to to creating videos. And what little experience I’ve got, doesn’t particulary apply to this project I have inmind.
Anyway, for a while now, I’ve wanted to put together a martial arts video. Not one with a story, more of a demonstation, showing the different styles and skills of the individuals. Finding the martial artists isn’t a problem, nor is finding someone to do the filming, as I’ll be involved in the martial arts. Anyway, I’m looking for some general advice about what works and doesn’t, good camera angles for this type of video. It will most likely be filmed inside a sports hall, so lightning could be difficult, the people involved use a mixture of armed and unarmed styles. Obvisously safety is an issue, is there a good approach to dealing with the different levels of protection whilst keeping each outfit distinct? The fact that some of the people involved do multiple different martial arts, could this lead to confusion to the viewer? Does a mixture of reahersed sequences and unreahersed sparring work well?
It is likely to be done a pretty tight budget but I think we will have access to two video cameras so what is a good position for second cameras?
Thanks for any advice.
December 25, 2008 at 7:23 PM #165975chrisColoradoParticipant
Do every shot you can think of. Every camera angle you can think of. Every creative camera move you can think of.
Action scenes/movies are REALLY fast, editing-wise. You need a ton of shots. You could shoot 30 shots and fit them all in, in 30 seconds. You know what I mean? Go watch the scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark. There are aTON of shots in 2 minutes. Even with slo-mo moves in newer movies, such as Chronicles of Narnia, there’s still a ton of shots in a short time.
Shoot a lot and then edit REAL tight. You could show 5 second of this shot, ten second of this shot, a 15 second slo-mo, 2 seconds of this shot…you get what I mean. The tighter, the less your viewers are bored.
I’ve learned this through experience. Good luck! chris of Colorado
December 26, 2008 at 9:05 PM #165976
Now that you’ve pointed it out yes, I’ve seen it used it a lot of the best action films. I’ll take a closer look at some of them again to see how they do it. Thanks for your help.
I’ve thought of one last question. Within the group I’ve asked to be involved, I’m the only female and I’m lot shorter than the others. Is better to emphasize this or to ignore it?
December 27, 2008 at 3:14 AM #165977EarlCMember
If this is for instructional purposes, then you probably don’t want a bunch of fast action sequences as would be favored for entertainment.
In instructional productions tell them what you’re going to show them, show them what you told them, tell them what you told them. IOW – talking head, focused on camera telling the technique and/or movements that will be demonstrated. Use cuts to the various motions and movements during this process.
Go through the entire presentation of moves in regular motion, then slow motion. Angles can be useful via second or even third camera to offer a 360 degree representation of the moves.
Reiterate via talking head and cuts to the movements to emphasize the series. Reverse angles showing the sparing partner POV might also help.
Then move to the next set and repeat the above.
At the end of the series you might consider reiterating each set with real time movements, followed up by slow motion movements.
In teaching or other instructional programs the mantra is actually: Tell them what you are going to tell (show) them, tell (show) them what you want to tell them, tell them what you told them. Repetition along with cuts to specific visual/audio elements of the program is what works in such productions.
If emphasis is on being small but being able to defend against a larger opponent you might consider focusing on the differace, but otherwise IMHO it should NOT be emphasized to prevent the viewer from forming assumptions that may not actually apply in real life experiences.
The best way to approach an instructional video, rather than a demonstration or entertainment production, would be to decide what forms and actions you are going to focus on, script what you want to say/show about each one, determine close ups and other cuts that will focus on the specifics, then work up a shot sheet to acquire those elements. Repeating each of the movements in the series several times and shooting from several angles could help in demonstrating the techniques and moves better.
General lighting using broad lighting systems, or soft lamps and floods, might help keep the overall lighting in line without developing harsh shadows. You will, of course, want your lights to be up high to avoid too many shadows showing on the walls, etc.
Individuals accomplished in the martial arts should be able to go through their moves in safe manner without posing threat or harm to the equipment or shooters, or themselves. They are, after all, usually practiced in non-full contact activities. A bit of preparation, with the cameras in their positions should allow for some intimate shots, even high kicks and perhaps jumps without causing harm.
Live sounds during the movements might be appropriate, but I would record the instructional phases with a mic system, perhaps in a quiet area while viewing the footage, using something like a Zoom H2 or such.
Hope this helps.
December 31, 2008 at 3:22 PM #165978
Thanks for your help. As a group we haven’t made the final desicion yet as to whether it will be an instructional video or a full speed demostration. That will be decided during January, so I’ll put forward both sets of advice.
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