Camera movement is an important element to making a shot look more cinematic

Camera movement is a powerful tool that every videographer should be utilizing. It’s also one of the quickest ways to make your footage look like it’s right out of a Hollywood studio. So how can you incorporate camera movement into you videos? Blogger Ryan Kao tells us.

Ryan Kao made a video that explains why camera movement is so important to making your videos look more cinematic and also what movements you can use.

Why is camera movement important?

“ … camera movement has a lot more of an impact in videos than you would really imagine. It can really make a big impact on the audience,” says Kao. Just like the music score, camera movement can add the emotional punch a scene needs. For instance, fight scenes that are greatly choreographed look visually compelling, but when you add a little shakiness to the footage, the fight becomes both visually and emotionally compelling. It adds an extra layer of storytelling that’s consistently utilized both in Hollywood and on TV.

What kind of movements can you use?

The common types of cinematic movements often used are side-to-side, forward and backward and up and down swooping movements. Sliders are usually used to capture smooth side-to-side and forward and backward movements, while cranes and jibs are used for the up and down movements. But you don’t need to have sliders, cranes or jibs to integrate these movements into your videos. Kao himself doesn’t use any them, nor does he use any kind of stabilizer.

“The beauty of every single one of those movements is that we can pretty much accomplish all of them with just our hands,” says Kao.

However, if you like using stabilizers, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you have the budget to use stabilizers, then do so. For those that don’t have the budget, know that you can still achieve smooth cinematic movement without having to spend money on stabilizers.

“[Camera movement] is my personal favorite way to make something have a higher production feel, more cinematic feel … there’s really no right or wrong way to do it,” Kao says. “But the best thing about adding camera movement into your videos is that it’s free.”

Camera movement is one of the easiest yet most effective tools every videographer has in their arsenal. It can make you videos look much more cinematic. So next time you shoot something, try a little movement in your shots and see how it instantly elevates the quality and interest of your footage.

If you want to learn about more classic camera moves, we’ve compiled a list of nine classic moves you can start using today.

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