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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Production Elements Part 1– Area/Property Reference Shots

We will be having an on-going blog for the Challenge Teams and those looking to become involved with the Campbell Outdoor Challenge. These blogs will also be helpful to you! You can find them on the menu above by clicking on the "Production Elements" tab and it will go strait there. It is a blog on understanding the different production elements that Campbell Outdoor Challenge uses for the teams to create a show.

Here is the first blog, the second blog will be released next week:

Area/Property Reference Shots
As a part of the challenge, teams must submit 3 cut shots referencing the area, town, county, etc. that you are hunting in.

For example of different shots that a team can get, we are going to take a look at the beginning of an American Pickers (History Channel Show). I choose this show because they travel around to new locations and meet a lot of interesting people. REMEMBER it is always best to go outside of the outdoor industry to WATCH what they are doing to get ideas and be creative yourself.
Here is the link to the video that I will be referencing in this blog : http://www.history.com/shows/american-pickers/videos/american-pickers-airstream-dream

Set up of the show: The Pickers are traveling to the middle of nowhere in Arizona to meet with these people that have stuff they might want to buy.

Examples of the cut shots of the area as the show sets the stage for the location that they are going.

They start of the show by showing the two guys at there main office location and show them get into the van and head toward their destination. It is a great idea for your team to  start the filming while your getting ready to head to your next hunting location, in the car on the way there and anything in between that is interesting, funny, or hurdles you have to go through (car breaks down, etc.). To get this shot the cameraman was dropped off at a location and then the van turned around and then drove by again. This quick shot lets the viewers know that they are in root to their destination.

2. Scenery shot while driving. This short clip shows the viewers that you are traveling and sets the stage for the location where you are at. This is called B-roll footage. We really don't know when this was taken during the travels, but it can be added in editing to make the show flow. If you are filming through a car window make sure that you clean the glass!
3. In the vehicle shots. This can be used by attaching a GoPro HD Motorsports HERO to the window of your vehicle. The GoPro does not pick up the best audio, and therefore the best practice would be to have your main video camera on to record the talking and then later in editing it can be dubbed over the GoPro Video.

4. Arriving to the area. When you think of Arizona, you think of dessert and cactus, etc. A great way to show that they are arriving to their location is to get a drive by shot with everything that the viewer associates with Arizona.

5. In this shot they chose a shooting location to set the stage for what they are about to do. Then it goes back to some more B-roll footage of them driving and with the voice over of them giving a background about the person they are going to go meet. In your situation you can set the stage and give the background for the property owner or guide that you are going to talk to. BEFORE YOU GO TO YOUR NEXT LOCATION be sure and do some RESEARCH on the town that you will be in. Try and set up time to talk to an important person/ interesting person that is from that town. This is a great add to the show. 

6. Another driving up to the location shot. This tells the viewers that you are arriving to your next location. These shots are typically done after you have already met with the owner/person that you are talking to. Then the videographer will make you go through and drive back out and then drive in again, probably multiple times until he gets the shot that he likes.

7. The next shot is a "Panorama shot" in which the camera rotates (in this case right to left) with voice over explaining the location that they are at.
Once again, these B-roll shots are setting the stage for the viewers and allows them to feel like they are making the trip with you.

8. Remember the Rule of Thirds –This is what we would deem a creative shot.  This shot utilizes natural lines. For example the top of the building (background) and the top of the tire (foreground) are aligned and placed on the top third of the grid. The dead wheat or grass is positioned in the left bottom two quadrants and the tire is situated in the bottom right quadrants. This shot is appealing to the eye.

9. Another appealing shot to show the location that the Pickers are at. Another angle to view a location and to set up a shot is from the ground looking up.

10. This another well framed shot. With the Rule of Thirds, you never want to place your subject right in the middle of the shot because that gets BORING! This was taken using a wide-angle lens. This would be a perfect shot using the GoPro HD Hero because that is a wide angle lens. Or you can attach a wide angle lens to your video camera to get these types of shots.

11. Another angle shot. Don't be afraid to ask the property owner or guide that you talk to if you can move things around to frame up the shot in an appealing matter. Remember to be respectful and ask before you start re-aranging everything.

12. I love this shot. The viewer is already sucked in and wants to know more about this crazy old lady that just stands there with a gun. In reality this lady most likely does not just stand outside her house with her gun waiting on people. Therefore, your job as a videographer and producer is to set you subject up in a way that might be a little exaggerated but that will want to make the viewer keep watching. This shot of the van pulling up to the lady tells the viewer that (1) she doesn't get many visitors(the gun), (2) that this is her property and she will defend it, (3)The pickers are going to have a hard time negotiating with this lady because she seems hard headed and likes to get what she wants. Sub-contiously these are things that go through the viewers mind and makes the show entertaining. For example, if you are going to meet up with a local war hero in the town that you are filming in, it would be a good shot to get the guy in his uniform when you are driving up to set the stage for the person you about to talk to.

13. Get the shots of you shaking hands and meeting the guide/ property owner or local person. All of these shots are going to be recreated, because obviously there is not a cameraman already there to film this meeting before you arrive.

14. After your meeting with the property owner/guide or whoever it is important to go to a different location and to talk about your meeting and first impressions, etc. This can be used in the editing process to cut in to the actual video of the meeting to set the stage of what you guys are thinking at that time. It is also important to get the audio of these talks that can be used as voice over for the B-roll shots.

15. It is important to get the person that you are talking to in front of the camera and ask them questions and have them talk about different things, so that you can throw that into the middle of the meeting or use once again for voice overs on b-roll footage.

If you watch the rest of the clip with meeting with this lady you will see how it cuts back in forth between the clips of the pickers talking, to voice overs on the b-roll footage, to the one-on-one interview, to the "live action". Now, imagine how boring the show would be if you only had the video of the "live action". The added interviews and b-roll footage help tell the story but also help move the story along in an entertaining way.

Each team will be judged on creativity and originality. The top 3 teams will be awarded points. 
1st Place: 100pts
2nd Place: 75pts
3rd Place: 50pts
Production Elements Part 1– Area/Property Reference Shots
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