Video Direction as an Application of the Study of Music
Article in College Music Symposium
Part 1: Composing Shots, Preparing Students
This picture of Willie Nelson and friends at a Gershwin Award PBS broadcast can be used to illustrate the three basic types of shots. A "long" or "wide" shot establishes an environment and leaves nothing out. This shot could be even wider, to include all the singers and the proscenium. It establishes a place, but lacks enough resolution to clearly see the expression of the performers
A medium shot shows one or a few performers from head to toe, makes it easier to identify people, and provides some detail when seen even on a small screen.
Closeup or "tight" shot are the most intimate type, obtained by zooming in on part of one person or an instrument. This allows the user to see the performer's expression.
A useful exercise is to have students draw boxes on copies of paintings or photos in order to show a variety of possible shots. This gives everyone a chance to consider the options of wide, medium, and tight shots and can help identify students who might be well-suited to being camera operators. Other considerations are their understanding of music, eagerness, and attention span.
[ Go on to Part 2 ]
©2016 Robert Willey