How to Shoot Better

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Ski Canada proverb: If you catch your best ski day ever on film, will anyone want to watch? Before you meditate on this, know that the answer depends on you.

“If all you get is POV action footage, there’s not much of a story to tell, and without some kind of story, the footage will never be very compelling,” says Patrick Latcham, the co-founder of ProEditors, a video editing service. To create a holiday video that friends and family will actually watch, it’s all about the shots before and after the action, says Keith Partridge, an instructor at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival’s Adventure Filmmaker’s Workshop. Here’s how our two pros suggest you up the watchability of your films:

  1. Gear up: The best video camera is the one you have. Unless you plan on showing it at the theatre, the camera on your phone is perfect. But please, hold the phone horizontally.
  2. Plan: Create a story outline on paper. For a holiday video, think about the journey from packing up to unpacking and everything in between: gearing up in the parking lot, riding the lift, buddy cleaning up a faceplant, après beers, commentary… These are the moments that make the trip. Write out a shot list to help you stay focused.
  3. Mix up the angles: Variety adds interest. Get high, go low, shoot wide, zoom in. Using a POV? Try holding it in your hand, setting it up in the snow and skiing by it, or following your friends as they ski past.
  4. Edit: Sort through the footage and pick out your fave moments. Start with something exciting, then lay out the story. Now add the music and tweak the clips so transitions match the beat. Export. Share it. Now prepare to answer our original question in the affirmative.

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by RYAN STUART in the Winter 2017 issue

Ryan Stuart
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