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Weekend Challenge: Camera Movement

Cameron Christopher

Hey there, cerebral cinematographers,

Our pal Vincent Laforet is touring the country, hosting a workshop about one of his biggest passions in filmmaking: how to move the camera! Camera movement is a great way to add visual interest to a scene, but that's such a small portion of what it can do for you. Check out the trailer for the Directing Motion Tour to get a glimpse of all there is to learn (especially since we're giving 25% off new PRO accounts to all who attend the tour):

This weekend, your Challenge is to film a short narrative, honing your camera movement skills. We'll be looking for effective motion that adds feeling and moves the story along — don't move the camera for the sake of moving the camera. Bonus points for innovative uses!

To get your gears cranking, let's run through a few of the basic movements:

Pans and Tilts

These shots feature a stationary camera, panning side-to-side or tilting up and down to show what you, the viewer, would see while looking around. Though they explore more of the scene, these shots remain at a fixed distance. #### Tracking

In its most basic form, a tracking shot is a camera moving on a fixed path through space, directly engaging the depth of an image or scene. There are various ways to capture/emphasize the third dimension, including the use of dollies, glidecams, or handheld camera work. One variation, notably used by Wes Anderson, uses lateral motion (sometimes called a trucking shot) so the camera moves along parallel to the motion in the scene. In a narrative, tracking shots often show a character's movement or action, giving the viewer something to focus on as the camera moves through space. Long shots often incorporate tracking shots as an introduction to a cast of characters, like in Paul Thomas Anderson's opening scene for Boogie Nights.

Think about what your camera movement does for the story. A dolly shot that moves in slowly may add suspense and tension, and a dolly shot moving out might relieve it. Some camera movement happens independent of what's happening in the scene — because this type of movement draws attention to itself, it's a visual way of saying "hey, check this thing out" and often showcases details that are important to the story.

What story are you telling, and how will you use camera movement to help tell it?

+ Film a short narrative, focusing on camera movement as a way to enhance the story.
+ Keep your film under 3 minutes.
+ If you add music, make sure you use a song you or a buddy created, or something from the Vimeo Music Store! If you do choose to use a Music Store song, please throw a link in the description. 
+ Anything goes for your video's title, but add this line at the end of your video's description: "Created for the Weekend Challenge:"
+ Upload and post your video to the Weekend Challenge Group by *****Tuesday, May 6th, 2014***** at 11:59 PM (EST).

Only videos made specifically for this Challenge will be considered.

+ The winner will receive a badge on their video, and free Vimeo Plus account for one year! If you're already a Plus member, you'll get another year.
+ The runner-up will receive an extra 3GB of upload space!

All videos must be approved by the Vimeo Staff before appearing in the Group, so don't worry if your video doesn't show up at first; we'll get to it!

Ready for a challenge?

Get that camera moving and tell us a story!

Accept this challenge
In this ongoing Vimeo Video School series, we present our community with fun challenges to help hone their video-making prowess.



Really like it, well done!

Marija Films

ohhh, how much I would like to attend the tour! that damn Atlantic ocean..

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