Five Quick Ways To Shoot Video Like A Broadcast Journalist

Five Quick Ways To Shoot Video Like A Broadcast Journalist

If you’re a newcomer to capturing events on video — say, if you want to be video journalist or a documentarian — you should familiarise with Michael Rosenbaum’s “five shot” method. Just by using these five shots, you’ll be able to get enough footage to properly illustrate a scene so viewers can follow along.

Here they are: Closeup of the hands, closeup of the face, wideshot, over the shoulder and unusual/alternative. Getting enough of these shots allows you to tell the who, what, where and how of the scene, with you filling in the why with voiceover.

Of course, once you’ve gotten to a point where you’re comfortable setting up shots and getting good footage, you shouldn’t feel handcuffed to these five angles. Throw them in with any other types of shots you’ve developed, or even strip some out, if you feel they’re too limiting. The end-goal is to develop your own style, but before you can do that, you need to start somewhere.

BBC Training [via Andrew Lih via New Media Interchange]


  • It’s a context/filler shot. Holding one view of anything for more than a few seconds leads to viewer boredom. Check any news article, and even with a single subject, the film will cut between views of the reporter, subject, and even relative non sequiteurs like hands, traffic, locations etc. to break up the main shot. Or the usual; if a polly or celeb is droning on, cut to the (obviously filmed later) shot of the reporter nodding like they care! 🙂

    One quick way *not* to shoot like a pro: use an iPad, phone or anything that does imaging as a second job.

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