This week Film Jams is bringing you 8 camera tricks to shoot better video. Read ahead and watch the video to find out a few simple tools and inexpensive ways to enhance your cinematography.

1. Use a Prism to Create Lens Flares or Bokeh

Prisms can create a unique artistic effect by placing it close to the front of a camera lens.

Christmas lights are a great lighting effect to use in videos. They can also add to the production design of a scene. Cheap and effective!

2. Use Christmas Lights to Make Sweet Bokeh 

Christmas lights can create nice depth in a scene. Shooting at a low aperture will create a bokeh effect with the lights out of focus.

Low angles add drama and interest to your videos

3. Use a Hi-hat and Shoot from a Low Angle 

Shooting from a low angle can give a new and more interesting perspective when you’re filming. Sometimes low angles offer a new way to see the scene and can really catch your audiences attention.

4. Put Something in the Foreground to Add Depth 

Putting an object in the foreground before the action in a shot can lead the eye and create a more dynamic feel to your scene. A foreground element for example in a hospital scene could be a “get well” card or maybe a bottle of pills. You can also use these elements to visually tell your story. Without having a character talk about them, but still incorporating them into the scene cues the audience in to what may be happening.

5. Use Color to Change the Mood in a Scene

Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors in film. Using gels on your lights or using modern LED lights that have RGB functionality can change the atmosphere of your scene. Creatively you could use these colors to mirror what is happening to your characters in the film. When they are sad, for example you could use blue. In happier times, warmer colors could be used. Be as creative as you like with color. It’s a powerful storytelling tool.

6. Use a Whip-Pan (In-Camera Transition)

By quickly panning your camera away from your scene and then in the next shot panning your camera in from the opposite direction can create a “whip pan”. These pans can add a unique transitional element. They’re definitely a more stylized choice than the typical cut or fade out transitions, and are fun to experiment with.

7. Use Shutter Speed Creatively

Adjusting shutter speed can fix flickering monitors and also add stylization by adjusting the amount of motion blur you want in a shot. One example we always reference is the opening battle of Gladiator with Russell Crowe. In this battle scene a high shutter speed is used in some of the battle shots to remove the motion blur, and gives a very visceral feeling to the action. And on the opposite end, reducing shutter speed will increase the motion blur – also creating a stylized effect.

8. Use Reverse Action

To avoid getting hurt in stunts or to hit a mark easier, you can use reverse action. For instance, if you film someone throwing a lightsaber onto the ground, and then reverse the footage in post, it would make it look like the lightsaber is flying up from the ground…using the FORCE!

If you’re looking how to shoot better video, try these camera tips out. Let us know what you’d like to see in our next video in the comments below, and feel free to ask questions on camera tricks to shoot better video. We respond to all comments! Please subscribe if you enjoyed our video!

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The equipment we use to film:


-Prism –

-Christmas lights –

-Camera Gels –

-Hi Hat Tripod –

-Canon C300/C100 –
-Sony A7III –

-Canon 24-105mm f/4 –
-Canon 85mm f/1.2 II L –
-Rokinon 50mm –
-Canon 24-70mm 2.8L II –

-Sachtler Tripod –

-Sennheiser MKE600 –

-ARRI Skypanel –
-Litepanels Astra (6x) –
-Litepanels Gemini 2×1 Soft LED –

If you have any questions or other camera tricks to shoot better video, please reach out to us in the comments. Thanks for watching 8 Camera Tricks in 5 Minutes: How to Shoot Better Video on Film Jams!

Filmed on location at: Litewave Media in St. Petersburg, FL – Video Production Company in St. Pete, Florida.