Top Tips for Directing a Video Shoot

Directing a video shoot is not as easy as people make it out to be. Some even believe it’s as simple as pointing and shooting.

However at &create, we know this isn’t really the case, and it takes a lot more thought and effort than people give it credit for.

So here are our top tips when it comes to directing a video shoot.


  1. Plan every detail

Careful and concise planning will, in the long run, save everyone time and money. So, before you start filming anything, you should stop and think about the purpose of the video and who it’s intended audience is. What device will the audience be watching this video on? Where will they find this video? What will entice them to watch it? These kind of questions will help you decipher what your video will be about, the duration of it, etc. At this stage it’s also important to have an idea on how many cameras will be used and what additional equipment is required.


  1. Follow the 3 S’s

Storytelling, Script and Storyboard.

Storytelling is having an engaging story or idea that will spark interest and conversation. Second, always use a script. This can be a full script, prompts in the form of bullet points or even questions. As long as there’s some sort of structure that will give direction to the people in the video. And lastly, storyboarding could be considered a visual script. It helps you plan how you might want your video to look so you’re not left to decide on the day of the actual shoot.


  1. Know the Lingo 

Go in as prepared as you can be. Start by finding out the basic videography terms so you can get the results you’re looking for. Camera movements and camera shot types are particularly important.

Here are a few of our jargon busters below:

Zoom – have the frame move closer in on the subject

Tilt – with the camera in a fixed position, tilt camera up or down.

Pan – with the camera in a fixed position, move camera left or right.

Tracking – Camera moves with subject, sometimes with the use of a camera dolly.

Close Up – fills the screen with part of the subject, such as a person’s head.

Extreme Close up – a certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame, such as the eyes or mouth.

Over the Shoulder Shot – shooting over someone’s shoulder to see the subject.

Low Angle – subject is photographed from below eye level, looking up.

High Angle – subject is photographed from above eye level, looking down.

Point of View Shot – a shot intended to mimic what a particular character in a scene is seeing.


  1. Sound

When directing a video shoot, make sure there are no distracting noises in the location and environment you’ve selected. Do you have a suitable microphone? Do you need a sound person? Make sure you keep audio in mind at all times. Sometimes voiceover is a great option if you’re not able to control sound properly on the shoot.


  1. Lights, Camera, Action…

Lighting is incredibly important. If there isn’t enough light on your shoot, the footage may appear grainy and unclear. Too much light and your footage could easily look washed-out, or there could be too many harsh shadows. Natural light is usually best. Even if you are shooting inside during the day, you should try to get as much natural light in the shot as possible.


  1. In and Out Time

Keep the camera steady and shoot each shot for at least 10 seconds, leaving in and out time. This is so, when you’re editing, there’s space for cuts and transitions. But also so there are no weird, abrupt endings to your clips.


There are so many more points we could cover but for now, we hope this information has been useful to you. Perhaps a part 2 of this blog may occur some point in the future?


If you want more advice or guidance on how you should be directing a video shoot video, why not get in contact with us today?

Visit our contact page here or call us on 07715 411 159.


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