1. Geoff Stock

    Session 2 – Composition, The Rule of Thirds

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    10
    This first session takes us straight to the first major problem that many people have when first learning to shoot. How to compose good looking shots. See how easily the Rule of Thirds will make sure you won’t have that problem anymore. A great starting point. You will now start to notice that most things on television follow the Rule of Thirds. Heads on the top third band, as the shots get closer the faces and then the eyes will sit comfortably on that top line or band. Notice how common it is and then you will become aware when it is broken and how it changes the look of the shot.
  2. Geoff Stock

    Session 3 – Looking Room

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    6
    This relates most especially to when we have a subject in our shot that can face in a direction i.e. looking left to right or right to left. This could be a person, boat, car, plane, etc. Have the subject off centre and facing into the frame. Now that you have been exposed to this technique you will see it in nearly everything you see in film or on TV. You will also see where it is broken and how that can add drama to the shot. For most things though it is a simple principle that is used most of the time.
  3. Geoff Stock

    Session 4 – Lead Room

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    1
    This is like looking room but it is used when you are panning with some type of action like a dancer or sportsperson competing. We frame the subject off-centre possibly on a third but they will be moving into the frame not out of it. This really is a skill that you need to practice and will give you a new appreciation why we have tripods worth many thousands of dollars. How well you can follow action is a giveaway of how experienced you are so take every opportunity to improve this skill. When you are practicing this get comfortable behind your tripod, breathe gently, and be as smooth as you can. Try to pan at exactly the same speed as your subject.
  4. Geoff Stock

    Session 5 – Shot Sizes Pt1

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    3
    This session starts to introduce you to the different types of shots we can take to tell our stories. We use them for different reasons but we also need them to be able to edit our footage and have it flow smoothly. You should have a good understanding now of the shots we need to capture and why. When you are shooting these shots always to remember to let them roll for a while [count to ten] and make sure that the action in the shot is telling us part of the story.
  5. Geoff Stock

    Session 6 – Shot Sizes Pt2

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    4
    This is a continuation of helping you to understand the different types of shots you can take to tell different elements of your story. Try to think about all the different shot sizes you are seeing when you are looking around and begin to relate them to how you would shoot the scene for somebody else to see, all the different shots you would need to take so that their brain could understand what you have seen.
  6. Geoff Stock

    Session 7 – Advancing

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    1
    A short session on how the things you have learned so far are helping you with real and effective skills so you can shoot much more professional shots. We now move onto a series of sessions to help you to think about ways to get more interesting shots and angles and lift the look of the footage you are getting.
  7. Geoff Stock

    Session 8 – Move Closer

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    1
    Many people have the problem that they stand back too far and shoot everything too wide. This session explains how to avoid that and achieve much more dynamic shots. Getting in amongst the action and having the camera close to whatever is happening, is a great way to help the viewer feel that they are really connected to the action happening in your frame.
  8. Geoff Stock

    Session 9 – Parallel Lines

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    1
    Another problem for many people is they decide to get a shot of something so they get their camera out and start shooting. Before you push the button think about whether you can improve the shot by moving a few meters one way or the other. This session will give you a few ideas about how to think about that. The thought is “will this shot look better if I just move over there a little bit”. Can I improve it? If you regularly have that thought, your shots will definitely improve.
  9. Geoff Stock

    Session 10 – Camera Height

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    1
    A very important element in shooting interesting looking shots is to think about the height of the camera. Are we looking down at our subject, straight at it, or up at it, it all changes how the shot will look. As you can see, I have broken this course into small simple, easy to understand pieces so that you can immediately start using the knowledge. But, if you don’t start to use these skills straight away you will just go back to your old habits. All of these pieces add up to a complete system to take you forward, make sure you use it.
  10. Geoff Stock

    Session 11 – Action in Your Shots

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    6
    A very important thing to keep in mind once you are trying to break your story up into different shots is to make sure you watch what is happening in each shot. You then know what you want to be happening in the following shot. You need to concentrate your thought process and focus on what is happening in your frame. If you are really watching the action in the shot you will see the moment when the shot is working. Let it roll for a few seconds after the action has finished. This will give you a nice clean edit point. If you don’t watch to make sure the shot is working I can guarantee, it will jump out at you in the edit that the shot hasn’t worked.
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