Raw Footage Examples

Lesson Details

Subject: Shooting

Title: Raw Footage Examples


You’re going out to shoot. When you get back we’re going to take a look at your raw footage, but here’s a sample from someone who took the bootcamp in New York and had never shot before. First time out. Note how he follows the rules and how disciplined his shooting is. Just watching the footage – and this is the first thing he EVER shot – you can almost see the final video unfold before your eyes. This works.


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Okay so you’ve heard the five shot rules and you’ve seen a couple of cut pieces. Now we’re going to show you some samples of raw footage. This was done by people who had exactly the same lecture that you did on the five shots, went out and shot there very, very first thing they ever shot. They've done a pretty good job at it. Your raw footage should look like this or something approximating it. Let’s take a look.

Now this guy went to a shoemaker which is not a bad place to go. Close up on the hands, close up on the face. Look at the quality. 

This is a $800 camera, look at the quality of video this is getting technically. Wide shot, over the shoulder, another close up on the hands, close-up on the face, wide shot, over the shoulder. Now he doesn't get all five shots every time which is fine. Five shots is perfect if you can do it but even if you just get two or three you do them perfectly. The funny thing is when you start to look at these things you can see the film take place in front of you. You look at the shots, they’re perfectly done. There’s no camera move, the shoot sequences and anybody can put any story together with this once they get these five shots.

Here’s another guy who went out and this is the very first time it he ever went out to shoot and he went to one of these furniture assembly stores. Never picked up a camera before, this is the very first stuff that he shot. He also follows the rules perfectly. This is a close-up, look at how good that looks. This could be on a home decorating show right? Just get the shot, get aggressive, move in tightly. Don’t move the camera. Close-up on the face. 

You see how the two shots would marry up together in an edit. It’s a very simple thing to do. Wide shot same thing. You want to get five shots basically of the same sequence, the same event going on just from five different angles. This will allow you to edit it and put it together and give you a kind of sense of three dimensionality. Again, close-up on the hands, close-up on the face. 

This is raw footage, this is not edited in any way. This is exactly how it came out of the camera. Wide shot, and when you go to do yours, your footage, your raw footage should look just like this, 12345. Close-up on the hands, close-up on the face, pull back to the wide, over the shoulder, the side shot. Ten seconds each, don't move the camera. Again another close up on the hands. When you look at these sequences and this is raw camera footage, totally unedited. When you look at these sequences, you could see that anybody could put this together. Once you've built the story bed in terms of compelling pictures the story laid on top of it. This could be the story about a young immigrant who came and started a shop. Or it could be a story about a guy who is about to get arrested because they’re drug dealing in his woodworking shop. 

It doesn't make any difference, the journalism and the writing gets laid down on top of it and in other lessons we’re going to talk about how to construct a compelling story. Right now I am only interested in shooting. Look at how good it gets when you get close. The more aggressive your shooting the more the thing is going to jump off the screen. Also notice the guy’s not talking to him at all. If your subject starts to talk to them, stop them and say please don't talk to me. Nat sound is critical.

The sound of the spray gun draws you in as much as the pictures do. Close, close, close and hold the shot. You can’t go wrong with footage like this no matter banal the story is. Look at how compelling this guy is doing nothing but firing a glue gun but look how compelling it is because we’ve gotten in, we’ve put the camera right behind his hand. You don’t have to hold the camera like this all the time, you can move it down anywhere to make it work.

Get the idea? So that’s what I want you to do. Your footage, your raw footage should look pretty much like this or maybe even better.

© Michael Rosenblum & Lisa Lambden 2015