Perspective Is Everything

By Mark Fenton

In video production, choosing the right perspective is crucial. Any connection with an audience using visuals has a point of view from which the camera shoots, and choosing the right location, angle and field of view can make or break your video.

Interviews at a high angle feel overbearing and make the person feel  unimportant.

Say, for example, I decided to interview Dawn about her work here at Gravity. If I did my interview from a high angle looking down on her, it gives a strange impression. It makes her seem smaller, maybe even unimportant, which is as far as possible from the truth of her work.

We should instead see her at eye level, which portrays a confident and engaging feeling and is much more fitting to a discussion with Dawn.

perspective_poolFor another example, take a look at this series of photos of a pool. At first glance, this pool looks amazing – it looks like a luxury hotel. Next, the camera moves to a different location and has a wider angle. From this perspective, it looks a little more like a house than a resort. The final frame gives you the whole picture of a tiny pool that really doesn’t look too luxurious.

How you frame your image obviously has a dramatic effect. The right perspective can give insight to a story, where as the wrong perspective can make something look like something it’s not. The boundaries of a video frame can make an audience uncomfortable or can encourage someone to action. Finding the right perspective takes an inquisitive mind; challenging assumptions and continuously asking questions about the audience, the message, and more.

It’s important to carefully consider all the variables in a project before beginning production. Intentionally decide how to shoot each video and decide what the perspective should be. Taking this step, before ever touching a camera, is critical to successful projects. The next time you plan a video, think about your point of view, and improve your project by making an informed decision about what the camera’s perspective should be.

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