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Keep the Camera Steady > Keep the Camera Steady - Pg. 47

zooming. Bracing your elbows against your sides helps. (If you pan too fast, you may create what's known as a swish pan--a blurry shot that's intended to be disori- enting, as when the main character, being chased through a crowd, is desperately turning his head this way and that in an effort to spot his pursuers.) · Avoid panning more than once in a shot. Make an effort not to perform such classic amateur maneuvers as the Pan/Linger/Pan or the Pan-to-the-Right, Get-Distracted, Pan-Back-to-the-Left. · If you're especially gifted with your camcorder, remember that you can also pan and zoom simultaneously. This, too, should be considered a special effect used rarely. But when you are, in fact, flming a closeup of somebody saying, "Look! The top of the building is exploding!" nothing is more effective than a smooth zoom out/pan up to the top of the building. · Practice the pan, tilt, or zoom a couple of times before rolling tape. Each time, the result will be smoother and less noticeable. · Be careful about panning when your camcorder's electronic image stabilizer (page 23) is turned on. If you're doing a slow pan when the camcorder is on a tripod (as it should be), the shot gets jittery and jumpy as the camera tries to hold onto (or "stabilize") one scene as you rotate a new one into view. If your camcorder is on a tripod, it's safe for you to turn off the electronic stabilization anyway. (Optical stabilization doesn't exhibit this problem.) Tip: If you plan to save your fnished iMovie work as a QuickTime movie--a fle that plays on your computer screen, rather than a tape that will play on your TV (see Part 3)--panning and zooming slowly and smoothly is especially important. iMovie's compression software works by analyzing the subtle picture differences from one frame to another; if you zoom or pan too quickly, the QuickTime compressors won't understand the relationship between one frame and the next. Blotchiness or skipped frames (which cause jerky motion) may result in the fnished QuickTime movie. Limit Zooming and Panning Keep the Camera Steady Here's another difference between amateur and pro footage: Most camcorder mov- ies are shot with a camera held in somebody's hand, which is extremely obvious to people who have to watch it later. Real TV shows, movies, and corporate videos are shot with a camera that's mounted on a massive rolling base, a hydraulic crane, or a tripod. (There are a few exceptions, such as a few annoying-to-watch Woody Allen movies. However, they were shot with handheld cameras for an artistic reason, not just because it was too much trouble to line up a tripod.) It's impossible to overstate the positive effect a tripod can have on your footage. Nor is it a hassle to use such a tripod; if you get one that's equipped with a quick-release plate, the camcorder snaps instantly onto the corresponding tripod socket. Tripods chapter2:turninghomevideointoprovideo 47