Tips When Creating A Short Film Using An Action Camera

Films are commonly shot using high-performance cameras. Professionals use these kinds of cameras to ensure the highest quality possible for their movie. It is not a problem for big studios to acquire this equipment for their production. However, for someone who is starting to make a short film, this can be a bit challenging. 


On the brighter side, the market is now offering a wide variety of devices that you can use to help create a short film. From high-end phones to action cameras, all of these can now be used to record high-resolution videos on the same level as the movies you see in theatres. Although it may not be ideal, many have preferred to use these gadgets to produce their projects. Here are some tips for you to try on your next production using an action camera.


Play with your perspective.


As you know, an action camera can be placed anywhere, providing you with a glimpse of how the world looks from different angles. Using this type of camera, you will be able to give your viewers a whole new perspective. Aside from the usual wide-shot, close-up, medium shot and over the shoulder, you can experiment and provide more exciting visuals. Here are some ways to mount your action camera for your film:


  • Fixing a camera on your actors' chest can give your viewers a more in-depth look at the scene. It will be perfect when having a fight scene. Following your actor's movements can give intensity to the screen. You are not only giving them the view but also the feel. It can make them dodge a punch, which felt like coming their way. You can also have it on other parts of the body, depending on the scene's requirement.


  • Aside from actors, you can also attach your camera to one of your pets on set. Are you not curious about what humans look like in the eyes of your pets? You need to be careful when doing this because some animals may not be that cooperative, especially if they have foreign objects on their body. 


  • You can also have it on everyday items—for example, the scene where the delivery guy hands over the package to the recipient. Instead of just following the delivery guy, put a camera on the package and follow the delivery van's journey to the doorstep. It will make the audience more curious about what is inside the box.


Get soaked.


Underwater scenes may look ambitious for low-budget films. Renting underwater equipment is not cost-effective. However, it can be possible using an action camera. Most of them are waterproof. Some need housing to be held underwater. It can also be used when the scene involves water or liquids—for example, filming the inside of the glass while pouring water in it.


Go faster or slower.


Though they are small in size, action cameras can make a time-lapse and slow motion. Rather than having your primary camera stand for hours to capture the sunset, you can record it using the action camera. In that way, you can shoot other scenes using the main cam. It can also capture videos with 60 frames per second, making slow-motion look smoother on playback. Make sure to have enough space when doing this. Long videos and higher frame rates consume ample storage.


Film from the inside.


Maybe you have seen these scenes from movies that are shot from inside a locker or a cabinet. To do this, they deconstruct the cabinet to fit their camera from behind. This can be too much work for a short film unless you have the resources. Still, you can do this with an action camera. You do not have to demolish anything because it perfectly fits anywhere, even on drawers and cereal boxes. One thing that will significantly help you when filming these scenes is the mobile app. You can easily monitor the framing of your phone.


Double-check your camera’s settings.


Have the right settings appropriate for your film. Change in resolution is evident on big screens. Make sure to match your action camera's setting with the other cameras that you will be using. Form this habit of checking your settings before recording something either for your film or documentation. Resolution and frame rates can significantly affect your storage and the way you will be editing it afterwards. For example, if you plan to have it in slow motion in post-production, make sure to have a higher frame rate.  If it is only for personal documentation, you do not have to record it in 4k quality. It will save you a lot of space and let you record more.


Record the sounds separately.


Do not expect your action camera to capture crystal clear audio. It is best to catch them using other recording devices. It also applies to other cameras. Though some of them can have good quality sounds, do not rely entirely on it. Sound design is something to take into consideration for good storytelling. Always have something to back it up. 


Most people have known action cameras as the accessory used by bikers and hikers to take videos of their trail not knowing that these devices can tell big stories through their small lenses as well. Do not get discouraged just because you are using a smaller camera. Do not get intimidated by the size of the production. Believe in the story that you want to tell. A good film is a well-written script together with engaging visuals and sounds. Immersing your viewers through your movie is not done by the camera alone but with the help of the filmmaker and his creative visions