Change Up Your Gear for Better Shoots

As videographers, we often get comfortable shooting in a certain style and with certain gear. It is important that we don’t get in this rut and expand our range. To do this, it is important to change up your gear from time to time. This can be as simple as using a different lens for a shoot or trying a new camera body. Other gear such as stabilizers and dollys can also add new dimensions to your shoots. Here’s some creative ways you can expand your style with changing up the gear you use to make your videos more interesting.

Prepare By Creating a Call Sheet Template

Before we can start to decide what we are going to change in our shoots, it is important that we know what we are shooting. The best way to prepare for a shoot is to create a call sheet for your shoot. A call sheet is a document that lists all the important information for a shoot. This includes the date, time, location, crew and talent, as well as any other important details. By having a simple call sheet template ready to go, you can quickly create one for each shoot and not worry about forgetting any important information. To get started, find a free call sheet template online.

The purpose of the call sheet is to get everyone on the same page. It is a living document that everyone involved should have access to and check before the shoot. When everyone is on the same page with the expectations for the shoot, it will run more smoothly. Keeping on task and on time for a shoot will go a long way in saving time and money. There are many moving parts in an efficient set, and a call sheet is the best way to keep them all organized.

Make Gear Lists Based on Your Call Sheets

Now that you have a call sheet for each shoot, it is time to make your gear list. The best way to do this is to look at the shot list for each of the call sheets and create one gear list based on all of them. The reason for looking at your shot lists before creating the gear list is so that you know what gear you will need for each type of shot. Organization and preparation are key to a successful day of production.

For example, if you are shooting an interview, you will need multiple cameras, a wide and telephoto lens, and multiple lavalier or condenser microphones. If you are shooting a scene outdoors with a crowd, you will need a different set of lenses and different microphones. By creating gear lists based on your call sheets and shot list, you can make sure that you have the right gear for each type of shot.

Don’t be afraid to try new camera angles and shots from time to time. This can help your video have a more interesting style which will keep viewers’ attention longer. Try moving your tripod or stabilizer rig with each take. By changing up the position of our gear, you can change up your style and keep your videos more interesting.

Shoot More with Lenses You are Uncomfortable With

We often get used to certain gear and angles that we like shooting and repeat them over and over. While it is good to have a recognizable style, it is also good to change it up. Try switching lenses to get a slightly different look than your viewers are used to. You can also mix up lenses on a shoot by using some wide shots and some super close-ups in the same scene.

If you have multiple cameras, try shooting the same scene from multiple angles and with different lenses. Mixing a wide shot with quick cuts to a close-up can really give your video a unique feel.

If you have never used a particular lens, try renting it from a store or borrowing it from a friend before buying one of your own. This way, if you decide that you do not like or need the lens, then you haven’t wasted your money. It is very cheap to rent lenses and expand your repertoire of shots.

Don’t be afraid to try new things with your gear. This can include changing angles, lenses, equipment, and even shooting styles. The more creative you are with your videos, the more viewers will appreciate it and stay interested in what they are watching instead of clicking away to something else.

Add Tracking Shots Into Your Shot List

Tracking shots are another great way to change it up. A tracking shot is one where the camera is moving with the subjects in the scene. Good tracking shots can include a dolly, Steadicam, drone, and wheeled cart.

Tracking camera movement can be perfect for showing location and movement. Adding them to your shot list will make sure that you get the right gear and equipment to capture all of the angles during your shoot. It is also a good idea to use them sparingly since too many can make your video seem overly busy.

On your next shoot, think about how you may introduce a tracking shot into your video. Try a long tracking shot for your next opening scene. Is there a way you could make a scene better by moving with the actors? Tracking shots can give a lot of life and emotion to a video, so don’t be afraid to try them.

In Conclusion

The reason for looking at your shot lists before creating the gear list is so that you know what gear you will need for each type of shot. By knowing ahead, it’s easier to purchase or rent equipment in advance and create a more streamlined process on set. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry; you can find a free call sheet template online to get you started. Don’t forget to change up your lenses and get new interesting angles into your videos. You can achieve this by adding a couple of tracking shots and really build excitement in your videos.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.