Video Framing

Framing is one part of video composition. Today, we’re going to talk about three basic tips to keep in mind as you frame your speaker for your sermon video.

First, you need to choose the size of your shot. Here’s a diagram of the commonly named framing heights.

For a typical preacher, a Medium shot will look great. However, for a preacher who’s walking from side to side a lot, you might need to step out to a Medium Full or even a Full shot. And for a preacher who’s more likely to stand right in one spot at the podium, you can go all the way into a Medium Close or Close shot. The closer you can get with a shot, the more intimate it will feel.

Next, let’s talk about headroom. Headroom is the amount of space in the shot above the subject’s head. If you leave too much space, the shot is left feeling empty and distant. If you don’t leave enough space the subject will get cut off, a very awkward experience as a viewer. Ideally, in close shots, you want to leave as little headroom as possible without cutting off the preacher’s face. By allowing your preacher to fill the frame, you increase the impact of the message by creating an intimate, captivating experience.

Our last lesson in video composition today is the Rule of Thirds. At it’s most basic, the rule of thirds says, “Put the most important things at one of the intersection points in your frame, not right in the center.”

When setting a shot for a preacher the temptation is to be directly across from the preacher with the camera, and to put them dead-center in the frame.

It turns out that if we shoot slight from the side, and put the preacher off to one edge a bit, allowing space on the side the preacher is facing, we create a much more engaging, pleasant experience for the viewer.

To figure out where to place your subject, imagine if you overlaid a set of gridlines like a tic tac toe game. Those 4 intersection points are the ideal place to put your subject. In fact, if you were doing a close-up interview you’d want to put the eye of your subject right at one of those intersections.

Some cameras will overlay a grid for you on the viewfinder so you can easily compose your shot using the Rule of Thirds. Others won’t have this feature, so you’ll have to imagine the grid yourself.

By following these three basic tips you can dramatically improve the quality of your video and keep the attention of your viewers throughout their watching the video.

If you have any more tips on video composition, drop them in the comments or in the forums. We’ll be back again soon with more tips on improving the quality of your sermon audio and video. Subscribe to help support us and be notified when a new video becomes available. Thanks again for watching. For, I’m Jeff McFadden. We’ll see you again soon.


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