Learning to Shoot Video- How to Frame Your Shots


Before you begin using the cameras, please visit Vimeo’s website and watch the videos there on the following topics:


Watch the Video 101 Series to learn the basics


Video 1- Welcome to Mastering Mobile Video


Video 2- Best Practices



In order to get the beginning film student comfortable with shooting their clips, we will script and shoot three specific types of shots. In all of your shots use the Rule of Thirds by simply not placing the subject dead in the center.

Here is a page with all the different types of shots and examples.



Using the Rule of Thirds

  1. Establishing shots – wide view works well to set the scene
  2. Matched action shots– two angles or ranges of the same shot
  3. Trucking shot – put the camera on something that moves, like a shopping cart, or shoot out the window of a moving car.

Here is an example of preparing for and shooting three shots:

establishing shot

Wide angle Establishing shot

We plan an action zombie movie that takes place in a soccer stadium – call it Zombie World Cup. We plan and shoot our first sequence by placing the camera far from the stadium while it is empty and quiet, panning the camera from left to right slowly to set the mood and to create our 1. establishing shot. We may also shoot the field from the stands, zooming in slowly as a back up establishing shot. These wide views set the scene and introduce our audience to the setting of the movie.


Matched action shot from the movie Anchorman

Our next shot is the 2. Matched Action shot of one (or several) athletes getting ready for the game in the locker room, putting on cleats and uniforms. We place the camera A. near the bench (or by the door to the room) and shoot the entire player slowly putting his cleats on and tying his shoes. Then we shoot a close up of the same thing with the camera B. at floor level, zoomed in on just his hands as they slowly tie the shoes. These two shots allow us to have matched action that we can cut back and forth from to enhance our story.


Trucking shot

Our last shot is a Trucking shot where we move the camera (with the action) by holding it as we run or walk, holding it as we ride a shopping cart, or shooting out the window of a moving car.

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