How To Create A Hand Held Video Look
Incorporating hand held footage can offer a huge amount of benefits but when over used can be detrimental to your production. You must determine when is the right time to use such a shot.
Hand held shots can offer intimacy and immediacy to your scene creating the sense that we as an audience are right there in the moment. After all, when hand held we get the impression the camera is looking. As opposed to tripod, dolly or tracking shots which suggest the camera is pointing or revealing.
So if you’re trying to achieve a close and emotional scene, perhaps hand held would help sell the chosen theme. And in addition to this, if your scene contains high-octane action, hand held can heighten the realism, making it seem we’re in the midst of the action, with frantic camera movements imparting more energy into the scene.
So hand held can be used at either end of the spectrum in terms of mood or theme, the trick is not over using the effect. You must include a variety of different camera movements to avoid the suggestion of unprofessionalism. Obviously hand held is the quickest and cheapest method of filming which is why – when overdone – you can expect criticism.
On to the next problem, creating the hand held effect. Many people struggle to create an effective hand held camera movement, it can often appear nauseating and distract from the story. We don’t want shaky cam footage, we want a realistic hand held effect. And the reason you may not be able to replicate this well yourself is due to you not owning a steady cam or even a larger shoulder cam rig. Steady cams allow you to capture hand held shots buts absorbs all the shocks, vibrations and abrupt movements that naturally occur. They allow the videographer to move however they please and track the action smoothly. Steady cams are now available for almost any filming device, right down to your very own smart phone. So you should have no trouble finding one and then you’ll soon transform that cheap and tacky appearing shaky cam into professional and smooth appearing hand held movement.
And on to the final problem, what if you’ve already finished your production, but you’ve filmed everything with a tripod and now require some cool hand held effects? Don’t worry; you can recreate this entirely in After Effects. And if you’d like to find out precisely how watch our very own quick and simple After Effects Tutorial below: