Your Worst Shot [Cinematography]

Posted on February 16, 2008

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Yesterday was our first cinematography class. We had to choose the worst shot from the F3 we were Director of Photography on, bring it in, and discuss what went wrong. It was a good idea, and a good way to learn.

My shot (not the one pictured above) was this clunky 180 hand-held we tried. I started facing the actors, then walked towards them, up an apple box stair case to end on an over the shoulder. Of course it worked once perfectly in rehearsal, but we couldn’t get it right again.

Teacher suggestions – make a whole platform of equal height and start the shot crouching, or make a ramp with a piece of plywood instead of stairs. Or my later realization – just have the actor cheat when I come towards him by crouching down a few inches. Sometimes the best solution is the easiest.

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Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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