What's in this session?

  • 1. Get a wide lens
  • 2. Find a friend and a car
  • 3. Shoot with a high frame rate
  • 4. Move slowly
  • 5. Stabilize your footage in post editing
  • A smooth video DIY technique

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Let’s say I wanna record some buttery smooth video footage where it looks like my camera is just floating through the air. But, I can’t afford a gimbal. What’s a guy or gal to do? Well, in this video, I’m gonna show you a workaround for shooting buttery smooth footage on zero budget. Well, hey there, I’m Brady Shearer from Storytape.com, a cinematic stock footage site that gives you access to unlimited video downloads, for one low monthly cost. We publish video production tips and tricks on this channel, so make sure you hit the Subscribe button to get the next video, and if you like this video, hey, give it a thumbs up as well, means the world to me. Let’s say you cannot afford a camera stabilizer or gimbal, but you still crave those super smooth shots where it looks like your camera’s just floating through the air. You’re out of luck, right? Well, not exactly. I wanna show you a technique that I use very often, even though I do own multiple gimbals and camera stabilizers, I still use this technique to get buttery smooth, cinematic footage using only my camera. Here’s how it works. The first thing you’ll need is your camera and the widest lens that you can get your hands on. I’ll be shooting with the URSA Mini Pro and the Rokinon Cine DS 16 mil T2.2 lens. Now, aside from my camera and my lens, I won’t be using any other video gear to make these shots happen. And it doesn’t matter what camera or lens combination you’re using, it doesn’t even need to be a high-end cinema camera like the Blackmagic URSA Mini. It could just be a DSLR or Micro Four Thirds camera. In fact, those cameras might serve you better in this situation because the lens you’re using may have image stabilization, or your camera may even have image stabilization built into it directly. The key, though, is to use as wide a lens as you can. This is crazy, the next thing you wanna do is find a buddy with a car. Get him or her to be the driver, and you hop into the passenger seat. Find a subject that you want to shoot, roll down the window, cradle your camera against your body to stabilize it as much as you can, point it out the window at your subject, and hit record. Now you might be wondering, does this really work? And before I jump into the specific tips and tricks to make sure you can pull this off, allow me to show you just how powerful this technique can be. Here’s why. Right now you’re looking at a handful of clips that I shot on a recent trip to Milwaukee. We shot these clips in Milwaukee’s downtown core. There were potholes everywhere. My camera had no stabilization image-wise, in-body or in the lens. It was raining, and yet, look at the how buttery smooth these clips are. So what’s the bottom line? Okay, here’s how to properly execute this DIY technique. Firstly, make sure your camera is shooting at a high frame rate. The clips you just saw were shot at 60 frames per second, that’s my preferred frame rate for this technique. But even 30 frames per second is better than nothing. And the purpose of this is to slow down the footage and minimize the unavoidable bumps and jerks of the car, as much as you possibly can. Secondly, make sure to instruct your driver to drive slowly. Right around 10 to 15 miles per hour is the sweet spot that I’ve found. I’m Canadian, so I’ll say right around 20 to 25 kilometers per hour. Any faster and you’ll screw up the third step in this process, which is, once you’ve recorded your footage, it’s time to stabilize it in post-production. And this is the real secret sauce. Bring your footage into Adobe Premiere Pro, and add the free plugin that comes with Premiere called Warp Stabilizer. Let Warp do its thing and once that’s done, you should have a buttery smooth clip. It’s true, let’s take a look at the before and after. Here’s the footage I shot directly out of the camera, and here’s what it looks like after adding some color grading and, most importantly, warp stabilizer. To make a point, let me remind you that we were shooting this in downtown Milwaukee, in the rain, in construction zones, with an unreal number of pot holes and bumps in the road. It didn’t matter. The DIY technique still worked. And think about it, this technique can be applied in so many different ways. And it just goes to show you that you don’t always need expensive gear to capture expensive looking shots. Wanna know the best part, though? Well, if you liked the look of the clips we used as examples in this video, you need to know that these clips can be downloaded instantly by you, along with thousands of others and used royalty-free in any of your creative projects. It’s all part of a platform we built for you called Storytape. Storytape.com, it’s a stock footage site that gives you unlimited access to thousands of cinematic video clips, shot in 4K ProRes, we add more than 1,000 new clips every single month, graded and ungraded versions. And like I said, with no download limit. Other stock footage sites are gonna charge you anywhere between 200 and $500 just for one 4K clip. Hundreds of dollars for just one clip, it’s insanity. Storytape.com gives you access to thousands of 4K clips, shot with our high-end cinema cameras, for less than the cost of one clip elsewhere. So, go to Storytape.com, check out all that we have to offer. Again, that’s Storytape.com, where finally, you can license unlimited video downloads on a single subscription, including every single video clip you saw in this tutorial. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you in another video.

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