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17 April 2014
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Video tutorials to help you direct

Directing video clips

Directing - videoclips

Click on the links below to watch video tutorials on lighting your shoot, and on different types of shots and how they can be used.


Tips and tricks

  • Lighting your subject - where the light should come from.
  • Lighting yourself - simple but effective tip.
  • Filming action - making a sequence hang together.
  • Shooting your surroundings - don't wave the camera around!  

    All the above clips come from Video Nation »
  • Guide to shot types

    When you're shooting your 60 Second Shakespeare, you'll want to use various different camera angles to make it interesting.

    Here's a guide to some of the most common shots, and what they're used for. Most of these shots are of a scene from Macbeth. Once you've viewed them on their own, it might be interesting how they can be edited together into a whole scene.


    Longshot - this shot takes in as much of the scene as possible, and is useful for establishing the scene. It's not very good for showing emotions or details though.
    View a scene from Macbeth in longshot » 

    Medium shot

    Medium shot - a very common shot, this usually shows actors from about chest height up. It's very useful for showing conversations and interactions between characters.
    View a scene from Macbeth in medium shot » 


    Close up - this shot focuses closely on one detail, usually someone's face. It's good for showing emotions, but doesn't give much information on what else might be happening.
    View a scene from Macbeth in close-up » 

    Over the shoulder

    Over the shoulder - this shot is achieved by putting the camera just over one actor's shoulder and shooting almost from their point of view. It's very useful for shooting convincing conversations.
    View an over-the-shoulder shot from Macbeth »

    General view

    General views (GVs) - GVs are shots of details which could fit in anywhere. They're very useful when editing - if you need to cover up something that went a bit wrong, a GV will usually do the trick.
    View some GV footage »

    Crossing the line

    "Crossing the line" is what happens when your actors suddenly swap which side of the screen they're on. Avoid doing it - it's very distracting.

    View this clip of a scene from Macbeth to see how odd it looks - the last shot "crosses the line."

    In a scene with two characters, you can avoid accidentally "crossing the line", by imagining a line drawn between the eyes of the characters. Now, always keep the camera on the same side of that line, and you won't go wrong.

    Shakespeare's plays, themes and characters


    Top Tips

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    Take advice from the experts.

    Read top tips from professional actors, writers and directors, from shows including EastEnders, Doctor Who and Casualty.

  • Writing tips
  • Acting tips
  • Directing tips
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