5 Essential Shots to Improve Your Film-making | Arnold Trinh | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

5 Essential Shots to Improve Your Film-making

teacher avatar Arnold Trinh, Media Professional

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Slow Motion

    • 3. Low Aperture / Small DOF

    • 4. Scene Analysis: Low Aperture

    • 5. Static Shot

    • 6. Scene Analysis: Static Shot

    • 7. Reveal shot

    • 8. Sweep

    • 9. Final Words

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Do you have a go-to shot list?

Having a list of shots in mind before going to a shoot helps prepare you so that you don't miss a single shot. 

I've put together a list of 5 Essentials Shots as a guideline for shoots. It was carefully crafted to be compact to be full of applicable instructions for you to get ready and go shoot!

This is the perfect class for beginners as well as someone who is already familiar with film making. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Arnold Trinh

Media Professional


Hi friends, I'm Arnold and I'm here to help take your branded content to a professional level. Creating photos, videos, and design that can be useful for all types of digital marketing. 

I'm a commercial content creator with an emphasis in the marketing and advertising world. Professionally I've worked with brands like Blenders, Timberland, and Lululemon to create powerful and engaging pieces to help better market their products. 

These classes gather from my experience and focuses on helping you find your creative flow and get started with crafting a beautiful well polished media.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Trailer: This is Arnold. I'm a filmmaker, YouTuber and do creative direction as well. And in this court on the radio on Clapton Shot creative and up your video filmmaking game. So you ready up for filmmaking game? I'll see you. 2. Slow Motion: everyone. So the first shot that we're gonna talk about is how to do a slow motion shot and slow motion is one of my favorite effects because it makes just about any shot look really good or epic, and there's actually a technique to shooting in slow motion. You don't just shoot a clip and then slow down, because that way your clips just turned out Jerry and not completely perfect. Now, one of the tips the shooting slow motion is every camera can do. Ah, 120 FPs or every camera can do 60 FPs that can be slowed down. And if you're shooting at 24 FPs and you putting it on a 24 2nd time frame, he slowed down to 50%. Or you slow down at all. You're going to see this image flicker and shutter, and what's basically happening is that if you're shooting at such a low frames for a second , you won't have enough frames to fill out when you slow down, because half of 24 would be 12 frames that you have left. Now, that's why I use 60 FPs or 120 FPs because when you shoot 60 FPs, and he slowed down to a 24 friends per second time frame. You have essentially a lot of extra frames that you can slow down into so that when you slow down you won't have missing frames in that way. That doesn't cause any jittery flips. The important thing to remember is that when you're shooting 60 frames per second, it's too slow down to 40% of the clip that way, 40% of the entire clip is equal to 24 frames per second. So if I was shooting at 120 frames per second, I was slow that down at 20% because 20% of 120 France for second is 24 now. That's the best way to get slow motion on a 24 frames per second timeline because if you do that, you're gonna be able to match the exact timeline and have it play smoothly. Otherwise, have you noticed? Sometimes when you play a 60 frames per second clip or 120 frames per second clip on a 24 2nd timeline, some of the video starts moving in a way that seems kind of unnatural. Okay, So now you have the basics of slow motion down. You might be asking, what are some of the shots that you should do with slow motion? And for me personally, my favorite shots are the ones that have a lot of action in it, so that when you capture action and played back in slow motion, it has this energy moving about and it just looks really good and so motion. And this could be from people running movement objects moving around lane escape. Slow motion is generally good choice to shoot in for most type of B roll. 3. Low Aperture / Small DOF: Yeah, Okay. This is my favorite thing to shoot when I make videos. It's a shoot with a low aperture and a small depth of field. What that creates is this cool effect that separates out your subject from everything else in the background. And to be able to achieve that, you have to buy a lens with low aperture. And what I mean by low aperture is something maybe under 2.8, because your default lends your tit lends that comes with the camera usually is like a 3.55 point six. When you shoot with something like that. Generally, it's not as isolating as what he shoot at something like an F two and F 1.8. So whenever I tell someone would camera or what lends to buy as a first lends to buy after they have through Kit Lens is thief 50 millimeter, 1.8. Because most camera manufacturers have this nifty 50 they call it, which is a 50 millimeter with a F 1.8 f stop. And what that really helps with is that the F stop is so low that you can shoot something that really isolates your subject out from all the background behind it. Another one I would recommend twos the 35 F too, which is another lens that I use a lot and that blends has a F two apertures, so that also separates out the subject from the background. Now how this works is when you have a low aperture that creates a low depth of field. So picture this reshooting with low debt fueled. Essentially, there's this one screen down here that makes everything in frame only show this one screen . So we're shooting that, like at 1.8, for example, below show can 50 millimeters apart right here, and everything else is blurry. Now, as we start to increase your f stop, it starts increasing and becomes more like a square. And eventually everything back here is also gonna be. So here's some example. When you're shooting at F two, it looks like this. And as you gradually increase your aperture, he started to notice that all the other subjects and all the things in the background to start coming into focus 4. Scene Analysis: Low Aperture: Low aperture shots or some of my favorite shots to do because they really just focus on a subject. Anyways, let's look at some scenes. So I really like this shot a lot because it's very unique. If you notice, there's only a small depth of field where it shows a bit of the tree in focus. Now what that does is it creates a out-of-focus layer and the front and the back, So the foreground and the background. So essentially all you have in-focus is the middle ground right now. And as I'm pulling the camera back, you can see it shifting the focus from the brown, brown, red part to the greenish part. And the beauty of this is because it's in low aperture lens, it has a force perspective. So the viewer can only see good thing that is in focus. And that's the beauty of this, that you get to choose the thing that is in focus from the middle ground to the foreground as you're pulling it back. This shots, really unique shot that I did for a look book that I shot, and a few things to take in mind. The subject is two-thirds of the screen on the right side, and the flower is a third of the screen on the left side. So as you notice, the low aperture makes the perspective focused on her, the subject. And it makes the flowers out-of-focus, the background way out of focus. And this is all because of a low aperture lens. Okay, here's a shot of a fin and a surfboard or a fin honest surfboard rather. And the thing to note here is that the fin and the surfboard itself is the most in-focus part of the shot, making them the subject of the shot. A couple of things to take notice as well is that I framed the surfboard and the fin to strategically taking up around 60% of the space in the shot. And 60% is part of this thing I call the 60% rule, where if the main subject takes up 60% of the whole shot, which essentially is two thirds of the whole shot, then that really solidifies that that is the subject. Now one last thing to notice as well is in the back, you can see the line of the ocean. And the line of the ocean is actually strategically planned to be two-thirds of the way up. In essence, we're using the third rule. Here. We have a shot of jewellery on a stand. This would be a great shot if you're doing a shot or shoot for a jewelry brand or an accessory brain, or just anything that needs to be placed on top of an object to showcase out. Now, as you can see here, this depth of field is very small. So what that means is the aperture was really low in this shot. When you combine a low aperture shot with this sweeping motion for something like this, a lined up jewelry rack, you can essentially create a really awesome effect by focusing on the first jewelry, the second jewelry. The third jewelry. As you pan your camera across and as the depth of field being so low, focuses on one jewelry and then moves on to the next and the next. All because of your camera moving and not because of you changing the focus. Okay, this shot I took in the countryside of Maui. And essentially here, what I'd like to focus on is instead of doing a two-thirds, like I mentioned earlier, I focused on a third of the screen, Focus on the subject and the subject being lined up in the center. It forces your perspective to be descendants Center. And also with the help of it, low aperture shot, you're able to only see this plant in the center. So essentially what this shot does is it showcases whatever is in the center. Now in this example, it is just a regular plant out in the country of Hawaii. But if you put anything else in there, say for example, if you're shooting a shoe or if you're shooting just anything for an ad, you do a panning motion, center it and have it takes up a third of the screen. It would be a really awesome shot. 5. Static Shot: Okay, let's talk about this static shot now one of the most underrated shots. I think these days is too static shot back in the day. There would be a lot of static shots because we didn't have enough like special sex and all the motion graphics and different effects that we can do these days. So people relied a lot on this static shot. Now the static shot is when you shoot a frame of a scene and keep it there. Hence the word static. Now the best way to do that is if you set your tripod up, put in one place in frame group video, seen out, like to be a photograph. So that's how I try to picture my friends. Whenever I shoot something that static is, I imagine the whole scene as a photograph, and then I translated into a video. Now I say Translate it because when you have a photograph, it's essentially still, so you can't just drop a photograph in there. It seems kind of obvious, So the way to differentiate between the two is if you have your seen in mind, you set it up and then you shoot it. Have something in frame that is moving. For example, if you're by the water, you can have the water moving. Or if you're somewhere that has people moving, let's even better you can shoot it and have people moving. So that creates a bit of life and animation, and it brings that whole film clip toe life. Otherwise, it would just be a photograph. But at the same time, there's all these little micro movements that are captured. Even if you shoot in a video with nothing going on, there might be a bit of leaves moving, or the air is moving or not are the clouds were moving? There's something in the scene that is moving, so if you do something static, don't just throw a photograph in their shoot it in a way that you can see the scene be alive. 6. Scene Analysis: Static Shot: Ok, so static shots, they're actually one of my favorites because they tell so much about a scene. But you don't have to constantly be shooting different scenes. Don't have to constantly be adding to the scene. It could actually just be one well-framed scene, capturing everything that's going on and it tells everything there. And the thing with static shots to is it forces the viewer to be watching this one seeing the entire time. So the good thing about this is you can have a long monologue. For example, think about the Star Wars introduction scene. It's essentially just stars in the background and a wall of text. So the thing with static shots is you could do something like that. Anyways, let's go into looking at some of my favorite static shots. Okay, so this shot is me walking out to the balcony of this Airbnb vacation rental that I had in Hawaii. And what this shows here is, if you notice, I've framed a couple different things. One, the background with the ocean, the middle ground where I am working on the window or I'm sitting sitting in writing or, you know, just doing my thing and the bed. Now that shows three different scenes in one. And the thing as well is, I am a very small part of this. I am probably occupying a third of the whole scene. So what this does is it's aesthetically pleasing and it shows many different elements that need to be shown. And the best thing about this is you can have a long monologue. Okay, so this shot was shot at Honolulu Bay, which is one of the most famous surf spots in the world. And a couple of things to notice about. This is one, the framing of it has to water level really low and it gives you two thirds of the top so that you can frame it as a title or as something that calls attention. Okay, now here's one outdoors and in this video are the subjects, which is me, is sitting there contemplating, thinking, and it's really small. Like I am only like maybe an eighth of the whole, whole frame. And essentially what this scene is good for is to lay out a story, to have a text type monologue, maybe on the bottom that goes into a narrative of what is happening. There are also many elements to this, to, to take note of, such as the waterfall being really small. There's actually a big one in the back, the log that is coming down, even though it's huge, it's actually not taking up that much attention of the whole scene. And if you notice closely, there's actually a branch that is slightly out of focus on the bottom right corner. So essentially this shows all three shots that you need, foreground, middle ground, and background. Okay, this shot here at an appeal eBay also at Valley, is one of the best shots that are shown to label a caption or narration on the bottom, simply because the bottom third of it is a lot darker than the rest. So as you can notice, you can see the lava rock on the bottom third, and it is actually slightly out of focus. So one that helps the viewer not focused on that. And at the same time as you're writing narration on it, it really stands out versus putting it on the other parts of the scene. To dissect this even further, you'll notice that this is split into a third on the bottom, which is the law of rock that we mentioned. A third with the trees and the ocean, and the buildings. And the other third with just completely skies and clouds. And if you notice on the right side, you'll see some palm trees highlighting or just barely making its way onto the top third, essentially combining the two. Here's a shot that I really like because it's so engaging and it's so dynamic because the three people in the scene are constantly moving. There's water in the background, just come and down. There's a foreground element, there's a middle ground element that's being active where we're all swimming and hanging out and there's the background element of the cave surrounding us and the waterfall. Again, like all my other static shots, this is a great seen to have a story built out on. And finally, if you noticed the framing of this, it is a third of their many third elements used in here. So the waterfall is a third of the whole screen. From left to right. The water itself that we were swimming on is about a third of the way up. While the caves on the side and the waterfall on the whole structural surrounding of it is two-thirds of the way down. What that does is it encapsulates the whole scene into the center where we're hanging out at with the water fall, pulling the attention of the viewer towards the subjects as well. 7. Reveal shot: okay, The next one is a rack Focus or reveal shot, and what this is is when you focus on one subject as you begin a shot, and then you focus slowly, you turn the focus, ring into another subject as you continue on with the shot and this cod Iraq focus or review shot now, and a key element to this is toe. Have some objects right in front of you and having a bit blurred out. And as you're shooting it, this creates K framed a composition to that. When you see it, it's like not just your subject, but there's something else around the subject as well, Like doing this in product videography or anything that needs to focus on a particular subject. Because this way, you can guide the viewer into seeing whatever it is that you want to bring into focus and as your as your focusing it. You know it. It's dynamic, so that anyone that sees it is gonna be curious what's gonna happen next. So as this dynamic movement happens, it shifts and guides the veer into seeing your main subject. Now this helps a lot more when you have a lower aperture because that way it creates a blow Deva field. And when you have a low depth of field, you can blurt out the subject in the back. And if you could really blur out the subject in the back as you start shooting or blew out the subject in the front, this creates for a mysterious element. So when you do your act focus, you can shift it into revealing what the other object is. And the key here is to reveal. That's what makes his shots, of course, of critical, and this is what makes it special. 8. Sweep: Okay. The last shot that I want to talk about is the sweeping shot that was sweeping. Shot is a shot that covers a multitude of angles as you sweep around the target. My favorite thing to do with the sweeping shot is to combine it with the slow motion effect so that when I do this, it covers entire subject as well as have this movement to it that creates a very active type shot. So the motion of this shot issue bring your camera down or you bring it to the side. And as you shift your body, you move the camera along with it. That way creates a seamless flow of motion. Right here I have lens, and for the sweeping shot I'll show you has done sweeping shyness. Essentially, I think this as you sweep around it now, one of the key tips to do in a sweetly shot if you have a strap when you do, is pull, strap a Sparta's can and use it on your body. You pull, you pull it that it creates a resistance, and this gives you stability 9. Final Words: Hey, guys, thanks a lot for watching the class. I really appreciate that You spent this time with me and watch what I had to make. And if you could help me out to write a reveal, let me know what the classes like for you. It goes a long way and helps this class be seen by a lot of other people in skill share. And if you would like to share it to with your friends, that would be awesome, because it could also learn a lot more about filmmaking. So thanks a lot, and I'll see you in the next course.