The Importance of Tracking Shots

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Tracking shots help create visual interest.  When orchestrated professionally, with smooth precise motion, tracking shots present an opportunity that is very different from panning and tilting shots; and how they are used impacts the quality and effectiveness of the video.  However, depending on the mood and message you are trying to achieve, tracking shots can be too fast, too limited and underutilized. Here are a few things to consider when using tracking shots especially in corporate storytelling, TV and web content production:

Use Tracking Shots to Educate

If the purpose of your video is to educate or explain something consider using slow tracking shots along with clear explanatory audio. The visuals must tell your story in a way that the audience can absorb. Often tracking shots are shot too fast to tell stories or explain new concepts effectively. Even if you have an upbeat fast soundtrack accompanying your video, you don’t have to have fast tracking moves as well. Your tracking shots should be slow enough so that you can describe the image you see before the image is gone.

Use Tracking Shots to Reveal

Tracking shots that make a reveal offer a surprise to the audience by first showing objects adjacent to the subject and then landing on the subject. This is impactful because your understanding of the subject is shaped in relation to the objects seen before and the contrast can be extremely impactful. Tracking shots that reveal also create a context in which to understand the scale or size of the image you are eventually focusing upon. Carefully consider where your tracking shot begins and ends and make sure your messaging and audio work well with the reveal.

Explore Tracking Shots from Overhead or at Low Angles for Intense Visual Interest

Tracking shots from angles that people would not generally experience are effective for focusing audience attention. These shots give the viewer unique insight into the subject matter by providing access to the hidden sides of people, places and things.

Use Tracking Shots for B-Roll to Introduce or End a Scene

Tracking shots at unique angles are always useful for B-Roll in editing, especially If you are shooting outdoor venues, architecture or streets-capes. When using tracking shots for b-roll, we recommend shooting over long distances. This type of camera movement can be fast moving or slow depending on the mood you want to create. The MYT Works Rover Dolly was designed to shoot B-roll tracking shots quickly from a low profile. These types of shots are great for creating context and interesting visuals at the beginning or end of a scene or as part of the introduction or conclusion of a video.

What are your thoughts on tracking shots? Here’s a customer video demonstrating tracking shots with our Glide Slider system.

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