1 Golden Rule of Shooting & Editing

“If you get this rule wrong your work will look bad.”

In below video we propose THE golden rule of video shooting and editing. We may be wrong, and if you think we are, add a comment below.

If you get this rule wrong, we believe, nothing else matters in terms of shooting or editing style… your work will not look good.

It is called the KISS Rule – Keep it Simple and Stable.

For Simple, all you have to do is go to Netflix to see an example. Unless it is an action scene with intended shake, the camera moves are extremely simple. The dollies move just one direction, the camera rarely pans or tilts more than 10-15 degrees. Inexperienced shooters often completely miss the ‘simple’ mandate in shooting – and it is by far the most critical.

Freeze from below tutorial video showing a super simple and stable gimbal shot. Because the shooter kept the shot basic, all the emotions are registered and seen clearly. This is a 10 out of 10 shot for weddings.

At my wedding company, we teach new shooters to do only 1 element shots on the slider or gimbal. This means only do a dolly move, OR only a pan. Do not combine them. When you try to do complex things at weddings, they backfire. Don’t take my word for it though. Phillip White, a world renowned wedding videographer, has an extreme focus on simplifying the process of shooting a wedding.

Meet your new assistant editor Shakefree

The AI plugin that edits while you shoot

For Stable, all you have to do is look at the massive array of motorized camera stabilizers available today, including gimbals, sliders, and steadicams. Everyone uses one of these tools, and you should too. Why? Because no one wants to edit ugly shake in footage, and even with these tools, shake always finds a way in. You have to minimize shake every chance you get.

The TWO work together this way. By keeping your shots simple, it is easier to keep them stable. By focusing on keeping them stable, you end up favoring simpler camera moves, like the pros do. And think about it, these pros have dozens of people on set. You shoot alone (likely) so who are you to try more complex shots than them? (I ask this to my wedding shooters all the time).

As an editor, NEVER EVER include ugly shake in your edits, unless you’re forced to. If the shooters you’re editing are trying complex dolly + Pan + Rack combos, that look horrible and too busy – SPEAK UP! Editors rely on shooters for their happiness, so we need to speak up when shooters lose their way. After all, if editors don’t speak up, who else will.

Freeze from below tutorial showing a ‘high-risk multi-element’ shot taken at a wedding. It ended up shaky and not usable, as predicted by the 1 golden rule.

We hope these fundamentals in shooting and editing help you to be a better artist.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the video!

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