If you are following this in your head you realise that there either has to be two cameras there or some of the hunt has to be re-enacted. Since we canít get the animal propped back up the hunter needs to help out. Why are these re-enactments important? They are needed for editing to make the story flow.
Here is a typical story that happens several times a year: fellow walks through my door with talk of a giant deer kill on video that he is just sure Iím going to want to put on TV. I cue up the tape in the edit suite and I watch 40 non stop minutes of a deer slowly working its way over to where the hunter kills it. The next thing I see is the happy hunter whooping it up over the dead critter. If you are looking for a video clip to share with your buddies this will do fine. Put it on TV or a commercial DVD? Not a chance.
I need the whole story from getting out the truck that morning to hiking, stalking, field judging, the works. When it comes time to shoot I need lots of the hunter as well as the critter. The reason for this is without something to go to that is out of context with that uninterrupted 40 minutes of Mr. Big ambling closer, I have no way of shortening the footage.
In TV the dirtiest words you hear are ďcut to timeĒ. Each show is edited to the frame. There are 30 frames to the second. That show has to be cut to time, to the 1/30th of a second - exactly. As an editor I need those hunter shots so that we can have time elapse and when I cut to the hunter excitedly looking at him through the binocs, it is believable that Mr. Big can be 100 yards closer when we go back to him. Amateur editors or those without the needed footage will try to move that deer across the field with jump cuts (we call it the matrix move) or a whizzy transition that looks almost as bad.
The more the show needs time to be compressed the more edit points and editing material the editor needs.
Speaking of edit points, the camera needs to be still to use the shot for an edit point. That means no panning or zooming or camera wobble. The best footage comes from a camera man using a good tripod and a broken zoom finger.
Tripods or window/stand mounts make for great video. This tripod has a ball swivel under the head making leveling the camera fast and easy.
The zoom button, of all the technical problems with a piece of video this is the easiest to avoid, yet is the most common. People canít keep their dang finger off of the button and are constantly zooming in and pulling out; some do it so often that it can make you lose your lunch watching the video. Pick a frame size and stay with it for at least 30 seconds, I canít cut when the camera is zooming or pulling. Likewise, learning to use a tripod or some method of stabilizing the camera is also important for high quality video, especially when zoomed all the way out. There is nothing worse than a cameraman on a long lens way out there on an animal and his hand shake or heartbeat are causing the animal to move in and out of frame.
Quick releases make on and off tripod moves quick and painless.
Important Note: Turn the digital zoom OFF. It is nothing but a gimmick and anything filmed using digital zoom is junk.