A while back, we published a post about five different shot sequences that you can use to spice up your business videos, and today, I’m excited to introduce five more sequences for you to try!
In case you are unfamiliar, a shot sequence is a group of multiple shots working together to achieve some desired effect in a video. Inspiring new ideas and providing helpful blueprints for the rest of your video, shot sequences are useful jumping-off points for beginner (and experienced) videographers. Additionally, they’re useful structures to keep in mind when you’re shooting for the edit.
From the “Same Frame Game” to the “Weave," we hope you can use these sequences to showcase various elements of your business in delightful and engaging ways.
This is a relatively simple sequence to create, and it’s often super satisfying to watch. Once you come up with a solid framework, you just have to think of ways to riff on the theme.
The Same Frame sequence is all about keeping your framing consistent from shot to shot. You’ll notice that the keyboard’s positioning is nearly identical for each shot in the example above. As the objects surrounding the laptop continue to change, the keyboard serves as an anchor for the sequence.
When you set out to play the Same Frame Game, consider what your anchor might be, and then experiment with the surrounding elements. Looking for more inspiration? Well, envision this sequence as a subtle background video on a homepage or a video showcasing a physical product in varying environments. In this gorgeous Squarespace video, the technological devices serve as anchors, while each new shot presents an entirely different workspace.
Fun Fact: We used a tape measure to ensure that the distance between the bottom of the keyboard and the edge of the desk as well as the distance between the camera and the keyboard remained consistent from shot to shot.
Wondering how you can include people who are not as comfortable on camera in a video? This sequence requires a relatively low-pressure performance from any subject involved. It’s akin to the Same Frame Game, in that you are playing with repetition. Except, this time, the subject’s action serves as the repeated element.
In this example, we chose to recognize the presence of the camera as our “action.” We asked our subjects to go about their usual business, and then suddenly notice the camera and acknowledge it with a smile, a nod, or anything else that felt natural.
This sequence could work with all sorts of different actions. If you have a tangible product, you could shoot subjects interacting with it to give potential customers a taste of the experience. I can imagine all sorts of shots featuring product-centered actions — lacing up Moon Boots, biting into whoopie pies, turning on lava lamps. The possibilities are endless!
Playing with perspective can be a great way to compose a compelling scene. Whether you’re shooting from an unusual angle or treating the camera as a set of eyes, there are countless possibilities for capturing interesting points of view.
By including a shot of your subject followed by subsequent shots from your subject’s perspective, you can show a potential customer what it would be like to interact with your product. Or in the case of this Warby Parker video, what it would be like to interact without your product.
When cutting between a shot of your subject and shots from their perspective, it’s important to consider eye-line matching. In the sequence above, you’ll notice that the shot from Trevor’s perspective is angled downward toward the laptop screen — it follows his natural eye-line, and therefore makes the whole sequence more natural and streamlined.
If you need a screen to show your product in action, the Perspective Shift could be your new best friend. If nothing else, this sequence allows your audience to see things from an interesting vantage point!
Timelapse shots are really fun because they enable you to condense a longer story into a short amount of time. Now here’s the kicker–you can create an even richer tale by shooting a timelapse from a few different perspectives and editing them together! A timelapse patchwork quilt, if you will.
The example above is from our “office switch” last week. By placing the camera in some different locations, we were able to create a more comprehensive and dynamic sequence.
It helps to consider where the action is going to occur when you’re finding new perspectives for the Primelapse. In our case, we knew there’d be a lot of action involved with packing up a table, so we chose to put a camera there. It’s also key to remember that consecutive shots should be drastically different (to avoid those dreaded jump cuts). Try your best to offer unique angles of events worth capturing on video.
The Primelapse could work well for an office redesign or renovation, a fun work event, a stormy day outside the office windows, a squirrel family gathering nuts… just spitballing here. A few weeks ago, we used the Primelapse during our GoPro Week to document the construction of our office bleachers.
Known by the film crowd as “parallel editing,” the Weave is used in a lot of movies to build suspense or momentum in a scene. Now, maybe your business videos could benefit from a suspenseful video, but if not, you can view this technique as a way to compare two processes or convey time in an interesting fashion. This sequence might seem more complicated than the others in this post, but after some creative thinking and strategic planning, you’ll be well on your way!
Recently, we used this sequence in a video about our processing speeds. In order to creatively portray the amount of time it takes to process a video, we decided to cut back and forth between a progress bar processing a video on Wistia and our very own Mary running across the length of the office. We could have explained this improvement with a paragraph, but we thought this approach would be more fun.
Whether you’re shooting a company culture video or an educational video about using your product, staying true to your company’s brand is paramount. With these shot sequences as frameworks, starting places, or inspiration to start incorporating video into your strategy, we hope you can connect with your audience in new and engaging ways. Show off some interesting angles and clever shots from your new sequence repertoire!
Have you used any of these sequences in your own videos? Have you seen any of these sequences in another business’s videos? Do you have other fun sequences that you’ve used?