When I arrived in Charlotte six years ago to take a job as a sports reporter, I felt confident in my ability to shoot video. However, I put more stock in anchoring and turning packages, just like most youthful television employees in my position. That doesn’t mean I put any less effort into stories where I had to man the camera, but I didn’t think much about honing my skills in that area. I remember a colleague of mine constantly reminding me “you should be a shooter.” I always shook it off as a compliment and left it at that.
Occasionally, I came back with some cool shots that were creative, and after a while, it became more consistent. The average shot was interjected with something more.
The secret wasn’t that my eye was changing, it was that I was experimenting with different angles and different types of shots. Rack focuses, pulling off objects, subtle movements and so on. That’s where I started to realize that a “small” amount of extra effort could make a big difference when it comes to the end product. It wasn’t
completely about angles or sizing up each shot to the perfect degree, but rather the effort to move around and seek out the next shot. Once you put aside the complacency of shooting everything off a tripod, or sticking with the same shot that you’ve done a thousand times, your mind starts to wander in a different direction.
I strongly believe that creativity is something we all possess in some way, but sometimes it needs to be unlocked. Effort is a big part of that process. Once that’s solidified, creative motivation becomes a part of our conscious effort to become better. Then it becomes exciting to see what kind of shots you can capture.
When it comes to video production, you still need the standard shots to make a video flow, but try new things and get rid of the complacency that makes things easy. Stop going through the motions when you’re on a shoot. The viewer won’t always notice, but the level of your work will. You’ll reach a level where I thank the guy that always said, “you should be a shooter,” and I’m thankful that my unconscious ability met my conscious.