Handheld camera shots make all the difference when it comes to adding something amazing and different to your film production. However, as anyone who has tried to do handheld camera work on their own knows, it can be quite difficult to end up with footage that is steady enough for it to be usable. Luckily enough for us, there are many kinds of camera stabilizers in the market nowadays. One of the most practical and easy to use is a gimbal. Mastering the gimbal, though, involves lots of practice. Let’s take a look at some cinematic techniques you can try with your gimbal.
Top 5 Cinematic Gimbal Moves
The first move is a push forward move. Holding your gimbal steady, you can either walk forward as if you were tracking one of your characters or approaching a place. Much like a dolly in move, the speed of the movement can make it more dramatic if it’s quick, or more soothing and unnoticeable if it’s slow.
The pull back move is the opposite of the push forward. Naturally, it can be a bit harder to master since it involves walking backwards and the level of the terrain can influence the stability of the shot. Pulling back from your subject can also add a dramatic effect, while getting away from large buildings, for instance, serves as a way to give a more real perspective of the scale of the building.
Like its name suggests, the crane shot mimics the movement of a camera crane or jib. This makes it seem like the camera has a wider range of motion than it actually does. With a gimbal, you can replicate this effect by starting at a high point and going low or vice versa. Extending your arm while performing that motion also gives the move further dimension and helps with the illusion of a crane shot.
Another very achievable classic handheld technique is shooting a low rider shot. In this shot, you lower your camera as close to the ground as possible as you move in any direction. You can use this to follow characters, to add some spice to your establishing shots, or as transition shots. Moving the camera close to the ground also looks as if things on frame are moving faster than they actually are.
Lastly, you can use your gimbal and camera to orbit around a character or an object, tracing an arch-like trajectory around them or going full 360 degrees for a more immersive effect. Similarly, you can also describe your scene setting and play with the elements you have in frame to create a parallax effect. This is more marked than what you get with a dolly, since you can not only move side to side but also forward and backward without needing to zoom in.