SCO 04 GGT3 video framing

Information on how to set frames for the girl-girl paradigm, for Second Camera Operators.

SDLP video

Part 1: 25’34”; 327Mb

Workbook: Download this 9 page (302Kb) PDF workbook for part 1, print, and fill in while watching.

Part 2: 27’54”; 542Mb

Workbook: Download this 8 page (470Kb) PDF workbook for part 2, print, and fill in while watching.

Part 3: 16’49”; 234Mb

Workbook: Download this 10 page (794Kb) PDF workbook for part 3, print, and fill in while watching.


Assignment 1

Download this zip of four video clips (4 clips, 199 Mb in total). Note that each clip is similar, but has some subtle differences! In an email to the Trainer with the subject “SCO SDLP 04 assignment 1”, Respond to this set of questions for each clip, in the context of framing and Camera Operator communication. Refer to the clips by their file names.

  • What did the camera operators do correctly?
  • Why are those things important to be done right?
  • What did the camera operators do incorrectly?
  • Why are those things a problem?

The Trainer will respond with feedback.

Assignment 2

This assignment is designed to check your understanding;

  • What a “wide” frame is
  • What a “CU” frame is
  • That you can hold a steady frame
  • That you know how to move between two frames
  • Your retention of camera operator sign language

Record a video of you moving between two framings, and also a separate video of you in the room doing it (kind of like a “surveillance video”!).

At home in the daytime in a well-lit room, use a smartphone as a video camera in landscape orientation. Find a comfortable grip.

Video record a subject (pet, vase of flowers, anything you like) in a wide frame, square on to the subject for 10 seconds (watch the timecode). Then move to a side on CU frame, for another 20 seconds. Stop recording. 

Review the clip you made, and reflect on it. Ask yourself;

  • Does the wide frame capture the subject in full?
  • Is there anything in the wide frame that’s unnecessary?
  • Is the camera steady as I can be?
  • Is the move from wide to close prompt? (it’s expected that the video recorded while moving will not be used)
  • Is the CU framed well? Is it close enough? Would closer be better?
  • Is this giving the viewer the best seat in the house?

Re-record an improved version as necessary – it might take several tries, and that’s fine! Review each segment, and make notes on what needs to improve. 

If you have questions at this stage, ask your Trainer and get answers before proceeding.

Assignment 3

Once happy with the footage and movements, set up the smartphone so it can record you moving between the two frames practised above (that is, what the Trainer would see if they were in the room watching you).

For this clip you don’t need a camera in your hand, but you do need something to represent the camera – a box of tissues, rolled up towel, a hair brush – whatever.

As you move from the wide shot to the CU shot, imagine the Shoot Producer is in the room with you and use the established sign language to communicate with them to enable appropriate movement between frames. Sign language is best when it’s unambiguous, so make clear signs and hold them for a few moments.

Sit a moment and visualise each step in the sequence.

Record a video of you making the movements (each shot can be held for just 10 seconds this time). Review the video of yourself, and reflect:

  • Are your hand signals unambiguous?
  • Were you looking for hand signals from the (imaginary) Shoot Producer?
  • Did you hold the “camera” steady when signing to the Shoot Producer?
  • Was there a time when both camera operators would have been moving at the same time?

Re-record as-necessary. Again, it may take several tries. Requirements on a shoot are more complicated than this, so be sure to spend some time making it perfect!

Email both clips – the best one of each – to the Trainer with the subject “SCO SDLP 04 assignment 2”. The Trainer will respond with feedback.

Assignment 4

On the first shoot day working as a Second Camera Operator with the Shoot Producer for, the SP will organise a practical assignment with you before official filming starts. 

This will be with the actual models. The SP will run through the framing changes with both the SP and operating cameras. 

The models will leave set to shower, while the SP will runs through the footage captured a few times with you, providing feedback. The SP will also let us know how it went, and you also must email your Trainer to share your perspective.


Return to the GGT3 training homepage.

Comments are closed.