Notoriously, animals are exceptionally difficult to work with on camera, especially when the animals you’re working with are wild.
Even professional nature documentarians struggle with the unpredictability and danger of working with wild animals, so for a hobbyist filmmaker, it can seem like a daunting task.
Thankfully, we’ve rounded up some of the top tips for wildlife filmmaking from industry insiders to provide insight into getting started.
1. Be patient
Stomping around in the woods, breaking branches and shouting will certainly not encourage your wild subjects towards you. For the ultimate shot, patience is key. Having a camera constantly trained on an area where you know there is activity is the most surefire way to get a shot of the action. Alternatively, find somewhere you can sit undisturbed for long periods of time and record what comes and goes. You never know what you might see!
2. Create a variety of shots
For a professional finish to your masterpiece, the key is to create a variety of shots to provide a well-rounded storytelling experience. By setting up a number of cameras around an area, you can follow the action for longer. By alternating distances and switching between static and panning shots, the audience gets a wider view of the action that’s unfolding. Ensuring the cuts between shots are smooth and suit the mood of the film is a minor detail that has a big impact.
3. Get the right equipment
Investing in equipment such as small wearable cameras, drone technology, tripods and more will help take the feel of your films from homemade to studio quality. While some equipment can be costly, there are also clever hacks to create a high-end look. Experiment with the tools you have available and work out what you should invest in first for the greatest improvement in quality. Even a small investment in a simple tripod can hugely increase the quality of your film production.
Wildlife filmmaking is a skill that can only be learnt through experience, so get outside and get filming. iFilmThings is here to help you all the way!