Is Cable Camera The Ultimate Tool for Filmmakers on a Budget?

Is Cable Camera The Ultimate Tool for Filmmakers on a Budget?

Using a cable camera for your video project lets you create a variety of film shots like pro filmmakers, even if you are on a limited budget, with minimal gear.

What if I told you that there’s a way to achieve some of the most essential filmmaking shots using a single tool?

Using a cable camera for your video project lets you create a variety of film shots with minimal gear. This way you can make the most of your camera equipment, and create shots like a professional filmmaker, even on a limited budget.

I’m talking about old school, tried and true shots that both industry professionals, independent filmmakers, and YouTubers use to tell their stories and capture audiences. These shots are not trend or hype-based — you’ll need them (and probably already use them) to tell a story, whether you’re filming your everyday life or a work-related video.

 

How can you make great videos with limited filming gear?

Now let’s back up for a moment, and let me ask you one question.

As people who use videos to tell stories, what makes our lives a thousand times easier? Versatility.

Not just the versatility of our own skillset, but that of the filming gear we use to capture our stories with. That’s why compact action cameras are so popular — they can be used in many different ways and many different situations.

Take a moment to reflect: does your current filming kit make for the best use of your time and resources while filming?

If you want to create a short film, capture live events, show off an indoor space for your real estate or construction business in an interesting way, you’ll need different types of shots that convey your message and its meaning to the people watching. 

As a filmmaker on a budget, you may think this means you either have to buy a lot of professional, expensive gear or accept that your resources are limited and come out with mediocre results.

But those are not your only options — you could use a cable camera like Wiral LITE to make those great-looking shots.

Join me on this tour, and let’s see if by the end you’ll agree.

 

Your filming gear should help you tell a story

Last week, we discussed how some film gear, such as a drone — serves a very limited purpose to creators. 

Shots made on a drone, while admittedly quite popular, are very recognizable and look quite similar to one another. 

If your goal is to tell a compelling story in addition to showing off striking visuals, you have to be able to communicate that successfully. So you need a way to film unique, diverse shots.

How can Wiral LITE like help you tell better stories? What are some classic film shots you can create with a cable camera?

Let’s dig into some examples.

 

Low angle shots made safe and easy with a cable camera

Most budget camera equipment is lacking if you want to create smooth, sweeping low angle shots that actually look good. We’ve all heard stories of drones crashing into the ground, hitting a wall (or a person) with even a momentary lapse in absolute focus from the drone pilot. This can be overwhelming when you’re out there working on a creative project.

What’s a low angle shot? It’s basically every shot made below the human eye level or close to the ground.

This shot makes the subject you are filming come across as more imposing or powerful — it basically makes for a more epic scene. It’s a great way to show off the hero of your story in the video.

Check out some examples in this video:

If you’re not working with a professional setup, super low angle shots are difficult to achieve with other gear. This is particularly the case if you have to move the camera for a length of time, keeping it at a steady height from the ground. A cable camera provides you with a quick, simple way to get a low angle shot that won’t compromise the safety of your gear. Move quickly, at a uniform pace, knowing you will get the exact shot you want each time.

 

How to create repeatable tracking shots?

Now here’s a Filmmaking 101 camera movement — the tracking shot. It’s achieved by moving your camera so that it follows the subject in whatever direction it goes.

In traditional filmmaking, it’s also known as a dolly shot, given that setting up this shot sometimes requires the camera to be placed on a dolly (a cart on wheels) moving on a track similar to train or tram tracks. To learn more about the type of shot, check out this awesome post by Charles Yeager at The Beat.

Here’s what Charles says on the dolly shot:

The movement of dollying inward is a great way to gear the viewer’s attention to something specific. It’s almost as if they ‘re leaning in to get a closer look. The slow dolly movement creates a more dramatic effect, making it hard to ignore what’s on screen.

The tracking or dolly shot employs one of the most important camera movements. What makes it important?

Super simple — it’s one of the most common shots to help your audience understand the story you’re telling and follow the action as it happens, making them feel as though they’re part of the action. 

Cable cameras let you repeat the same movement as many times you need

Let’s say you want to create multiple takes with the same camera movement in order to film your swim practice? A 100m sprint? Or a bike ride down the hill?

No problem, a cable camera will do the trick. Just move it back to the start of the line at the end of the shot, and you’re ready for take two. Check out some examples we made in the video below — it’s that simple.

Draw the viewer in with action-packed closeups

Using a cable camera for action shots is an affordable, safe way for filmmakers on a budget to make a stong impact with their visual storytelling. Closeups are a powerful cinematic tool. They showcase human emotion, expression, and reactions.

But when the camera moves in super close to fast-paced action — that’s when you have a winner. It’s a mix of danger and excitement, and the viewers love it. Check out our example video to see how different creators used Wiral LITE to capture the action that is super close to the camera. 

Build drama with a high-angle shot

Depending on how you decide to use them, high-angle shots produce a high variety of visual effects. They could add to the drama of parkour runs over city rooftops, or encapsulate the overall atmosphere at your best friend’s wedding in a single shot.

If the subject in front of the camera looks up — this can add a sense of wonder to the scene, and instill the feeling of god-like power within the viewer.

Cable cameras are a great way to achieve high-angle shots is a great solution, as they’re safe to use it close to people, which is illegal for drones. Just remember not to place the cable camera directly over people, unless you are not using an additional safety line.

Not all time-lapses are created equal — enter motion time-lapses

There’s something about time-lapses that captures our attention and draws the eye, not allowing us to look away. 

The stunning visuals they tend to show off may well have something to do with it. Or perhaps it is the fact that they’re able to reveal something us humans can never perceive — condense the passage of time and show off the small changes that happen in its course.

Whatever the case may be, time-lapses are here to stay.

And what’s one thing more compelling than a timelapse? A motion timelapse.

And with Wiral LITE, they’re a piece of cake. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below and let me know what you think.

Key takeaways

Getting awesome, pro-looking shots for your videos has been made super easy with the advent of user-friendly filmmaking tools like the Wiral LITE cable camera kit.

With your cable camera in tow, you can get down and dirty with a low angle shot, draw in your audience with the perfect dolly shot, wow them with action-packed close-ups, observe the action from above with a high angle shot, or time a super stable motion time-lapse sequence. Moreover, you’ll save time with easily repeatable shots if you are unhappy with your first attempt(s).

All this, with minimal gear and minimal setup.

Find out more about Wiral LITE, and how it can help you make better videos on a budget here.

Got any questions? Comments? Sound off below, I’d love to hear from you.

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