You want every shot in your film to stand out. It’s not a simple task by any means. Here are 5 tips to achieve the perfect shot every time.

The perfect shot set-up requires planning.
The perfect shot set-up requires planning.

1. Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is very helpful when setting up the perfect shot.
The rule of thirds is very helpful when setting up the perfect shot.
Photo by Julie Tupas on Unsplash

We use the rule of thirds to frame shots all the time. You might notice they even include the grid on your phone. That’s how common the rule of thirds is. It allows you to line up the subject of your image, or video in a spot that’s pleasing to the eye. We use grids in film to set up complicated shots.

Commonly, you either want to center your subject, or put them on one of the intersecting grid lines. This sets up unique framing that audiences love. You can also use the rule of thirds to set up a symmetrical, or balanced shot.

2. Play with Angles and Layers

Be creative with your shot, you need the perfect setup.
Be creative with your shot, you need the perfect setup.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Adding depth to your frame is ideal. That is exactly what angles and layers can do for you. Instead of having a simple shot of a girl under a waterfall, the photographer has set up a unique angle. Now, we have an out-of-focus top layer (top of the waterfall), a focused middle layer (our subject), and a focused bottom layer (pool at the bottom).

The photographer draws our eye to the subject in the shot. It creates a much more interesting shot than if they took the picture straight-on. Angles and layers are important elements in achieving the perfect shot. Always try extra set-ups that add depth.

3. Color

Color can make or break a perfect shot.
Color can make or break a perfect shot.
Photo by h heyerlein on Unsplash

We often overlook color in the setup of a perfect shot. It adds a lot of feeling to your shot, and should always be considered when planning your shot. In this photo, you’ll notice how the color makes our subject pop. You can use that in your own shot. Keep the background a dull color and put your subject in bright clothes.

You can also use color to show the emotion of your characters. Maybe your shot starts off with a yellow tint, to show how happy your subject is. Throughout the shot, the color fades and blue takes over, showing the audience the change in mood. Color is powerful. Don’t underestimate it when you set up the perfect shot.

4. Light your Set

Lighting is key to the setup of your perfect shot.
Lighting is key to the setup of your perfect shot.
Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

Lighting is key in achieving the perfect shot. You don’t have to follow our basic lighting setups all the time. Be creative with it. In this shot, our subject (the house) is lit up from the inside. It immediately draws our attention. From here, you can zoom in and follow the source of light inside.

Lighting creates emotion, suspense and mood. Those are traits you need in the perfect shot. Create a lighting setup that captures the mood you are aiming for. Whether it’s horror, romance or comedy, we will always use lighting to set up the perfect shot.

5. Keep a Sharp Focus on your Subject

Selective focus is a brilliant tool that will come in handy on set.
Selective focus is a brilliant tool that will come in handy on set.
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Focus is another important element in your perfect shot. If your subject is out of focus, the audience won’t know what they are supposed to be looking at. It brings down the quality of your shot. Proper focus can raise the quality of your shot just as easily.

Selective focus is a great setup that allows you to only focus on one thing at a time. You always want to focus on your primary subject, or what your subject is referring to. It’s a tool that allows the audience to follow your train of thought as the film progresses.

What tips do you use to set up the perfect shot? Let us know in the comments below!