Creative Video Production: Tips for Using Alternative Video Production Methods

Creative Video Production: Tips for Using Alternative Video Production Methods
Page content

Alternative Video Production

The world of video production is not just a craft where principles are executed so as to produce a piece that works, but instead also an art form where the expression of the filmmaker has to be expressed with these tools. So much of what people will learn right off the bat in film school and in the professional film industry will be to learn the standard ways of approaching framing, subject positioning, lighting, editing, and the other elements of aesthetics and production that create a marketable product. Creative video production may stray from some of these principles in an effort to get something that challenges the medium to express something larger. Here is a look at a few ways to go beyond standard video production to achieve creativity in your video productions.

Alternative Framing

Alternative framing in video production is something that tends to go beyond the standard forms of framing that people use on a regular basis. Often times the subject is positioned slightly to one side of the frame with their facing direction pointed toward the negative space in the room, indicating the rest of the story space and other characters. This nose room is also matched by headroom, which is the proper area above the head that you put in position them comfortably. If you challenge this by placing the character’s face on the opposing side of the frame you will create a sense of claustrophobia, as well adding to the intensity when the framing collapses into the region of their face. Though people are consciously unaware of this in most cases, if something breaks the original framing they will know that something is incorrect and this alternative video production choice is one that makes them uneasy.


Pixelation is a term that is intended to indicate a form of stop motion animation that utilizes live action set ups rather than models and puppets.

What this requires is the same functionality of stop motion, except you will be using actual actors and real world sets. This is a difficult set up as you will have to have a consistent HD format camera that is capable of going frame by frame as with stop motion, as well as being able to plug into a computer running a stop motion program like Dragon so that you will be able to see the movement that you need between frames. This is one of the most specific types of creative video producing since it is never used as a standard in any situation, so any implementation of it will be considered a form of alternative video production. More than this you are going to have to have actors that know how to employ incremental movements so that the pixelation process will be effective.

Breaking the Rules

Creative video production bases itself on the premise that it can break the standard rules for video production, but only as long as it serves their creative and aesthetic vision. One of the most relevant of these is the 180 degree rule, which sets a line of action that cannot be crossed. To break this 180 degree rule you will add a dramatic amount of disorientation, and this can be a great way to confuse the situation and create energy rather than comprehension from the audience.

The rule of thirds works in a similar way, and guides much of the way that subjects are positioned in the framing. If you want to position subjects and objects in ways that break this grid you can end up creating imagery that forces the audience to dart their eyes around the image, and again will break the visual expectations that the audience has. It can also allow you to break through the perceived story space and bring a formalist perspective acknowledging the materials and processes within the work.

This type of alternative video production can extend deeply into the video editing process, especially if the standard continuity editing of Hollywood is violated. What this will do is actually draw attention to the editing by taking it out of the seamless story presentation, and instead you can communicate something more emotional rather than linear. This process of breaking through a seamless story presentation can happen through the entire post-production process, and into the sound design, visual effects, motion graphics, and mastering.



Source: author’s own experience.

This post is part of the series: Professional Video Production

Here is a look at different types of professional video production.

  1. Tips for Using Creativity in Your Video Production
  2. Event Video Production
  3. Producing Videos for Online Viewing on YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu & More
  4. Producing Marketing Videos
  5. High Definition Video Production