For this article, we are going to be going over six different gimbal movements that you are able to implement into your videography strategy to improve the image quality you are able to get as well as do a better job of capturing your subject. Switching it up allows you to easily keep your video footage as exciting as possible as well as ensures that your footage will keep anyone who is watchings attention.
None of these gimbal movements require additional equipment like an extension pole or a drone making them ideal for entry-level videographers. Additionally, no fancy gimbal modes will be used either as we wanted to keep this first gimbal movements post based around entry-level videographers. To do this, we needed to ensure that the majority of gimbals on the market would be able to perform all of the movements without issue.
One last thing we would like to add is that the names we are using for each movement is just what we refer to it as. Different people will call the exact same movement something totally different so just keep that in mind. If you are working with other videographers, they make call some of these something totally different when meaning the exact same thing.
Front View Follow
First up, we have everyone’s bread and butter, the very first gimbal movement that most people will ever do, the standard front follow. It is based around the subject walking in a direction while you walk backward away from them focusing the gimbal on your subject.
When doing this movement, ensure that you are mindful of your surroundings as not only are you walking backward in a potentially busy area but you will also be focusing on your viewfinder. We would usually advise you to tell your subject to keep an eye out on potential hazards behind you when recording as so many people will just focus on the camera and potentially leave you in danger.
Although this is a pretty basic gimbal movement, you can spice it up a little by changing speeds, especially for an intro or outro for your clip. For example, say you have just come to the end of the clip and your subject has finished their lines, keep them walking at the same pace that you have been for the duration of the footage but you pick up the pace and potentially run to add a zooming out effect.
Next up, we have the lateral follow, essentially this is where you walk side by side to your subject but a few meters away. This allows both you and your subject to see where yous are walking while also allowing your subject to talk into the camera when required as well as you check the viewfinder periodically.
An additional benefit for the lateral follow is that you are able to capture the background of the subject in a better way in our opinion. If you are near a well-known landmark you simply have your subject walk on an angle to it so that it remains in the background with a slight bit of movement as the footage progresses.
Rear View Follow
Next up we have the rear view follow, essentially this is the opposite to the front view follow and you walk behind your subject. Due to the nature of not being able to see your subjects face when using this type of gimbal movement, it is usually not done for speaking parts. It would usually be used to supplement b roll footage of your subject checking the location our or walking to a new area.
If you do want to try and get some speaking parts done in this fashion then you can have your subject walking backward while you walk forwards recording them. As you are not in the frame, you are able to give hazard indicators without ruining the video footage unlike when doing the front view focus. Basically, work out a hand signal for your subject to stop and stand still in a natural way and start talking to the camera if there is a danger behind them.
Something as simple as this can allow you to save your footage from a long segment if a hazard appears behind your subject. As you are the one walking backward in a front view follow situation, if your subject raises their hand to indicate a hazard to you, it will look unnatural and potentially spoil the clip. This is one of the main advantages the rear view follow has over front view follow.
Next up we have the orbit gimbal movement and this is a great one for both talking clips as well as b roll. Basically, you are just going to walk in a circle around your subject while they talk into the camera. If you are recording a talking segment this can be a great way to show the background of a condensed yet interesting area.
If you are using the orbit gimbal movement for b roll then you can have your subject face in one direction looking at the sights as you orbit around them to show the viewer the other things on display. This is probably one of the most popular b roll gimbal movements and the best part is that it is so easy to do effectively!
Mix And Match
Basically, the mix and match is you stitching any of the above gimbal movements together in one segment of footage. Depending on what you are doing this can be an easy way to keep the viewer entertained and hold their attention whereas in other niches it may be totally un-natural and feel really awkward.
If you do plan to try your hand at the mix and match gimbal movement, we would recommend that you plan it out with your subject first and go through a dry run. This can help the whole thing flow much smoother in our experience and is well worth doing. It can also help to highlight any potential problems that you may run into on a live run and help you implement a workaround before you are actually recording.
The inverted gimbal movement is pretty much any of the above gimbal movements but inverted. We would probably avoid trying to switch to inverted modes in a mix match though as rotating the gimbal through the 180 degrees can sometimes make the footage seem off. That said though, with a little bit of practice you can pull it off efficiently. Additionally, you are also able to do inverted only mix and match segments too.