3 Super Simple DIY Camera Setups for Overhead Shots

Overhead shot
Overhead shots can add some major production quality to your film, but they're not always the easiest to capture. 

When's the last time you went a day without seeing a cooking video, a crafting video, or some kind of DIY project video? That's right...it's been years. Tasty swooped in and got us all hooked on delicious-looking food with busted recipes that don't actually work even though I followed it to the letter except I did accidentally use tablespoons instead of teaspoons when I added my baking soda but that wouldn't make my cookies inedible, right? (I'm not a good baker.)

Now, every food and lifestyle blog is pumping out similar "top-down" how-to videos, utilizing a type of shot that was once one of Wes Anderson's aesthetic signatures: the overhead shot. 

These shots are cool as hell, but they can be tricky to pull off without an expensive camera system dedicated solely to capturing overheads.

However, you want to implement the Tasty Shot (formerly known as the Wes Anderson Shot) into your own work, this video from Filmora has a few tricks you can use with stuff you most likely have in your house right now.

Now, these solutions seem really, really obvious...almost "no duh" obvious, right? But I can't count how many times I've seen film students create complicated Frankenstein rigs (or shoot handheld while standing on a table) rather than just grabbing their tripod and tilting it down.

Sometimes a budding filmmaker just needs to see a few really simple techniques to demystify a problem that appears to be more difficult than it actually is.

However, there are certain situations in which overheads are difficult, like when your subject takes up more space than a 2'x2' square. For these shots, you'll probably have to take out your big guns, like a drone for top-down aerials or a C-stand with arms and spigots galore

The size of your shot will determine 1.) how high off the ground you'll need to get your camera, and 2.) how long of an arm you'll need to ensure your rig isn't visible.

But if you're just shooting a tabletop scene, you might be able to go low-tech and tape your phone to a table or position your tripod...or shoot through a friggin' mirror. (That's a new one for me.)

What are some DIY overhead rigs that you've created in your Frankenstein lab? Let us know down in the comments.     

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