Why Directors Should Not Use Shaky Cam In Movies

You have probably been to a movie or two where the scene gets all shaky and it starts to look lke something that your dad filmed on a family vacation with his camcorder. This filming technique is known as shaky cam and is made by simply having the cameraman hold a camera in his hand and film the scene rather than putting the camera on a tripod or some other mounting system. This article will argue against using this method for filming and the reasons against it.

The main argument against shaky cam is that lots and lots of people hate it, and I mean HATE it. That seems like a pretty good reason not to do it but yet directors still persist in using it. People hate it because they cannot see what is going on in the scene, it makes them feel sick, and it can give them a headache. They find it very disorienting when the shot is constantly moving all directions and they cannot focus on any one thing that is going on.

This begs the question, why do directors use the technique in the first place? One reason is that it covers up shoddy filming and staging. With a shaky shot, you do not have to worry so much about how good the acting, choreography, props, or set look. This makes it very tempting to use a free camera to save time and money as you do not have to put so much attention into these aspects of the film. So basically, it can be used as a shortcut when filming a movie.

Some directors use the shaky cam method to give the shot a more realistic or documentary feel. Doing this in a limited fashion is sometimes effective, but they tend to overuse it and make it feel gimmicky. Films like the Blair Witch Project use this method the entire film, which caused many people to get motion sickness and have to leave the theater. The movie theaters even had to start posting warnings outside of the ticket booths warning movie goers of the chance that the movie could cause sickness.

A second argument about using shaky cam is that the method gets a bad name from so many people overusing it. When it becomes overused as it has, then people will learn to hate it in all cases, even when a bit of disorientation is the perfect thing to bring a certain scene together and really make it seem real. When some poor directors ruin the effect for all the others it is the movie fans that lose out on this effect which could be useful in very limited shots.

So in summary, shaky cam is hated by many movie fans, directors use it anyway to cover up their incompetence and laziness, and these directors ruin the technique for those who use it sparingly and wisely to add realism to their Hollywood movies and DVDs.