How to Shoot Overhead Videos, Including on Phones
Nothing looks more professional on a vlog than a bird’s eye shot. Here’s how you can shoot overhead videos that’ll take your content to the next level!
You might be a beginner vlogger just starting out your YouTube career, or a seasoned pro with a hefty following. Whichever it is, playing with new techniques and developing your content creation skills will stand you in good stead. This doesn’t have to mean a total rebrand or change of style. If your channel is all about cooking, don’t put down the spatula just yet!
Using new camera angles and paying closer attention to the videography of your content can help set you apart from the fierce competition out there.
What Is an Overhead Shot?
These types of shots are the classic POV angles that help immerse the viewer into the action. Commonly used in tutorials, cooking video, or craft demonstrations, they allow the viewer to follow a process as they would see it, were they doing it themselves.
Sometimes known as the bird’s eye shot, this angle is perfect for elevating video content to a more professional standard, without too much expert-grade gear or knowledge.
Shooting Overhead Videos
No matter what you plan on filming in your overhead video, it helps to keep your workspace clear. Avoiding mess or a busy frame helps to highlight the main subject of the video. It will also make your life easier as you film. When it comes to the technical, practical stuff, there are a number of approaches you can take.
This approach is perhaps the simplest in terms of set up. Simply crank up your tripod to the tallest point it can go, and rotate the camera forward. This will then give you a nice overhead shot.
However, it is more suited to shooting video that doesn’t involve anyone working within the shot. This is because wherever a person would need to stand to knead some dough, for instance, a great big tripod would be in the way.
Boom Pole Holder
If you have a bit more equipment to play with, including a monopod (a tripod would also work) and a boom pole, you can achieve a great overhead video that you can feature in comfortably. You’ll also need sandbags or something similarly weighty to prevent anything falling over from being over balanced.
Just clip your camera to the end of the monopod and slide it through the boom pole holder. The holder is what will need to be weighed down, as this set up is significantly top-heavy. Since this approach is pretty high up, checking your viewfinder can be a challenge. It’s recommended that you use an external viewfinder if you use this method.
If you wanted to create overhead videos on your phone, perhaps for Instagram Reels or if you’re using TikTok to promote products, this method is fantastic. Using less equipment, and allowing plenty of freedom, a gorillapod lets you utilise your surroundings.
With a flexible tripod you can wrap the legs around a shelf or cabinet and angle the camera down above your work surface. It’s wise to do a trial run to see how your shot will end up, before you go for a real take.