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Filming Police Simulation Training Videos: Capturing Video

 

It takes a sharp eye and attentive mind to translate what you see on your camera’s three-inch monitor to what a trainee will see on the wall-sized screen of your training sim.

All video production revolves around framing or “blocking your shots.” In a properly blocked shot:

  • Everything you want the audience to see is clearly in focus and in the frame (i.e., visible on the screen)
  • There is nothing in the frame that you don’t intend for the audience to see–especially in the background!

 

Much of police work comes down to quickly and correctly breaking down what you’re seeing and what it all means.  An immersive training video is being viewed on a large screen relatively close to the viewer–who needs to see the suspect’s entire body in order to assess the situation, read body language, and so on.  That means you need to frame each shot so that all of the participants are clearly full-body visible (ie., “fully in frame”). In practical terms, this is going to mean setting up the camera further from the actors.   Framing Shots for Immersive Training Simulations High-definition video is a double-edged sword: Everything in the frame is going to be sharp and big as life–the suspect, the victim, the parking lot behind them.  On the one hand, this can get you into trouble: Because the camera has a small view screen, and you are focusing on the actors, it’s easy to forget about the background while filming.  Once the video is on big screens in the simulator, you may discover very distracting elements in the background. But using this wide shot also creates opportunities to hone your trainee’s observation skills, and make them aware of how they assess a situation. Did the condition of the neighborhood influence how they approached the suspect? Did the officer notice the bike dumped on the lawn and scan to see if a child was present?  And so on. We’ve had some agencies film the same scenario in two different neighborhoods, in order to help trainees become aware of the assumptions they bring to the scene. Proper Planning is the Key

Creating high-impact training simulation scenarios is about more than just properly framing your shots.  What really makes or breaks a high-impact immersive training video is largely a matter of what you do before you pick up the camera.  Want to learn the keys to creating high-impact immersive police training videos?

Download your free copy of the latest ebook from MILO Studios: Training with Impact.

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