Lesson 4 Discovery Activity
The Moving Image

Outside the Theater: Designing a Tracking Shot

The moving camera provides a unique tool to filmmakers that no other visual artists possess. Yet it is one that most amateur filmmakers never use. And when they do try walking down the street to follow a subject, the results are usually less than impressive.

Student Materials

Time Estimate

1 hour


If you have access to a video camera, try your hand at a meaningful or otherwise interesting tracking shot. (Simple follow shots donít count.) If you have a wheelchair, skateboard, or skates, you can probably do a good job on this shot. Even if you donít, modern motion-stabilizing electronics should allow you to walk the shot and get an acceptable level of quality.

If you donít have a camera, try designing a "virtual" tracking shot on paper that youíd like to see.


Please post your responses to the following topics on the class message board.

  1. If you have the technical savvy and the equipment, compress your movie to something less than 5 MB and upload it to the board. Describe your filming experience and tell us what you think of the end result.
  2. If you donít have the necessary software (or donít have a camera), just describe what your shot looked like on paper.