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Understanding Fill Shots

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Understanding “Fill Shots”

December 5, 2012

An important part of the video production process is what we call recording “Fill Shots”. “Fill Shots” are the shots which lead from one scene into another or can be faded in over a narration. Basically, every piece of footage you shoot (other than a direct interview) is a fill shot. You can never really have enough “fill shots” and probably most of the footage you record will end up on the editing floor. However as a rule, it is always best to take more footage than you think you need. For example, you may have recorded some of footage which you think was fine on the day but during the editing process, you noticed that the camera or tripod wobbled or the light suddenly changed ruining your shot. This is why it is important to have extra back-up footage which can help when editing the final video. Below, I’ve attached a video which gives an example how fill shots can be used to connect an interview and link the video together as a whole.

If you watch the video from the start, you will see the first four video clips are our “Fill Shots”. These are shots recorded from different angles, cut together with no fades and followed by a J Cut (this where you hear the narrators voice before the corresponding video enters the frame). We then see Dan talking and been interviewed while working at his desk. For this shot, the camera has stayed in the same position throughout the entire interview process. The video is centralised on this main shot and interview, with all fill shots being edited around it. After this segment, we have an L Cut (where a new video clip enters yet we still hear Dan talking over the videos).

The video continues to be edited in this way, with fill shots being implemented between shots of Dan working and talking at his desk (basic J and L Cuts). This is a simple process which all aspiring videographers can implement and will instantly improve your video production and give it that professional look. To learn more about J and L Cuts and other tips and tricks, please Click Here.