Amateur videographers (and some professionals too) make the mistake of only shooting once when they have only one camera for a video shoot. I especially notice this in cooking demonstration videos. Here’s a secret, shoot more than once. Shoot the entire scene in long or medium shot (where you see the chef, the cooking / preparation surface) and he / she speaks and describes the dish and preparation process. Then shoot a close-up of some of the key points (you don’t need to prepare a second dish here, because all we are seeing is the chef). The chef just needs to mimic what he or she was doing (i.e. chopping). And then make sure you have several extra ingredients and go in and shoot close ups of the chef chopping the tomato, stirring the pot, the final dish, etc. By doing this simple thing, you can produce a video that looks like there are at least 3 cameras.
Of course, this takes careful planning beforehand.

  1. Have extra ingredients
  2. Keep the cutting board (or area where you shoot close ups) clean while doing the wide shot for consistency. (if there’s scraps of onion on the wide shot in the corner, and then when you do the close ups the onions are gone, it will look funny).
  3. Have key talking points so you can repeat them on the close ups

Here’s an example of going from wide to close, using only one camera.