Pro Cinematographer On How Camera Movement Can Make A Shot Worse – Brad Rushing

Brad Rushing, Cinematographer: Camera movement does not automatically make a shot better, it can make a shot worse.

Film Courage: How do you decide when to move the camera?

Brad: Well again I primarily defer to the director but I’m not one of those people who likes gratuitous movement. I’ve worked on shows where there are certain styles of filmmaking or gratuitous movement and it’s like Always keep the camera moving. I like it to be motivated. I like there to be a reason for it to be moving and and I just intuitively it’s like when I’m in that space I’ll feel that moment where I’m like We really should go from here and then slide over to that person or just how cool we got to follow them in through this door and outside. I would probably like to move the camera a little more than I do but when you move the camera it can complicate lighting because you have to hide stands, you’re seeing more of the space, you have to have a and I if I was given a choice between moving a camera or doing cool lighting I would probably do the cool lighting. I know people who do less than cool lighting to permit more camera movement and again that’s a legitimate aesthetic but it’s not my preferred aesthetic. But in a perfect world you could have both. Like I said unmotivated, movement it’s a distraction. I just I think even with lighting you could do cool lighting that doesn’t complement a scene and it should never be about making yourself look good, it should be about complimenting the actors and complimenting the story telling, telling that story in a way that the people…(Watch the video interview on YouTube here).



Brad Rushing began working with Roger Corman’s Concorde/New Horizons film studio which afforded him some of his first feature film opportunities as Director of Photography where he learned valuable skills. After a number of years concentrating on indie feature films Brad began to shoot high end music videos photographing award-winning, iconic clips for artists like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, Nelly and Eminem. Brad’s ground-breaking work on Moby’s “We Are All Made Of Stars” won an MTV Video Music Award “Moonman” for Best Cinematography in a Video, and many of the other music videos he shot have won awards such as VMAs, MVPAs and Grammys for Best Video. Brad also won a Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography in a Video for the Alsou video “Always On My Mind.” Brad’s most recent work is the feature film “A California Christmas” which filmed in Petaluma, CA in July 2020, one of the first film productions to start under stringent COVID-19 safety protocols. The film debuted on a major streaming platform for the 2020 holiday season and was number one on Netflix for a week. 









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