Filming a public disturbance is harder than most people think.

Whether it’s a racist middle-aged woman’s offensive tirade on public transport, or a bunch of drunk teenagers brawling in the Bi-Lo car park – there is an art to it.

With the rise of viral streetfight videos gracing our Facebook newsfeeds, it is very important to make sure your smartphone camera skills are up to scratch – if you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

The knack, which as we learnt earlier this year, is also quite a lucrative business (upwards of $60k per video, depending on who you are filming), should be taken seriously if you want to get that video just right.

The Betoota Advocate has compiled the best 5 tips to be considered by all smartphone users who plan on filming low-breeds brawling, swearing and humping dogs in public.

5. Make Sure You Film In Landscape

The biggest crime an amateur paparazzi can commit is by filming a public disturbance vertically.

A brawl is best captured when the video can focus on both sides – as opposed to only filming the bloke that is winning. A racist tirade on public transport should be recorded so as viewers can see the shocked faces of innocent commuters.

The best way to do this is making sure you smartphone is kept sideways, in the landscape format.

NOTE: The only time it is appropriate to film in ‘portrait’ is if you are intentionally incriminating someone, and are trying to avoid identifying everyone else in the vicinity.

4. Do Not Intervene

A good old fashioned brawl, if fair, should be left unattended until there is a clear winner.

In the example of the famous “Bondi Brawl” – where media moguls and childhood friends, James Packer and David Gyngell punched on in the affluent streets of Sydney’s tourist hotspot – the incident was not helped by the intervention of bystanders who seperated the two before we even got see some blood.

If possible, it is the cameraperson’s duty to discourage all peacekeeping until they are absolutely forced to do so.

3. Clean Audio

When filming dialogue-heavy disturbances, it is important to remember to keep your fingers away away from the smartphone’s microphone recorder.

Racist tirades can often be tricky to film with the acoustics of a packed peak-hour train, muffling the microphone will not help this.

2. Heckle / Encourage Your Talent

In order to get the best out of your talent, make sure you encourage them while on set.

Simple words of encouragement such as “Get ’em bra” or “Don’t let him walk all over you bro” do wonders to exciting your subjects.

Being able to identify your subjects also helps. Do this by saying things like “Oi what’s your full name, Mitchell?”

If they don’t respond well to encouragement, you can always offend them with personal attacks – this will usually liven them up – just make sure they don’t turn on you!

1. Captioning

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When it comes time for the video to be uploaded to social media, a sensationalised caption can only help it’s virality.

“Disgusting” and “Awful” usually work well, but make sure you don’t appear to be in support of the subject. “Hahaha” only makes your talent relatable to viewers, make sure their is a certain level of shame surrounding what is happening.

If you are planning on leaking it to news publications, make sure they use words like “depraved act” or “career-ending”. It will ensure your video makes front page news right across the country for an entire week.


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