Tuesday, November 27, 2012

If I Had Just 5 Minutes

Making a video can be as easy or as challenging as it you need it to be. One of my goals is to make that process a bit easier to understand. If I have only five minutes to share with you how to make your video better this is what I would tell you at a high rate of speed.

I'm going to use the word device because people are now recording on smartphones, tablets, camcorders, still cameras and all manner of gadgets.

Be Aware of The Light
  • Make sure that you have the right light settings on your device. Automatic is fine if you are a newbie. When you get more experience you can use your devices setting to match the actual lighting types, Daylight, Incandescent, Tungsten. Hmm, I need to find out what class LEDs come under.
  • Don't shoot into the sun with people in front of you. 
  • Don't have them squinting into the sun either. 

Give Yourself Coverage

Once again, I will reminded you of the 5-Shot Method, it is not just for reporters recording quick video:
  • A close-up shot of the hands
  • A close-up shot of the face
  • A wide shot
  • An over the shoulder shot
  • A unusual or alternative view of the subject. 
This gives you choices when you edit your video. If a shot doesn't work out you have other choices you can plug into the void.

Stabilize The Shot
  •  Use a tripod when you can. For small camcorders there are tripods that you can carry in a messenger size bag. 
  • If you use a tripod don't forget to turn off the image stabilization if you have it.
  • If you don't have a tripod then learn the techniques to properly hold your device.

Master the Audio
  •  Know where the microphone is on your device. Sounds stupid to say but with pinhole mics on handheld devices it is easier than every to accidental cover the microphone with your finger.
  • If possible use an external microphone to record audio. Another option is to use a recorder like the Zoom H1 that will act as a primary audio recorder.
  • Be aware if you hear the sound of wind, air conditioners, electrical devices and any other audio killers. Deal with it if you can. If not, you might with certain software be able to control them when you edit the video. But don't count on it.

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