What are the basics to know for video recording, editing and production?
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have some fun and smile a little bit!
- Think about good sound. If someone is talking on camera, they should have a microphone that goes to your sound mixer or directly into the camera. If your camera does not have a mic input, do your work in a quiet area that has very little or no echo. If your video clip has un-necessary sound, remove the sound entirely from that clip. For example, if you just want to see the ocean, maybe there’s no need to hear it. The waves may compete with your voiceover.
- Be still. Whether you go for the super-still tri-pod, the casually-mobile, the steady-cam, or the rolling-dolly look, just don’t be shaky or jittery.
- Let your natural light shine. You usually don’t need expensive lighting equipment. You just need the sunlight at the right time of day. The golden hour is the “sweet spot” between the afternoon and evening. It’s gorgeous and not harsh. There’s a golden hour in the morning, too, but most folks aren’t up early enough to enjoy it.
- Who goes there?! Speaking of lighting… don’t shoot toward a subject that has a lot of light behind her / him. Otherwise, your subject will become a silhouette. It’s far better to have lighting facing your subject…
- B-Roll and Texture. Of course you need to shoot your main subject(s), but don’t forget to grab some B-Roll shots of the various activities described in your script. Get wide shots, medium shots, and tight shots so you have what you need to choose from when editing. Texture is similar to B-Roll, but it’s intended to give a more personal feeling for the shooting environment: a close up of a baby’s toy, a photo on the wall, the fibers of the carpet, etc.
- Put the music to bed. Well, actually, make a bed of music during editing. A single piece of music that flows from beginning to end can really tie your video clips together.
- Avoid the childish scene transitions. They are just not that cool. Watch television programs AND commercials. Pay attention to how they go from scene to scene and cut to cut. Just do what they do.
- Fix it during editing. Granted, you NEED good content to convey your message. But you’d be surprised what you can do during editing, so fear not if your film isn’t perfect. For example, if you’re filming a speaker during a seminar, and somebody walks right in front of the camera (or even stands there for a sec), that may become a good time to cut to another angle, show some b-roll, or to a graphic that shows the speakers bullet point (s) at the moment.