Advice for the "Shot"
1. Remember the Rule of Thirds
Here is an example:
2. Think About Light
3. Think About the Background
I have a great photo of my daughter playing in the ocean, but in the background behind her is another person whom I don't know and whom I wish wasn't there. I can Photoshop that person out, but it would have been better to have been conscious of the other person from the beginning.
4. Hold Still!
unnecessary camera movement. The best thing to do when you want to have a really professional result is to use something like a tripod or monopod to stabilize the camera. Even when taking "on the fly" shots, you want to find a way to stabilize your shot, either by using a stationary object to lean against or by using your body to hold the camera as still as possible. When it is necessary to move the camera to follow some action, move as fluidly as possible, so that you can avoid the Blair Witch effect which can make some viewers nauseous.
5. Get the Shot You Want
6. Be Kind to the Editors
7. Consider B Roll
Have you ever seen one of those videos that begins with someone speaking on camera, but as they are speaking, the image changes from them to other images or video that illustrate their words? Those images and videos are called B Roll. Cutting to B Roll is effective for a couple of reasons. First of all, B Roll brings the person's words to life which helps the speaker to convey a message. Also, talking heads don't have the ability to hold an audience's attention for very long. By utilizing B Roll, the editor helps the audience stay engaged with what the speaker is saying. It's worth studying commercials to see how often the imagery changes. Typically, visual image changes will outnumber changes in audio content.
Here are a couple of ads that make good use of B Roll:
Advice for the Audio
8. Test the Audio Before Shooting
One of the fastest ways to spoil an otherwise great video is to burden it with bad audio. If the microphone doesn't pick up the subject's voice, if the sound is too loud or too fuzzy, or if the audio includes feedback, then your audience will quickly tune out. The best way to avoid these problems is to test your audio before you record. When using a microphone, the videographer can listen to the audio through headphones. If you are using built-in audio, do a test recording and listen to the results. In addition, if you notice audio conditions changing while recording, stop (when possible) and fix the problem before moving on.
9. Consider Your Audio Backdrop
Just as you should consider the visual background of a shot, you need to consider the audio background as well. When shooting in public, there are many audio variables. If you are filming next to a street, you can encounter traffic noise, for example. Good videographers work hard to anticipate and manage variables that might distract from the subject. Being conscious of these issues will make your video more professional. Also be aware that when your setting changes, the quality of the audio will change as well. This can be distracting particularly if there are a lot of changes or if those changes are dramatic. Some of this can be fixed in editing, but it is better to avoid the problem in the first place.
10. Enhance the Mood
The mood of your video can definitely be enhanced with the right music and sound effects. When editing video, you can drop in royalty-free music to help the audience know what to feel while watching. The tone of voice of your subject matters as well. Think about the effect someone's voice has on an audience when they are excited, happy or angry.
11. Keep It Simple
12. Be Reflective
What is Your Advice?
I'd love to know what advice you would give these amazing kids as they embark on their first videos. Please feel free to comment and add to this list. Thanks!
To see a related post on iMovie Basics go here.
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