Making sure you have the basics covered is a must, yet over and over again we sometimes see the basics missing in the work we come across. Whether it's in a documentary, a short or simply your demo reel, making sure you're video doesn't suck is key to landing that gig you've always wanted. So with the new year, let's start a new list of what shouldn't be lacking in any of your 2015 projects.
* Avoid unnecessary zooming:
The sure fire sign of an amateur is fast and frequent zooming. It is distracting, unnecessary and can even be nauseating when the picture gets extra shaky. When you are zoomed in close, even the slightest tremor in your hand can make the image look unstable. Make sure to get physically close to your target as much as you can. Don’t keep zooming in and out; choose an angle and stick with it the majority of the time. And when you do need to zoom, just try to do it slow & steady.
* Capture B-Roll:
Instead of showing only people speaking, you should also have other images you can cut away to that will add dimension to your story later on in the editing process. B-roll can include additional video footage, photographs, animation or other elements.It sounds easy, but b-roll is something that should not be taken for granted. It truly can make the difference between a boring video filled with chatter, or an engaging video that keeps the viewers’ attention. You can never capture enough.
While people will tolerate the worst quality video images, they will rarely watch programs that have bad audio. Make sure your sound and audio is crisp and clear, it can make a world of a difference.
Always try to get about 10-15 seconds of sound in each environment you are shooting – this will come in hand during the editing process later.
The lighting techniques in your video will make a big impact on the quality of your overall project.
Back lighting reveals form, hard lights create hard-edged shadows, soft lights create soft-edged shadows and the larger the light source, the softer the light.
* Get a Tripod:
While some video pros have mastered the “shaky cam” look, you might not have. Do yourself and your viewers a favor and invest in a good tripod for smooth and steady shots.
image source: Patty Mooney of Crystal Pyramid Productions