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Easy Tips for Better Video Production

The following pointers are easy things novices can do to enhance their video work.

 

Video-Related Tips:

 

When framing up your shot, keep rule of thirds in mind so you properly fill the frame – http://www.mediacollege.com/video/shots/rule-of-thirds.html This will make the biggest impact to the professional nature of your work with minimal effort.

 

When shooting b-roll (generic coverage) of an event you could get an entire sequence of shots that are immediately ready for editing if you shoot with the edit in mind… Start with a wide shot (establishes location) for about 3 seconds, stop recording, then switch to a close up for a few seconds, and stop recording. Next, try a medium shot for a few seconds, stop recording and continue that pattern for a bit. Now that entire series of clips can be dropped into a timeline (or if editing in a linear fashion off of tape, marked in/out and inserted), requiring little to no trimming or re-ordering. This can help you quickly assemble an edit if working under deadline.

 

 

Avoid creating jump cuts (slight changes in video stemming from two back to back shots that, while different, may look to too similar either because of the background or lack of movement on the screen).

 

 

If you must use those two shots in that very order, one thing you can do is insert a transition to help make it seem as though the edit is less of a jump cut. One handy style is to use a dissolve to color. Notice how at least the two shots don’t create a “hiccup” in this completed version.

 

 

While on the topic of transitions, try to stay away from the more “cheesy” style effects. Most professional films/videos only use a dissolve or a cut (unless going for a specific style or effect where the transition type actually enhances the cut). Remember that transitions sometimes require your clip to have extra frames before or after your edit points in the timeline. This is why it’s important to consider pre-roll and post-roll when shooting your content (counting to 5 after you hit the record button to start your capture before your action begins and then concluding with 5 seconds of extra video rolling prior to pressing the stop recording button)—doing that will ensure you have enough material to work with when you get to the edit phase of your project, effectively avoiding the need to have any  jump cuts due to the lack of extra frames.

 

Audio-Related Tips:

 

Do not forget to pay attention to the audio you are capturing; getting good audio is not only important but almost always necessary.  After all, audio is 50% of your delivery when working with video. Take the time to get good audio in the field. It’ll save you later on in the edit.

 

 

Timing matters! Examine the recorded audio from a voice over or interview and try to layer it in your work where appropriate. Doing so can generally enhance the flow of your piece.

 

When you do that the audience is expecting to see the shot change next to the person who is talking. Making that subtle shift in the timeline and effectively layering your audio can have a huge impact by preventing the audio from changing shot to shot. This helps prepare the viewer for the change and keeps the flow a bit more seamless.

 

Easy Tips for Better Video Production

 

Smoothing out your audio: Record a sample of the room tone at some point and use that to fill in your audio so it isn’t dry in the areas where you have a voice over if you record that separately in a quiet spot that’s in a different setting. You’d be surprised by how much this can help when working with your audio during the edit. Insert that recorded audio into your timeline and mix accordingly. One other tip: fade in/out your audio sources/clips as they change. Doing this prevents any sudden shifts in the soundtrack that could pull the viewer’s attention away from the scene or story you’re trying to convey. Think of it as sneaking your audio in or out. If you didn’t do it you could hear the audio suddenly shift from a standup you shot in an arena with plenty of crowd noise in the background of the track to suddenly the reporter’s VO as inserted in a dry audio booth containing no background noise.