In a broad sense, making a video is easy. You need a camera, a plan, and some light. Each of these on their own isn’t anything special, but if you know how to pair these three together, you can create some spectacular visuals. There are certain rules that should be followed when shooting a video, so you can consistently get content that you’re proud of.
Tips for Shooting a Video
Use the Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds is a concept in video and photography where the frame is divided into nine imaginary sections. These guides create reference points for eyes to gravitate to when looking at a video or image.
Anticipate Your Shot: When you’re framing a shot, think about what the final product will be and what you’re going to be editing in. If you need a lower third, be sure to leave room for it. If you want a logo to appear, leave enough space in the corners.
Take Your Time: When you’re shooting a video, speed is not always a good thing. Don’t push the record until your shot is exactly how you want it. Your shot should be visually interesting and within the theme of your video. Video clips should be at least 20 seconds long and leave 4 seconds at the end and beginning without any movement. Doing this ensures that whoever is editing the video has plenty of room to cut and splice together clips.
Don’t Do Manual Adjustments During a Shot: Before you hit record, make sure your zoom is set to where you want it. Don’t manually zoom in the middle of a video clip because without a motorized zoom, it will look jerky and will not be as smooth as it could be. If you plan on panning in the shot, it is a good idea to have a tripod or slider rather than doing it handheld. Panning should always be slow, deliberate, and move across a straight line.
Constantly Check Your Shot: Most things are in high definition now. As a result, make sure the background of your image doesn’t have anything unwanted in the frame.
Use Good Lighting Techniques: Proper lighting is one of the most important parts of a video shoot. It can be the difference between an amateur video looking professional, and a professional video looking amateur. When it comes to lighting, you don’t need the most expensive light kits. Lighting comes down to technique rather than the tools. The most basic lighting setup is three-point lighting. This is where you use a key light, a fill light, and a backlight. When you’re lighting a subject, try not to mix different colors of lights. If you’re shooting outside, make all of your lights a white soft light. This will allow your video to look more natural. Mixing color temperatures can lead to inadequate color balance and odd-looking skin tones.
Lighting is all about balance. Too little light and your video will come out way too dark and won’t be watchable. Too much light and your video will be so oversaturated that it looks like you’re staring at the sun. You can always lower or boost your ISO, but keeping your ISO in the middle and using lights to brighten or darken a subject works much better.
Use Good Audio: When you’re recording audio and video, use an external microphone. Most cameras do not have a great built-in microphone so your audio could turn out incredibly rough. If you have to record audio in a noisy room or outside, use dampers to mask some of the background noise. A windsock is great for outdoors as it will help prevent the wind from blowing into the microphone.
There are lots of other factors that can play a role in how well your video turns out, but these have consistently been the most important. Realistically, you only need three items to shoot a compelling video. A camera, a plan, and proper lighting. What you do with those three things is what determines the quality of your video.
If you have more questions regarding video or you would like help creating one for yourself, give TM a call! We would love to assist you in any way we can. 402.788.2896!