I am by no means an expert on video. I have, however, produced a couple now. And I’ve made many mistakes along the way. If you’re from a print background, picking up a video camera is only the beginning of your worries. Then comes actually filming. I’ve learned a few things along the way, and hopefully they can help you out, too.
1. Hold all shots for 10 seconds
When shooting video, it’s my instinct to move around and get as much as possible. I fight that urge and hold every shot for at least 10 seconds. If you only have a few seconds of it, you probably won’t be able to end up using it. Trust me, you’ll appreciate this when you start editing.
2. Record 1 minute of room sound
What is room sound? That’s what the room sounds like when there’s nothing else going on – not your interview, not a machine running, etc. This is important when you’re editing because you are going to need spaces in between people’s words and at other points. And that solid minute is extremely helpful than trying to piece together brief moments of pauses between words, which is tedious.
3. Use a tripod
Think you’re steady enough to hold a camera steady for longer than a few seconds? It’s tough, and sometimes it’s necessary. But if you can, use a tripod. You don’t want to come back with video that is shaky and unusable.
4. Record natural sound
Nat sound is pretty important. While you’re probably focused on getting a good interview, getting the natural sound is also important because it’s that extra step that helps the viewer get engaged with the video.
5. Zoom into the person’s eyeball
When you’re sitting down for an interview, zoom into a person’s eyeball so the camera focuses correctly. It’d be awful to have a whole interview out of focus.
6. Watch out for poles
When framing the people in your video, make sure there’s no background distractions. Make sure there’s not a pole coming out of someone’s head. Also be careful about centering the person. try to balance out the frame without it being distracting.
Do you have any other basic tips? Let us know in the comments below!
The WV Uncovered Blog is designed to engage discussion on both the project’s upcoming assignments, and to question the strategies we, as journalists, use to tell people’s stories.Subscribe to the RSS feed