Here are a few useful tips for shooting better video. Hopefully this will be helpful for any beginners/hobbyists.
Helpful Tips for Shooting Great Video:
• Auto settings can be useful but if you want to be creative set your camcorder to manual & read up about the manual settings in advance of your shoot
• Video cameras need to be told what the colour white is! They are then able to set other colours in relation to this. So set the white balance at every location. Carrying out manual white balance is always better than pre-sets
• When shooting outdoors always consider the position of the sun – the perfect key light!
• Always plan your shoot – It’s more cost-effective to make your initial shooting decisions in advance rather than make those decisions on location while the cast and crew wait for you to make up your mind – try to do a location recce whenever possible – it will save time and money!
• Keep audio in mind when carrying out the location recce – are you on a flight path? Will that construction crew be drilling adjacent to where you are filming that crucial interview with the CEO?
• Use a tripod or other image stabilising device or use the IS function – Image stabilizing – if handheld.
• Shoot to edit bearing in mind that your average shot length will be between 4 and 10 seconds but try to give yourself at least 5 seconds run up before a shot becomes useable and 5 seconds after it has reached its ideal end so you have flexibility in the edit suite.
• Be as inconspicuous as possible to capture realistic behaviour
• Don’t allow your subject to sink to the bottom of the video frame by positioning their eyes at the top 1/3 of the screen
• Always keep looking at foreground and background as you shoot to make sure nothing distracting enters the shot.
• Only pan occasionally and don’t overuse on-screen zoom – looks amateurish and you don’t want to give your audience motion sickness!
• Always look for interesting angles rather than keeping in one spot and placing every subject in the centre of your frame.
• Don’t shoot everything from standing eye-level
• In general make sure your subject is well lit rather than too much light falling on the background, unless going for a specific ‘look’.
• Have fun!