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 Shooting video

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Number of posts : 142
Age : 37
Registration date : 2007-06-13

PostSubject: Shooting video   Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:36 pm

Quote :
1. Think in shots — wide, medium, tight, super tight

This gives the viewer a variety of scenes and a variety of intimacy within those scenes. Wide can be an establishing shot, medium gives more detail, tight brings the viewer into the subject’s personal space, and super tight allows for detail/accents shots.

2. Shoot and move

In a video, we’re trying show little sentences that convey information; we call these sequences (two or more shots of the same action — but they shouldn’t be from the same place).

You shoot sequences with:
>> Cooperation: understanding what will happen when (talk to your subject to learn about the story and to make landmarks in your mind of where you want to be when)
>> Repetition: looking for overlapping action
>> Anticipation: knowing what is coming next

3. An action creates a reaction

When you shoot something that has an action (ie, the flip of a switch), make sure you get the reaction (the TV turns on).

4. Cutaways.

The little details that cut away from the action, within the context of the same action. They will help you get around

5. Enter frame, enter frame, enter frame

OK, I have to admit this took me too long to grasp (to the frustration of my classmates, I’m sure) and may take a while to perfect. But if I understand it correctly now, you always want the person you’re interviewing to enter the frame and not to exit.

So if someone’s walking toward you (imagine a politician walking down a sidewalk shaking hands), shoot while they’re walking, then stop and run ahead so you can pick them up again entering the frame. You’re going to lose the viewer when you let someone exit the frame and then enter back in again. And it’ll just help you get more material to work with if you’re always in front of the person.

Read the whole XDegree column

This is useful advice for good "energy" in a video to keep it from feeling boring. However, I'm going to temper it with some technical advice:

1. Use a tripod: When compressing video, constantly shifting or bouncing shots eat up more data. If you force them to compress, they do so more poorly than steady shots. The more pixels that stay the same between one frame and the next, the better it can compress.

2. Watch your backdrops: I know you don't always have control over this, but if you get to chose where you shoot an interview, try for a simple background. Busy or moving backgrounds have the same kinds of compression issues as moving shots. Not to mention moiré ghost- close stripes, like pinstripes, can create weird little ghosting effects on video. The backdrop rule also applies to clothes. If your senator is wearing a pinstripe suit, consider shooting up close to eliminate as much of the striping as possible, or far back enough to wash out the stripes.

3. Light your shot: I don't mean get a perfect lighting kit and make your subject look like a movie star... though that's not a bad idea! No, I mean make sure you've got enough light. Shooting in poor light forces the camera to turn up the gain, which results in video noise. If you're not familiar with it, video noise is that sort of green or red staticky fuzz that shows up in badly lit video.
Sometimes, you won't have a choice. The lights are the lights and you may not have the freedom to turn them up or bring your own. But as stated above, if you can control them, take a firm hand! It will improve your end product.

4. Shoot on tape or flash: This is a conditional; only worry about it if your video will be shown at higher than 320 pixels across. A lot of modern video cameras write to a hard drive, which involved magnets changing the polarity of metallic particles on a platter. Those magnets create a certain amount of video noise (described above) as they influence the other tightly-packed mechanisms in your wonderfully light little camera.
I'm not quite sure how flash drives work, but I've had no noise issues with them. Tapes are loaded into side mounts that seem to be far enough away from all of the other wiring to keep such issues from cropping up.

5. Preview your compressed video: I can't even stress this enough. I must have watched a dozen students in my assorted video classes die of embarrassment when they showed the professor videos compressed at three in the morning the night prior. Sometimes the video came out blank black, an unrecognizable blur or unfinished. Video compression is more of an art than a science. You may find that Sorensen makes your video into mud or QDesign makes your audio sound tinny. You won’t know until you watch your post-compression product and decide if the compression codecs have done a good job on it.
Oh yeah, and leave yourself enough time to recompress your video if it comes out poorly.
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