Video Production – 3 Easy Tips For Better Videos
It’s the little things that will get you.
This will be the first in a series of short little video production tips on how to increase the quality of your production. I title it this way because there is nothing worse than shooting a video and then coming back to edit it only to find a glaring problem with your footage. I’ve had this happen to me on too many occasions and I’m sure it will happen again, but here are some tips to help avoid problems:
Keep Your Lens Clean
Always, always, ALWAYS, check to see if your lens is clean. Carry around several lens cleaning cloths or lens cleaning brushes (Don’t use anything else on your lens, such as paper towels or rough cloth that can scratch it.)
Don’t rely on looking through your viewfinder or screen to determine if your lens needs clean. It is almost impossible to see dirt specks this way. Look at the lens surface. A small speck to your eye will permanently be on the footage and will morph into big ugly and distracting blobs on your program. This problem is magnified when shooting HD. This doesn’t just happen to amateurs. I’ve seen major TV shows that had dirt on a lens.
Adjust White Balance
Most video cameras will adjust white balance automatically. White balance is calibrating your camera’s interpretation of color under varying types of light. Your eye and brain do this for you but a camera needs some help. Automatic white balance is often a compromise. If your camera will do a manual white balance adjustment, that is holding up either a white piece of paper or 18% grey card, fill the frame with it and push the correct button to “force” it to white balance to that, you will often get better colors and appropriate skin tones as a result.
Record The Shot
When you are ready to shoot, make sure you press the record button! I know this sounds silly but I have done this more times than I want to admit and it has happened to almost every videographer I know. You’re so focused on getting the shot just right that sometimes you get tripped up by the smallest of goofs. Some cameras have a very sensitive record button and you may be walking around with it recording and then when you think you’ve pressed record you’ve actually stopped it.
My old Canon GL1 showed a green light when it was recording and the GL2 showed a red light; it took some adjustment to know which was which, especially when I was shooting with both cameras. (Most cameras show a red record light).
Don’t experience the anguish of starting to edit and discovering the camera was never even turned on!
For more tips on producing videos for sale, order my DVD, My Secrets Of Producing Successful Special Interest Videos.