Videography and editing tips
“Make a video,” They said. “It’s easy,” They said.
Wrong…it’s not easy and a bad video can ruin your profile and reputation in an instant. Watch our videography and editing tips to make sure you understand what to look for in a good videographer, whether you are filming the video yourself, or having someone else film it for you.
These days you don’t need expensive equipment to create high quality videos. A Digital SLR camera capable of filming in high definition is more than suitable. Even mobile phones can do a great job. In fact, the Hollywood move ‘Unsane’ was filmed entirely on an iPhone 7. And more recently Lady Gaga’s Music Video for her single Stupid Love was filmed on an iPhone 11. So, you have probably got what you need to film already sitting in your pocket. Test your equipment and whenever possible, do a site visit and some on-site video testing.
Video is a visual medium that captures movement. A common mistake people make with video is to move the camera around, pointing this way and that, rather than keeping it still and capturing the movement inside the picture. A stable picture is very important for viewing pleasure. So, put your camera on a tripod to keep the picture steady, and if you want to show different angles, film one and then another. Put them together in the editing phase. If you must move around, consider using a stabiliser.
Perhaps the hardest thing to control when filming is sound. Background noise and wind can play havoc. Camera microphones are not always the best choice. They can sound very tinny. It is best to spend a bit of money on an external microphone, or lapel microphone. They will give you much richer sound and are designed to limit sound (noise) from other sources. Where possible shoot indoors where you have more control over the sound conditions.
When filming, light is your paint. So, use plenty of paint for a bright and vibrant scene. Even if to the naked eye it looks like you have enough light…you probably could do with more. Low light conditions can result in lower quality footage. Your camera may compensate for the low light by increasing the light sensitivity resulting in grainy footage. You can purchase low cost studio lighting online. Or you could even consider work light options from your local large hardware store. If you have to film outside don’t film in direct sunlight as you will get too much contrast. Look to use a shaded area where the light will be more even on your subject. Cloudy days are perfect.
Filming with Multiple Cameras
Filming with multiple cameras is essential for a static scene like an interview panel.
More than one camera gives visual variety and will better engage the viewer. It also makes editing easier (cheaper), because if you need to make a cut you can avoid an obvious jerky cut and instead, you can switch to another camera angle. This makes for a seamless transition and a video that will look much more polished and professional.
Have you ever wondered why they use a clapper board at the beginning of recording a scene? One of the reasons is that it provides a great way to sync up multiple tracks in the editing phase. The clap creates an audio spike and every recording will have that same spike, meaning it is a quick and easy process to get your various camera angles in sync, using sound. You don’t need a clapper. A simple clap as you start to record is all you need.
Most people watch videos on their smart phones. And 9 in 10 of still hold their phone vertically even when watching a video. Ironically, this means your traditional 16×9 landscape video can be relatively small. Whereas vertical videos use more of the screen when watched on a phone. The larger the image, the more engagement is generated.
Vertical videos will not be accepted for STME YouTube screening, so make sure you use a landscape approach for all your cameras. A widescreen approach is required and will still work with most Social Media.
Setting up a Studio
The best location for a studio setting is indoors. Rooms in a house or an office are fine.
Ideally, you want a large room with plenty of space. A carpeted room is best, because that, and any furniture or curtains etc. will absorb sound, and so give better acoustics. Be careful of rooms with fluorescent lighting. These lights turn on an off 50 times a second and although it can’t be seen by the naked eye, it can be very visible when filmed.
Try to limit traffic in and around the room when filming. A simple ‘filming in progress’ sign may help if you don’t have the location entirely to yourself. Aim for a simple background that doesn’t draw the eye away from the speakers. If you have a TV in shot projecting images, ensure the screen isn’t flickering when filmed.
If using two cameras, have both cameras film everyone, but from different angles. With three cameras, have one at the front filming everyone and a camera on each side filming different panel members
Ensure that you own everything that you film and that you have permission to use the footage. That is because when you upload videos to social media, you are agreeing that you own, or have the rights to use, all the content. If you film yourself on your camera you will. However, if you use someone else’s camera, or engage a videographer – the owner of the camera, or videographer, owns the copyright unless you negotiate otherwise. You’ll need an agreement that you are commissioning that videographer, even if not for monetary payments, for the footage being filmed and supplied by them.
If you feature other assets, such as stock video, or photographs from the web, remember that ‘Free’ doesn’t always mean free. For example, they may be free for personal use, but not for commercial usage. You may have to give the author attribution in the credits, or pay a fee, for business usage.
Even the software you use to create your video, may only be licenced for personal, not commercial use in some cases. So, make sure you check the licenses carefully, or seek advice, if you are not sure
When it comes to music you need to be very careful. Buying a CD or an iTunes song, does not give you commercial usage rights and some sites like YouTube actively scan the music and will notify you if they believe you are in breach of copyright and can disable the sound on your video, or even take the video down.
These tips are to be used as a guide only and you should use them to enable you to question your videographer about their own skills. You need to know what to ask them and what to expect of them. Good luck!