VIDEOS “How to Shoot Quality Videos” from FCP Live-In

“How to Shoot Quality Videos” from FCP Live-In

You do not need to use professional equipment to create a great video. Just adhering to the steps listed below will create videos that will tell a good story and be enjoyable to watch. We have listed the most important tips that will help you improve the quality of your videos right away.

In this tutorial, we address the main priorities on how to take the best video possible.

Quick Tips:

1. Use Your Phone to Capture Video.
•   Record in landscape mode (that is, horizontally NOT vertically).
•   Use the camera on the back of your phone, not the front camera (the selfie camera).

2. Work On Your Camera Presence.
The way you carry yourself on camera has an enormous impact on how professional your content looks. Appearing nervous, fidgety, or uncomfortable on camera will distract viewers from your message.

3. Use Plenty of Light.
Lighting is one of your top priorities during filming. Always have more light than less as long as the light is not to bright.

4. Use a Clean Background.
Nothing looks more unprofessional than a messy or distracting background so position your subject in front of a clean simple background.

5. Crisp, Clean, Clear Audio.
Capture crisp, clean, clear audio by choosing a location with no distracting noises or that has echoes or distorts your subject’s voice.

6. Avoid Shaky Footage.
Shaky footage will make any professional video, so use a tripod, or set your camera on a sturdy surface.

7. Position Your Subject.
Shooting a video of a talking subject, moved them away from being right in the middle of the shot, and position them to the left or right of the center.

8. Shoot from a Level Position.
The best video shot is when the camera is at eye level with the subject.

9. Plan Your Videos in Advance.
Take the time to do a few rehearse shoots testing the subject’s voice, background, sound, etc.

 

Tips In-depth:

1. Use Your Phone to Capture Video.

You do not need to use professional equipment to create a great video. You can use your phone to capture professional video footage – the quality is just fine for most purposes. But there are a few things in mind if you’re going to use your phone for video creation.

  • Record in landscape mode (that is, horizontally NOT vertically). This will give you footage that looks good on larger devices, not just phone screens.
  • Use the camera on the back of your phone. The front camera’s quality (the selfie camera) is not as good on most phones.
  • This is optional but if your phone has a feature that allows you to overlay a grid on your screen, use it. This will help you keep your phone level and avoid tilted footage.

2. Work On Your Camera Presence.

If you appear in your professional videos, the way you carry yourself on camera has an enormous impact on how professional your content looks. Appearing nervous, fidgety, or uncomfortable on camera will distract viewers from your message.

Fortunately, this is something you can improve with practice. If you weren’t born with a great camera presence, here are a few of the main things to focus on when you film yourself.

  • Use calm, open body language. Stand up straight – poor posture is immediately obvious on camera. Keep your shoulders back and your muscles relaxed. Take deep breaths. Don’t cross your arms, since this makes you look closed-off.
  • Smile, especially at the beginning of your video. It makes a huge difference in how friendly you seem.
  • Slow down slightly when you talk, and make an effort to enunciate clearly. Speak from your diaphragm rather than your throat and speak slightly louder than your speaking voice to command attention.
  • If you feel jittery, try using props to keep your hands occupied. Writing on a whiteboard, for instance, can give you something to focus on besides the camera.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Watch footage of yourself and identify the areas where you could improve. Then make a conscious effort to work on those things.

3. Use Plenty of Light.

Lighting is one of your top priorities during filming. If you don’t use enough properly-placed light, your video will look amateurish, even if it’s great in every other way.

Filming indoors, you will need to be more intentional about the types of lights you use and where you place them. One thing to avoid is overhead lighting – it can cast unflattering shadows on your subjects’ faces. Windows are a good natural light source as are lamps that light from the side. Use a large lamp or two to cast the type of light necessary to light the subject. If the area is hard to light use all the options available like windows AND lamps, in combination to light a subject. Be careful with fluorescent lights as these create a harsh bluish color.

Little or no shadow creates a more open and straightforward vibe, which is usually better for business and marketing videos. To accomplish this, balance two light sources on either side of the camera. You can place them either behind the camera or just in front of it.

Filming Outside
If you are filming outside, the sun is one of the best light sources for video. If you’re filming in natural light, do your best to get your footage in the morning or evening, when the light is softer. Midday light coming from straight overhead can cast harsh shadows on your subjects, while morning and evening light is more flattering. If you do have to film in the middle of the day, try to do so on a cloudy day, or find a shady area for softer light.

4. Use a Clean Background.

Be deliberate about the background you use for filming. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a messy or distracting background.

Keep your backgrounds as simple as possible. The simpler the background the more emphasis is placed on the subject. One easy way to get a professional look for your video is to use a solid-colored background. A wall, bookshelf, very simple geometric patterns, or a clean organized office or in a “professional” environment are all good options. Make sure your subject stands several feet away from the backdrop to avoid casting shadows on it.

Be careful not to film with a window or another reflective surface in the background of your shot. You could inadvertently catch the camera in the reflection. Besides that, having a light source like a window behind your subject can make the subject look dark and shadowy.

*Examples

5. Crisp, Clean, Clear Audio.

Your audio quality is actually more important than your professional video quality. Most people are willing to watch a video that’s not shot in HD or that’s even a little grainy, as long as everything else about it is good. But fuzzy, indistinct audio, humming noises, distracting sounds, or a voice that sounds tinny is usually enough to make anybody hit the “delete” button within a few seconds.

Capture crisp, clean, clear audio by choosing a location with no distracting noises. Always be aware of any background noise that you might overlook but that your microphone might be picking up, too. It’s easy to tune out things like traffic, birds, and even the noise of the wind, but all of these sounds will be very obvious on your recording. Close windows and use areas with carpet and drapes in a room if possible. These items absorb sound and do not reverberate if you are talking loud. Which is what you should be doing. Do not yell but talk in a voice slightly louder than your talking voice. This voice will command attention and make your listener instinctively listen to what you have to say.

6. Avoid Shaky Footage.

Shaky footage will make any professional video look like a home movie (and it can make your viewers feel seasick, to boot). It’s hard to hold a camera completely steady, so try not to hold your camera at all if you can help it. Instead, use a tripod, or set your camera on a sturdy surface.

Once you’ve got your camera set up, try not to move it unless you have to. Regarding the subject, normal bodily gestures and hand movements are okay. Always act naturally in front of the camera and act like you are having a conversation with a friend.

7. Position Your Subject.

To position your subject most video and tv use what is called “the rule of thirds” which is one of the most basic principles of film composition.

Basically when shooting a video of a talking subject, moved them away from being right in the middle of the shot, or the center of the video.

*These two images show the “the rule of thirds” as a grid pattern of 3-by-3 rectangles with the subject moved to the left or right of the intersecting lines, creating an optimal  “the rule of thirds” video.

*Still images from videos with the subject off-center utilizing the “the rule of thirds”

8. Shoot from a Level Position.

Angling your phone from a bottom view up will create an unprofessional video as well as shooting from the top down. The best video shot is when the camera is at eye level with the subject.

Shoot plenty of B-roll footage for each video so you have the option of using it later if you want to.

*Examples

9. Plan Your Videos in Advance.

Take the time to do a few dry runs and rehearse your information. It is not easy to talk in front of a camera, it takes practice so a few rehearsal videos to see how everything will turn out will go a long way to fixing problems that may arise. So do a couple of rehearsals with the camera and hold onto these videos. Sometimes the best video might be a rehearsal video.  By taking the time to plan your video thoroughly before you start production, you can ensure that the quality of your actual content is just as good as the quality of your footage.

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