So, you’ve been tasked with creating video content for an upcoming event. What are some tips you can employ to make sure that the content you capture is the best it can be? Here I’ve outlined some simple techniques to create quality content.
1. Stabilisation – Make sure your camera or smartphone is STABLE. A hallmark of an amateur videographer is unnecessary camera movement. If it’s a talking head at a lectern, a walking piece to camera, or a spinning doughnut – make sure you keep that camera stable! Follow the action if required but don’t let the subject dip out of frame. No quick movements either. As soon as the audience is aware there’s a cameraman, you lose their attention.
2. Composition – Ensure your subject stays in frame and leave enough room for what we call “head space” and “real estate” (the empty space between the subject and the frame). This is important because it becomes disconcerting to the viewer when the subject dips out of frame. I mean, what if they disappear completely? Attention will be lost and they’ll be looking for the next video. A well composed image is easy on the eyes and allows us to focus on whatever is being presented.
3. Lighting – Try to make sure your subject is well lit. Separating your subject from the background drives attention to the speaker, item or situation. Whatever you are filming, make sure it’s not obscured by shadow or blending into the background. A well lit image is a beautiful image. Yes, even if it’s your boss.
4. Sound – What are you doing to gather sound for this talk? Is there some guy with a leaf blower or vacuum cleaner following you around? Are the birds tweeting louder than your subject is talking? Or are you shooting in a garden shed? This will all change the sound picked up by your microphone.
Hopefully you have a mic! Don’t let your fingers rest on the microphone, and for those on smart phones and on camera microphones, try and get as close to the subject as possible (without ruining the composition).
Following these tips will help your video be watchable and appreciated by your peers and audience.