Video Production Best Practices
2018 Godolphin Flying Start
As promised, what follows is a quick recap of the content we covered during our video section.
As you will hopefully recall, I believe you're further along than any other Flying Start class so far and should be commended for your work.
What follows are merely some suggestions to help you continue to improve!
Remember that the standard in industrial videos -- industrial = not for broadcast, most typically internally-produced promotional content which is exactly what you guys are producing -- is that the video "host" can look directly into the camera and address the audience.
But interview subjects should be looking slightly off-camera at the person who's asking the questions.
(whether or not those questions are heard in the video)
The only situation where an interview subject would look directly into the camera would be a "confessional"-type interview.
RULE OF THIRDS
Use the "rule of thirds" principle when composing your shots. (divide your frame into 9 equal sections)
As with any rule, once you have a good understanding of it, it can periodically be broken.
But as new videographers, for now stick to the rule when framing your shots, most especially interviews and host sections.
This means you should ONLY shoot your videos with an application that has an overlay as a framing guide.
While most default Android video capture applications should allow you to shoot video with a framing guide,
that is NOT the case with iOS.
My recommendation for an iOS video capture application that has a framing guide is FiLMic Pro.
To learn more about this application, click HERE.
While there are plenty of times a handheld camera would be great for your videos -- e.g. walking through a location, following a subject who's moving -- when it comes to host and interview sections, the camera should be rock steady!
This means either connecting it to a monopod, or finding a table or some elevated platform on which to place your small tripod.
There are LOTS of options for an inexpensive smartphone tripod.
Click HERE to see the Amazon page for a phone tripod I have used myself and strongly recommend.
FRAME IN CLOSER
While you're doing MUCH better job than many non-professional videographers when it comes to getting close to your subjects, as you can see in the framing examples below, still lots of room for improvement!
We need better enjoy those GORGEOUS faces!
So when you're shooting your interview subjects, start out a bit closer than you'd want to.
And then please take that extra step TOWARDS your subject.
Trust me, when you get to editing you'll be happy with the results!
What follows are the 10 frame-grabs taken from your GFSTV videos that we studied in class.
I've provided a quick list of the things to be corrected in each shot, and a short description of why I believe the reframing improves the shot.
SHOT #1 AS SHOT
An interesting background, but framed too low and -- as what will soon be a familiar refrain -- too far away! We also have our first example of "host height mismatch."
SHOT #1 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
Now we're in closer and the interviewees start to read as the primary object of interest, and through the magic of photoshop an "apple box" has appeared to elevate eyelines to match.
SHOT #2 AS SHOT
It will ALWAYS happen that last minute scrambles and time constraints can result in the only available background for shooting being less than excellent. (or in this case horrible!) Best solution? Get in closer to hide that background.
SHOT #2 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
We've lowered the camera to raise the subjects in frame, and then done a major zoom inward. Background is still less than ideal, but see how much we've been able to dial down its presence?
SHOT #3 AS SHOT
Here's a great example of people standing at a comfortable distance from each other in real life, but too far away to look good in the camera. Remember that crowding together will seem weird and uncomfortable in real life, but will look great in the camera!
SHOT #3 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
Closer in to promote our interviewees to the shot's primary object of interest, brought up in frame and brought closer together.
SHOT #4 AS SHOT
As is a decent framing, with Ian right on the grid, but then Amy a bit low.
SHOT #4 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
Now we've got Amy on an apple box -- or Ian's doing a "Groucho" -- and we're in closer so that they're obviously the object of focus! And don't forget that too close together in real-life looks just right in the camera!
SHOT #5 AS SHOT
Fairly out of balance, with William close to frame-center, and centrally aligned on the walkway. Plus again we're too far away from the subjects, and our presenters need to be closer together.
SHOT #5 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
We zoom in, get William crouched down a bit, and now the walkway is framing our pair much better! (If we were actually able to reshoot, we'd adjust camera placement and rotation to put the large window squarely between both presenters.
SHOT #6 AS SHOT
A nice framing, elegantly composed with an interesting background. But a little far away, and there's a problem with not enough light on Alison's face.
SHOT #6 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
Now we're in closer which gives us a better view of our interviewee while still picking up the background. I used Photoshop to put light on her face. Best/simplest way to get a key light on a subject when things are too dark? Pull out an extra smartphone and turn on the flashlight! You'll be amazed by the results!
SHOT #7 AS SHOT
Too far away, too low in frame, and not sure if the subject is in the center of frame or frame right.
SHOT #7 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
We zoom in, make sure that Naomi is talking to someone standing to the LEFT of the camera person and we've now got a much better shot! Interviewee reads as the object of interest in the frame, and the viewer can still pick up the pretty row of trees heading towards the barn. Remember that it is counterintuitive: get CLOSER to your subject and the background will be MORE visible!
SHOT #8 AS SHOT
Once again, too far away, too low in frame, and not sure if the subject is in the center of frame or frame right.)
SHOT #8 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
We come in closer, make sure that Amy is speaking to an interviewer who is off frame and standing to the RIGHT of the camera person, and it's a win-win: a better shot of Amy and a better shot of the elegant garden!
SHOT #9 AS SHOT
For what was apparently a shot grabbed "on the fly," I really like this background. Stone and glass provide a nice alternating texture, and the Christmas tree brings a festive element to the background. Just a little too far away, and again too low in frame.
SHOT #9 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
Closer in and we still get all the key background elements -- wall, window, Christmas tree -- but now our interviewee commands the frame, as she should being the shot's object of interest!
SHOT #10 AS SHOT
The interviewee and the wonderful location are poorly served by the initial framing that contains all the familiar mistakes: too far away, too low in frame and looking into the camera.
SHOT #8 SUGGESTED REFRAMING
Now we have a framing that does the great location justice! And see how much MORE of the background the viewer can see and appreciate when you frame in closer to the subject?