Stuff that works

So I have been doing a lot of random projects lately and I think it is time to write down what works and what doesn’t when you get into the editing room. This is kind of a diary entry for me to look back on what I think but may be useful to others, especially shooters.

Interview/documentary – don’t be afraid to get b roll of the interview in action. I think that audiences think about who the person is talking to and even if you never hear them on camera, show some lights or a shot of another camera rolling, it is stylistic and looks cool when you need something interesting to cut to and don’t have good b roll to support the dialog at the time. PS, make sure you have close ups or another angle of an interview, I can’t tell you how mad I get when there is nothing to cut to and I have to conjure up footage out of my ass or make someone go back and get b roll for something that could have been fixed with a second camera or another take at a different angle.

Time Lapse- they are amazing. they can fill in so much and do even more. they look cool and are really good ways to start and end projects. If some of you don’t know how to do them then you can do some research. if you are dlsr then get an intervalometer (yeah, I double checked the spelling on that). If you aren’t and your camera doesn’t have the setting switch to a lower frame rate and then in post speed the footage up by at least %400. When shooting on a camera try and do a 1:1 ratio of exposure to gap between shots.

Intentional Jump cut- wait, keep reading. ashot with an intentional jump cut like the one in my video believe at the end can create some serious mood while progressing a shot faster than it takes place. Play around with it and see what feels right.

Free music sites- stop using them, they suck. Start with a real song that you think fits in and see if you can get the rights for a decent price and if you can’t pay someone to recreate a song that feels the same. At least you will get what you want in the music (which creates %50 of the mood of a video in my opinion) and not something that kinda is what you want.

Handheld shots – stop doing them. find something to steady the shot because blair which project is old and with high def video on big screens it makes people quezy. Plus, if you are using a good slow shutter speed (like 50) then it creates motion blur and can make subject feel out of focus. invest in a shoulder mount ($30) or a slider.

Cinestyle- if you haven’t heard of it/aren’t using it and you are using a camera, get on it. The increased dynamic range is great. If you aren’t used to it, when shooting at night or harsh light switch back to the normal preset so you don’t have issues as these can be tricky to meter right and cinestyle is less forgiving. PS, take off highlight priority and under expose by 2/3 of a stop with video (on canon) because it is amazing the kind of detail you can retain in the shadows.

Video Copilot- it’s an amazing blog done by Andrew Kramer. He really knows his stuff. If you are afraid of after effects don’t be, with his blog and maybe some help from lynda you can really get some amazing things accomplished. Green screen tricks, sky replacements for those pesky blown out skys, and great tips on shooting the most random of things you can think of.

I know those last two weren’t really style choices but seriously, they are things to know and go back to.


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