Video production can be complicated. Here’s how to keep it simple.
If you’re venturing out onto the rocky terrain of video production, it’s worth taking stock of a few tips to help you stay on the straight and narrow.
Firstly, there seems to be a plethora of decisions to make around equipment. The famous photographer, Arthur Fellig said, when asked what was secret of good photography, said “F8 and be there”.
This may seem trivial at first read, but there’s a lifetime of experience in that statement and it is still the best advice you can take. The ‘F8’ part is now up for debate, of course. But it’s the ‘be there’ that is so important. If you think, the most famous and admired images in history were almost all recorded onto cellulose. This in spite of the fact that there have been more pictures and videos recorded in the past 5 years than in the whole of history before.
What are you trying to say?
Just this: There’s plenty of choice when it comes to cameras and lenses, but where and how you place yourself, what you actually do, are still the key elements in creating magic. Pick a camera you know well, choose one good lens that gives you the depth pot field you need and do the rest by being there. Instead of zoom, move your self. There’s nothing like using your entire body to frame a shot. It means you can concentrate on what’s going on around the subject.
Video production and sound
Sound is often overlooked in video production and is probably the single most common failing on low budget content. There is a propensity to focus on the visual, spending too much budget making the piece look right and this is a mistake. If you look at any high budget work you will notice that the sound has no flaws whatsoever. This is no coincidence. Those who really understand video production will not skimp on the quality of the sound production for one main reason: sound is the subconscious test. When viewers are consuming your content, they don’t know that the sound isn’t good, they simply pass on it without thinking.
Film crew and video production
It’s always hard to find a crew that you can work with. This is why video production companies tend to hold onto their crew. This is also why the video production industry is rife with last minute call outs. When production company finds that their regular grip is busy, they often discover this at the last moment and go into panic mode.
“We can fix it own post”
No you can’t. I always go by the phrase “Good in, Good out.” It saves a great deal of work in the long run if you make sure you have recorded the scene/shot that you wanted to and at the quality it deserves. Fixing in post should always be a last resort.
Time waits for no-one
In videography, time is one of those phenomena that just runs away from you. Plan your video production with plenty of margin. If you find yourself rushing, the resulting content will evidence this. It goes back to the “F8 and be there” adage. Put as much time into creating your shot/scene/recording as you need because it took you long enough to conceive it. Here is an interesting article on preparing correctly.