This harkens back to creating empathy and being genuine. Being original can be challenging, but the key to originality goes back to what we covered in the Week 1 section. Find out who you are, what you do, and be unequivocally that. There’s an old saying that there’s nothing new under the sun – so don’t worry too much about creating something that’s 100% fresh – worry about creating something that is 100% you and relevant to the people you’re wanting to reach.
“EVERY DETAIL COUNTS” (EDITING, COMPOSITION, ENVIRONMENT
This is for the perfectionists and planners out there. How many steps are there when it comes to creating competent video? There’s no one-size-fits-all right answer, but, like many things, the more you can break it down in detail the better the whole package will be and the more confident you’ll feel going into it. How many steps you take for a video largely depends on what the purpose of the video is, what platforms you’ll be creating it for, and how much time and money you want to invest in it. Typically you can categorize your steps between pre-production, production, and post-production. With this being considered, nearly every video should touch on these areas as you go through the process of creating it:
Script and Storyboard – Now, you may be doing a spontaneous live video, like a short Instagram story or update. You don’t have to script those – but thinking about what you’re going to say before you say it won’t hurt. If you do have a lengthy script or storyboard, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
Selecting Recording Gear – Will you be simply recording this with your phone? Or will you be using something dedicated like a DSLR, Action Camera, or Video Camera? Will you be using multiple angles? How long do you plan to record – do you need more batteries or memory cards? Do you have multiple subjects? How many cameras do you need? If you need multiple cameras, what formats and resolutions will your various cameras record in, will they blend together well? Will you be recording audio? How will you be recording audio? Through your device’s microphone or a separate microphone? Will you need mic stands, or will you be using a lavalier? How many mics will you need? Will you need a tripod for your camera, or will you have someone to record it for you? Have your things ready to go before you start.
Environmental Factors & Lighting – As you likely know, lighting is extremely important to capturing quality visuals. Wherever you plan to record this video – how’s the lighting? Time of day can impact this. Will you need external or dedicated lighting? How’s the ambient noise? Is there lots of traffic outside that you’re going to have to contend with? What about wind? If you’re recording outside – what’s the weather like? This can come into play even when you’re recording inside – a boom of thunder or driving rain may not compliment your product showcase. Knowing as much as you can about your environment beforehand helps you be prepared and keeps your quality consistent. A side note is safety – if you’re recording in the field, keep mind of where you’re recording and the people you may encounter. Are you permitted to film where you’re recording? Also remember the value of your equipment and be aware of your surroundings. Audiovisual equipment is highly attractive to thieves, so be aware of your surroundings, and try to keep it out of sight if you ever have to leave it in a vehicle.
Setup and Settings – This could go in the pre-production category, but since it typically happens on the day of shooting, we’re going to put it under production. Get things setup and ready to go. Get your cameras and microphones setup. Take test shots, establish your desired white balance, and check your mic levels. Find your depth of field for your subject. If you’re shooting on location, you may want to go ahead and get some b-roll for filler in post-production.
Action! – All your efforts have led up to this. Stick with your planning, adapt where you need to, and focus on the moment! If you need multiple takes, take them. If you need more angles, get them. It is better to have too much footage to work with than too little, and you often won’t get another chance at it.
Tear Down – take apart all your gear and keep it organized for the next shoot. Take note of what cameras and mics did what, and note any thoughts you may have had during shooting, things you’ve learned, what to avoid next time, and things you may have to fix or adjust in post.
Organize Footage & Audio – You’ll thank yourself down the line if you go ahead and establish a system for importing and organizing things in a system that makes sense to you. This can take time to figure out and will change from project to project – but the key is knowing where everything is and how to manage your assets well.
Editing – Like many of the other parts listed, the extent of your editing depends on a variety of factors. If you’re doing anything more than a one-off video your editing will typically include color correcting and grading, syncing and optimizing audio, and adding various effects, titles, and texts to your video. The scope of this process can fluctuate greatly, but you’ll need to have someone who is experienced in an audio visual software environment to make the most of your raw footage and audio. If you have more than one camera this person will decide how your multicam video will flow and appear in the end product.
Exporting/Encoding – Once you’ve edited your video to your liking you have to encode and export that video into a finished product. This involves choosing the quality of your video and how that video will be processed. Typically most editing environments will match the source video when exporting the final product, but there are many options here. Many social media platforms will compress your video into more palatable formats, and as a rule of thumb it’s typically safest to export your final copy in the best quality available – be that upwards of 4K or your standard 1080p.
Publishing/Uploading – Now you get to show your work to your audience! Oftentimes people will publish their work to one channel like YouTube or Vimeo and share the content from there to other networks. Although this can be the best way to ensure your audience sees your video in it’s highest quality, most social media networks will be more apt to make your video appear in more places when it’s been uploaded directly to that platform. When it comes to exposure it’s recommended to upload your videos directly to each platform for sharing within that platform, you can always link to the highest quality version of your video in the comments.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT VIDEOGRAPHER(S)
Capturing high quality video takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and usually a good amount of talent. It also takes gear and equipment that most folks just don’t have access to. You’ll be wanting someone that has an eye for capturing captivating frames but has also put in the effort to learn how to utilize their equipment well. This combination of talent, experience, and equipment works together to make a great videographer. Depending on the size and scope of your project you may need multiple people who fit this description, and you’ll also need someone who knows how to put all this footage and audio together to make a coherent and visually stunning finished product. This is an area where professionals excel, and finding someone you can trust will make or break your video project. Like any professional field, look for someone with an impressive portfolio and references, as well as someone you feel will understand your vision and be willing to work with you as well as for you.