You’ve got an unbridled passion for creating video content. There’s a fire in your belly that ignites as soon as your thumb hits the record button. You’ve never been more ready and raring to crash boldly into the world of videography, and no challenge is going to stand in the way of you producing groundbreaking, innovative storytelling through the lens of your camera.
Or is there?
No matter how much you love videography, it’s a complicated skill to master. Not only is it a marriage of the technical and the artistic (stunning shots butting heads with frame rates and malfunctioning hardware interrupting breathtaking moments) but the number of steps between pre-production and getting it onto a screen are enough to put anyone off.
That’s why we’ve compiled the following tips: to make amateur videography easier. Use these tricks of the trade to start your video production off on the right foot.
Pack extra batteries
This tip is quick and should be self-evident: always pack extra batteries. Always. There’s nothing worse than landing your lens on the best shot of the day, only to have the blinking red battery icon start flashing.
Good microphones go a long way in video
The good news today is that cameras are much cheaper than they used to be. A solid prosumer camera won’t set you back a king’s ransom.
But one area you do want to spend serious money is microphones. Good sound is non-negotiable if you want good video.Here’s a range of mics for different budgets and environments.
The upside is that quality hardware will last a long time, so you can also purchase used recording equipment and still get great results.
Write down your shot list before you start filming
We know, we know, this is a very boring part of pre-shooting admin - but you really can’t afford to skip this step. It’s much easier to determine which shots you’ll need for your finished piece when you’re not trying the manage the myriad tasks on the day of filming, so write down each shot you want to get ahead of time to make sure you’ll remember to capture it on the day.
If you’re looking for a template, StudioBinder’s Shot List Builder is a simple, easy-to-use tool for organizing all the shots you need.
Don’t transcribe your own captions and subtitles, use transcription software
Video has taken the digital world by storm, but much of online video is watched without sound. Captions add a lot of value for online video content that has speech in it; in fact, Facebook recently reported that captioned videos were watched 12% longer than videos without captions.
To add captions and/or subtitles to your videos you’ll have to convert the audio from your digital video files into text. Instead of transcribing them yourself, which takes a very long time and slows down post-production, use transcription software. Trint’s automated transcription service has a free plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro CC that automatically transcribes audio and adds captions to your video files, optimizing your video for online consumption.
For more ways to optimize video for silent viewing on Facebook and other social media platforms, take a look at HubSpot’s recommendations.
B-roll saves the day in the video editing room
Almost all finished videos need to have a variety of shots to effectively engage the viewer. In fact, some professional videographers recommend changing each shot every three to five seconds in the editing room.
We’re not one for hard and fast rules, but the truth is that you’ll need plenty of b-roll when you begin editing your video. From wide shots and establishing shots to close-ups, the more b-roll you have the better.
While it’s definitely best to capture your b-roll shots on the same day as the rest of your filming, you can sometimes get away with returning to the filming location later to shoot additional b-roll.
Take a look at our other tips for post-production speediness here.
Keep to a strict naming convention for all your files
We can guarantee this tip will save you a lot of time in post. When you name your files, use the same method to name all of them; one good method is to start with the year the shot was filmed, then the date, and then the time to keep files chronological. For example, if your file is named 2018-05-09 07:56 it will be much easier to find and organize than if it’s named 07:56 5-9-2018.
While this may not be the most exciting tip, when you end up being hours or days ahead of schedule you’ll be glad you named all your video files in the same way.
There are lots of steps to creating a professional video, but by using these tips you’ll shorten the amount of time it takes to produce your final cut.
Create your Trint account today and we’ll transcribe up to 30 minutes of audio or video for free.