Tips and tricks for creating outstanding video.
Before you drop everything and start shooting video, it's important to take time out and draft a game plan. What do you want to say? What do you want to show and tell? How will you communicate that?
Here are our favorite tried-and-true tips for getting the shots you want-- minus embarrassing bloopers.
If you're thinking about adding some cool movie or TV clips or music to your video, think again. Uploading somebody else's video or music without permission is not a good idea. It will even jeopardize your Take Action One Cup entry.
Copyright law protects an artist's music and video. Even big-league movie and TV producers have to request permission (and often pay big bucks) to use just one song. So don't cut corners and insert your favorite movie, sports or song clips. Believe it or not, even singing your favorite lyrics is a no-no.
Don't worry about fancy camera moves, cool locations or mood lighting. It's easy to get carried away with flashy tricks, but it can also take away from the story you are trying to tell.
Pick a spot where you won't be in danger-- the park, the beach, your Uncle George's backyard or even your own living room. Find a place where you have the freedom to be yourself and stay out of harm's way. Mind the background noise; less is best.
Make sure your subject is bathed in enough light to capture important details, like facial expressions. Bring a portable lamp or take the shot outdoors. The sunlight in the middle of the day is best for filming.
Remember: On-camera talent faces the sun, while the behind-the-camera crew should feel the sun on their backs.
Shaky video is hard to watch and tends to make people a bit queasy. Try using a tripod to keep the camera steady. If you are walking around or don't have a tripod, brace the arm that is holding the camera to keep it as steady as possible.
We want to hear what you have to say, so make sure you talk above a whisper. Take a deep breath and speak clearly and slowly. Use a microphone if you have one.
Position your subject in the center of the frame, so you can see his head and body. (You don't want him to appear headless later on!)
Similarly, consider what is standing behind him. Avoid filming your subject in front of a tree or flagpole. On TV, this can look like the object is growing out of his head!
When you are done shooting, put all your equipment away in a safe place. Charge your batteries after each shoot so they are ready for the next time. And don't forget to label your tapes; this will avoid confusion later.