Here in the Oracle Publishing group we’re always trying to expand our skills and find new ways to tell our stories. Last week I attended a “Video on the Web” course hosted by Stanford’s New Media Group. Here, my fellow guerrillas, are some quick takeaways:
Don't put your subject in the middle of the screen. Instead, follow the rule of thirds. From an artistic standpoint, this gives your subject room on screen to send their energy. A person in the middle of the screen is alone in the cross hairs. Consider this: When a person is in the center of the screen in the movies, he or she is about to be killed.
Don’t use the zoom on your camera. Walk closer to your subject.
Keep your camera still. If, for example, your subject mentions her watch and points to it, don’t pan down to the watch. Keep the camera on her face and go back later to get the watch shot.
If you’re filming someone up close, don’t cut him or her off at major joints (neck, hips, knees), but somewhere in between.
Rule #1: Get your microphone close to the source.
If you’re recording sound with a separate device from your camera, get both devices rolling and then clap or snap your fingers three times, that will give you a strong digital signal that you can use to sync the video and audio while editing.
Don’t film near windows. Otherwise, lighting is complicated. Ask me if you want more. My little Flip video camera is fantastic in bad light, so I’m not going to worry about it for now.
Is this a one-off video or a serialized video? What’s the format: interview, talk show, spokesperson, documentary, guycom?
Are you going to stream or are you going to offer a progressive download. (YouTube and Kite.tv are streaming video, podcasts are progressive downloads) Both have their merits and their drawbacks. Brightcove or Cachefly can host progressive downloads of your video podcasts.
If you’re using something like iMovie to edit, always save at the highest resolution. You can optimize it later with something like Visual Hub.
Check out iStockphoto for royalty free photos for only a few bucks.
The New Media Group will be sending me their picks for affordable, high quality video and audio equipment. Will pass that along.