Here are some Video Tips to help you with your next project.

Where possible use a Tripod
If a tripod is not available, try and rest the camera on a wall, the ground or some other static object. If none of those are available most cameras now a days have a steady shot mode, make sure this is on when doing hand held work.

Head Clean!
There is nothing worse to find that while importing the footage there is a break up in the picture - This is usually caused by dirty camera heads. Always carry a head cleaning tape with you, and use it everytime you do a new shoot.

Cover your angles
Where possible, always make sure you get an alternate angle to what you have been filming.

Try not to zoom
Zooming in and out makes videos look like a home movie (unless it is called for). Only try to use the zoom for framing shots. If you do have to zoom make sure it is at a steady pace and the objects always stay in focus.

Get your cut-aways
Cut a way shots are shots which are related to the video image you are seeing but not directly involved. i.e. if you are filming an interview, most of your focus is on the face, try and get shots afterwards of hands moving or an object in the distance. These always come in useful in post.

Allow approx. 10 seconds before and after each shot. i.e. start the camera recording count to 10 and then action.

White balance
Where possible try and white balance the camera manually, this will need redoing for each scene change (where applicable). Hold a white sheet of paper or focus on a white object in the picture. Or at the least use the indoor/ outdoor modes.

A good video takes a while to plan. Try and think of what shots you may wish to capture and how you are going to go about it. For a home movie you don't need to go as far as writing a treatment or script, but at least have some ideas in your mind of the sort of shots you would like to take.

Make sure you have a good microphone, where possible use an external microphone to suit the situation. If that's not possible bare these things in mind. If there is wind blowing try and shield the microphone, this could be as simply as recording in the opposite direction as the wind. Where possible always use headphones to monitor the sound from the camera.

Try to use less of the inbuilt transition effects unless it helps tell the story of your video. try to stick to straight cuts and dissolves.

Always make sure that there is enough light to see your subject. This might involve tweaking the exposure in the camera or adding more light.

Copyright 2008 - E J J Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Site design by E J J Smith in association with