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It’s Filming Day! How to Rock Your Video Shoot

If you are filming your video yourself, there are some things you can do on the day to make it easier when editing later. If you’ve got a video production company coming (have you hired us?) then here’s some things to know we will be running through on the day and why.

  1. Make sure you’ve rehearsed

Wasting your own and other precious time on filming day can throw off the whole result, so it pays to be prepared! (Read our post here on preparing for the day)

2. Set up camera and check it’s focused, well exposed and in good lighting

Cameras such as phones will refocus when you move around, so check that it is not set to follow focus or turn autofocus off. You see this on youtube videos all the time when the presenter moves and the camera goes out of focus, then refocuses. Best just to leave it in manual if you can and use ‘b roll’ or another scene if you are showing something closeup.

Lighting is a big subject and obviously depends on where you are located but if you don’t have artificial lights, then try and find a spot where your face is in diffused light (like through a window) and shadows are not harsh (look on the floor, if you see strong lines, that is too harsh light). Some people add a light behind them, which makes you pop out from the background. This can be a lamp or artificial light or even another window as long as it is not direct light (this will make it hard for your camera to expose for your face)

3. Check everything is stabilised

Shaky footage is hard to correct in post, so make sure you have some stabiliser such as a tripod or a DJI Osmo for handheld moving around. [Here are some recommended tripods]

4. Create a pleasing background

You want to avoid distractions in your background

5. Check your sound

Is your microphone working (don’t have a microphone? check our post here for good ones)? Do a 1 second recording or practise your intro to see if the mic is sounding okay.

6. Get Multiple takes

After you’ve wrapped up filming, it can be pretty difficult to recreate aesthetic details — lights, camera position, etc. So make sure you get enough takes while you are all set up! Read your lines in multiple ways, shoot the same thing a couple of times. You don’t have to go overboard and do one take for more than an hour, but it is important to have different options for the editing process. When you did the pre-record process we recommended (see that post here) you’ll know things often look and sound different on film, so leave yourself enough options for the edit.

Mark your best takes by covering the lens with your hand or waving at the camera. When you’re scanning through your footage, you’ll notice this movement, or dark frame and know that the footage directly before them is your finest work.

Then do one more take just for safety. This will give you an option in the edit just in case something from the good take doesn’t jive well.

7. Give yourself an In and Out

Leave a buffer at the beginning and end of each clip. A silent 3-second count will do the trick. It helps to leave some extra time before you start speaking and after you finish a scene or section of your outline, so later when editing, the sound can be cut easily as well as the visuals.

8. Shoot B Roll

If you consider A-roll to be the narrative of the video, B-roll is the additional footage that supplements the story and drives the piece visually. If you’re shooting a basic talking head video, any shot that changes things up (a close up of the speaker’s hands gesturing, a shot from a side-angle, or a shot of a related office scene) could serve as B-roll for your video.

B-roll helps to diversify the shots in a video and tell a compelling visual story. Bonus: It can also help you hide edits. In other words, if you’re splicing together two straight-on shots of a subject talking, you can use B-roll to make the transition feel smooth.

Planning for where you’re going to use B-roll in the script can save loads of time. If you know you’re going to be showing B-roll in a particular section, your subject can read right off of the script and not have to memorize and recite the line to the camera. Talk about low pressure!

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