Tips to shoot great video

Video inspires and engages the viewer. Video also distills a large amount of data/information into digestible information.

So how do you go about creating a great video?

Jarrad Henderson and J. Scott Parker prepare to shoot a video on how to eat a cupcake. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

Jarrad Henderson and J. Scott Parker prepare to shoot a video on how to eat a cupcake. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

Great videos don’t just happen. They require advance work, known as preproduction. During preproduction you write a script and prepare storyboards. It’s important to know the audience and the purpose of the video. Finally, it’s important to check your equipment in advance of shooting.

Once you are ready to shoot, you are in the production phase. Jarrad Henderson and J. Scott Parker of Virginia Tech shared several tips at a recent workshop I attended.

  1. Most of us are a bit shaky so their advice is to use a tripod or other means of stabilization such as leaning against a wall.
  2. If sound is critical to the video, then use a lavaliere microphone for interviews. This will ensure higher quality sound.
  3. When shooting it’s important to record each shot long enough to assist with ease of editing. Jarrad recommends staying in one spot for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Shoot in sequences. This means shooting a wide shot, then medium and then a close-up. Doing this enables you to provide context followed by more detail. Finally, you are able to go close-up and provide a poignant moment.
  5. Think about the beginning. Jarrad said, “You want to make the first 10 seconds count.” He noted that across the internet, video finish rates are poor. With that in mind, he also recommended skipping the title card, which takes up valuable seconds. Instead, to get your name included have individuals wear branded shirts or have appropriate signage in the background.
  6. As with any project, once you have finished shooting, be sure to transfer your footage to a backup drive. In fact, J. Scott urged using multiple digital storage solutions.
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