Getting started with video production is a daunting task, particularly if you simply have no idea where to begin! Here at Skeleton Productions, we have helped many young producers develop their craft, as well as learn something about it ourselves along the way. In this article therefore, we have compiled some useful tips for budding video producers.
* Learn the Art
It may sound obvious, but to have any chance of succeeding in this competitive industry, you really need to know and love your craft. Watch and analyze other productions and see what you can learn from them. Video production involves many elements – lighting techniques, camera angles, sound production and more – and analyzing existing content can help you better understand these aspects. (In person is best, but lynda, youtube and vimeo tutorials are a distant second when it comes to learning. Of course, these are better than nothing! –JR)
* Practice Makes Perfect!
No one is born a great producer. Like any other art, it is a craft that must be practiced, perfected and honed to a point Once you’ve got a grasp on the aforementioned elements that go into video production, you need to put them into practice with your own amateur footage. From here, you can then decide on what area it is you are really passionate about. You may realize that you are a born editor, or perhaps you fall in love with cinematography. Find your niche and work on that.
* Create a Showreel
Right. So you’ve got your head round the many components of video production, and you’ve found your specialty. Now it’s time to get all that together and create a showreel to get you a job! Try and show a diverse range of your video capabilities and cover a range of formats – talking heads, dramas, documentaries etc.
Now that you’ve established a broad sense of video production, we can talk about some common pitfalls many video production beginners fall in to…
* Invest in a Tripod
Whilst some video producers have mastered the ‘shaky-cam’ to perfection, the chances are it’s not the effect you’re going for! Do yourself & your viewers a favor and invest in a decent tripod to give a steady shot.
* Understand your Lens Characteristics
Each lens has a different characteristic that makes it more or less suitable for certain types of footage. A shorter lens will makes it so that objects are closer than they appear, whilst a longer lens will have less depth of field, but can be very effective if you want to have your subject in focus while the background is out of focus.
A basic lighting setup would include a key light, placed close to the camera, a fill light, aimed at the subject and set up on the other side of the camera, and a back light, behind the subject, to set him/her apart from the background. Remember to keep the back light out of shot though!
* Think About the Edit
Throughout the shoot, keep thinking about how the footage will be edited. For instance, if your subject is talking about cooking, make the effort to get some shots (called “b-roll”) of people cooking, or better yet, the subject cooking. As a general rule of thumb, you can never have enough b-roll footage!
content and image courtesy of: Madeleine Hammond, marketing executive at Skeleton Production – one of the UK’s leading video production companies.
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