Top Tips for DSLR Video Beginners
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This is where most of the work goes in. Like any project, the more preparation you put in at this stage the easier your job will be on the shoot, and there'll be much less likelihood of missing shots or making errors. At this stage we create a detailed storyboard of the whole film scene by scene, including specifics like placement of lighting, camera angles and positions etc. We try and get a good range of shots for each scene - wide angles, close ups etc. to give us more scope in editing to create something dynamic and engaging. It's also important at this stage to sort out locations and decide what you need to hire/buy in terms of equipment and lighting.
This is something that, as photographers. we've never had to consider before but in filmmaking it's half of the equation. You'll need to think about the audio you need to capture. If you're making a music video then the audio will be provided for you, but if you're recording audio then you'll need an external microphone as the one on your camera won't be high enough quality or close enough to your performers most of the time. You'll also need a high quality external recorder. All this equipment can be hired relatively cheaply.
If your pre production has been done well then the shoot will go smoothly. If you're working with a team of people it's always important to have a designated role for each of the team members such as director (who's responsible for keeping the shoot on track), cameraman or sound guy. Of course if you're a team of one you'll have to multi task, although disagreements between the crew will be minimal! We always download cards onto a laptop throughout the day and back it up onto two external hard drives - if you think stills take up lots of storage space wait till you fill your drives with video files!
The look, feel and pace of a film can be greatly enhanced by good editing. This is where all your hard work preparing and shooting comes together. Editing can be used to evoke emotion and create pace and drama. You can afford to use your creativity at this stage, but remember that most good editing isn't really noticeable, and tricksy jumps and cuts can look jarring. The final stage is putting a colouring/grading onto the video to create mood and atmosphere.
However the real beauty of DSLR filmmaking is that, as photographers, you can transfer your creativity to a new discipline and have fun experimenting with your camera.
Aspire has brand new one day Moving Capture taster workshops coming up on 11th July - more details soon at www.aspirephotographytraining.co.uk or call 01524 782200 to book your place.
Phil Barber and Rob Booker also run their own business - www.shotbysodium.com - which runs video capture workshops based in Leeds.