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Jorg Fedler

Are you shooting for good quality?

by Jorg Fedler


Creating a good video involves a number of steps like

- creating a Story
- Shooting your footage by using the correct camera settings
- Choosing the environment
- Editing in your editing software, like Sony Vegas, Final Cut or Adobe Premiere...
- Authoring for DVD, Memory Stick or BluRay
(authoring is the process of creating a DVD, a BluRay disc or copying your video on to a Memory Stick so it can be played on a DVD -, BluRay player or TV.

Tip: Here are the settings for encoding your video for a memory stick
Video: MPEG2, CBR (constant bitrate) 16 Mb/second
Audio: MPEG, Multiplexer TS, bitrate 384.
By using mpeg2 instead of mp4, you will have more data in your video and therefore a better picture. The file size will increase slightly.

- Taking B-Rolls
- Delivering good sound

This article deals only with shooting your video footage and I will only cover the basics without getting too technical.
If you have a story to tell produce a video and show it to your family, friends or club members. By using a few techniques from the professionals and apply them to your own videos, you will be proud of your masterpiece. Below are 5 proven techniques that can make a huge difference in the quality of your movie.

Here are five techniques used in the professional world:

1. Different camera angles and composition
They are used in any TV show or big-screen movie. Different camera angles are a must. They capture the audience's attention - a very important part of movie making. It can be done either with multiple cameras, or with one camera by shooting the same subject multiple times from different angles.

2. Lighting
Use lights if your footage is taken inside. When you film inside you are the boss and do not have to bother about the weather - sun, rain or wind - and you are shooting in a controlled environment. The most common lighting technique is called three-point lighting using a:
Key Light, Back Light and Fill Light

Watch the short movie below which I
embedded with permission from

3. Audio
Audio is a very important part of your video. You have to get it right!

The quality of the sound should match the good quality of your video. Sound is a tricky beast to tame and it takes lots of practice to succeed in this field. For the best sound recording plug an external shotgun microphone into your camcorder. If you are shooting an interview, stick a lavalier microphone onto your interviewee's body, about 10 to 20 cm below his/hers mouth. This ensures getting a constant sound level. Be wary of placing the mic into the hands of the person you want to interview. You may end up getting all sorts of noises like scratching, tapping or plunks.

Before you start shooting/recording, close your eyes. You will become aware of all kinds of sounds in the room and in the house, in the street or in the distance, so choose the environment of your recordings carefully.

A room with hard surfaces like glass, metal, bare walls or tiles reflect sound and can cause indistinct recordings and reverberation. Conversly, soft materials like carpets, armchairs or sofas absorb not wanted ambient sound. Extra rugs or drawn curtins will soften sound when you are forced to shoot in a 'hard' room with glazed pictures, windows, mirrors or sheets of wooden board.

Take control of your sound recording and wear headphones (make sure they fully cover your ears to shut out all other sounds).

4. B-roll (costs nothing, great impact)
B-rolls are backup footage. Basically: you shoot everything you can think of like:
(details of people [body parts, faces, eyes], closeups, different angles towards your objects, related objects). Having B-rolls handy often gets you out of trouble when you are editing your video.

5. Create a good story
and think BEGINNING, MIDDLE and END. The viewer wants to be able to follow your story easily, experience a climax and be happy with the outcome. It's not easy to do but it always works. Once you've have done it a few times successfully it will be in your blood.

These are all simple things but the difference in the quality of your video will be huge when they all come together just the way you want it.


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Mudgeeraba Primary SchoolGold Coast Video Camera Club Inc.
Old Coach Road
Mudgeeraba 4213

2nd Wednesday of the month