You’ve decided to DIY your video production, whether because of budget restraints or your own fondness for challenges. But what if you’re not a huge videography expert yourself? How can you still put out a video that’s on par with professional productions, even if you’re admittedly an amateur?
Actual experience is a definite plus, but you can also level up your video production by doing as the experts do. Here are 8 videography secrets that can help you get the clean look of a professional creation!
8 Videography Tricks for Professional-Looking Video Productions
1. Minimize Shaking
Notice how shots in professional video productions don’t seem to shake at all? That’s what you’re aiming for. A shaky camera is only acceptable if the concept calls for it, such as with sports footage. Even then, viewers won’t appreciate an excessively shaky video.
One easy way to keep your camera steady is to use a tripod. The best tripods feature smooth and even movement, as well as soft rubber feet that won’t slip on tile. However, you’ll eventually need to learn how to capture steady footage without them!
TIP: Practice holding the camera so that it won’t move about because of your breathing. You can also use walls and other stable objects to brace the camera. Shooting without a tripod allows you to freely move around a scene
2. Get Different Kinds of Shots
Beginner videographers tend to shoot from the sides or corners of a room. However, this results in a video production that appears to have been filmed with a surveillance camera. Don’t be afraid to position yourself near the action! You’ll come away with shots that would be impossible to capture from afar.
Professional videographers make it a point to always capture three kinds of shots:
- Close-Up. These shots fill the screen with a person’s face or any other part of the subject.
- Medium. A balance between wide and close-up, the medium shot frames the subject from the waist up while showing a bit of the environment.
- Wide. In a wide shot, subjects and characters become focal points while the scenery dominates the screen. People can be shown from head to toe, but they often won’t fill the frame.
Experiment with different angles as well. It may take more effort on your part, but you’ll thank yourself in the editing process. If you’re filming people, you may need at least 10 angles per scene.
TIP: The best close-up shots don’t use the zoom function (see trick #3). If you need to film close-up shots for your video production, simply move closer to your subject. Unnecessary zooming often produces grainy, shaky footage.
3. Film More Than You Think You’ll Need
Filming a still shot? Keep the camera running for five more seconds than necessary. Interviewing someone who’s talking about nature? Try to get b-roll shots of nearby flora and fauna. These might seem like excess footage at first, but all the extra shots give you flexibility during the editing process.
4. Zoom and Pan Sparingly
Another telltale sign of an amateur video production is a zoom or a pan in every shot. It may seem to make a shot more edgy or action-packed, but this can be dizzying for viewers.
Of course, zoom and pan features do have their uses. Use the zoom feature when you can’t or shouldn’t get close to the subject, like when filming:
- VIPs in restricted areas
- Speakers at large events
- Wild animals
- Subjects in supposedly candid shots
Meanwhile, you can pan if you need to follow a tennis ball or show the expanse between, say, a mountain peak and the valley below. In the second case, be sure that there’s something in between that justifies the pan.
Most of the time, however, all you really have to do is let an action scene unfold naturally. Otherwise, the zoom or pan will distract viewers from the action.
5. Don’t Forget the Audio
A common struggle of many videographers is that they sometimes neglect the audio, resulting in “silent” and almost unusable footage. It’s advisable to record audio with an external mic. Be mindful of the background noise you’re picking up as well. You wouldn’t want an important interview for your video production to be ruined by an unwanted sound clip!
6. Use the Right Gear (and Use It Well)
The right equipment can go a long way when it comes to video production. Because of this, professional videographers often invest in top-class devices and equipment. If you can afford a high-quality camera or external microphone, go right ahead and grab it! However, you still need to learn how to use your equipment well to get crisp footage.
On the other hand, don’t fret if you’re starting out and only have a camcorder and a basic tripod to work with. You can always make the most of your current gear while saving up for better equipment.
7. Work With Good Editing Software
You might be worried about having to shell out hundreds or thousands of pesos because of this tip, but no worries! There are several video editing programs that you can download and use for free nowadays.
Go for a simple program if you’re new to video production, or find a feature-rich program if you’re up to the challenge. It helps to practice editing video productions with your software of choice.
8. Tell a Story with Angles and Action
This is where all those angles and well-constructed action shots from earlier come in! Your viewers will pay more attention if you’ve put together a dynamic video production with multiple facets and angles.
That being said, there’s such a thing as too much movement. Don’t just jump between elements, but strike a balance. Add substance to your video by focusing on important points when needed.
ALSO READ: 7 Creative Videography Ideas for Video Production in the Philippines
Give these 8 videography tricks a try! With some practice, you can come up with awesome video productions with surprising ease.
Still need help with your video production? Let the professionals at Mustasa Republic show you how it’s done! We can either help you out with one part of the process or lend you a hand from start to finish. You’ll also definitely learn something from working with experts who’ve been producing videos for 6 years and counting. Contact us today to find out more!
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