Some things are in our control; others aren’t. But we owe it to ourselves with web video production to be as best prepared as we can possibly be when we come to shoot our videos.
For some reason when we introduce a video camera and a live shoot into the equation, things start to go wrong! If we’re outside a cloud will come over and kill the sunlight, a dog will come up and pee against the tripod or a plane will fly over; if we’re indoors there will be a power cut.
This all makes for a great Australia’s Funniest Home Videos show but we are trying to make a professional looking business quality video, so we need to try to be in charge of all the things we can control.
This means preparation.
Remember the 5Ps – Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
Draw up a preparation checklist to follow every time you are shooting a live video. Following is a sample checklist for setting up your camera, though you will need one also for your lighting equipment and your audio.
Preparation Checklist For Setting Up A Camera
You will always want to make sure that you set the height of camera correctly as different heights convey different effects and meanings to viewers.
For instance, if you are looking down into a camera you will often appear larger and more authoritative; but it could also seem overbearing. If you are looking up into a camera then often you can look diminutive and even belittled.
These effects can be used for various situations by video directors but normally if you’re presenting a business video then you will probably want the camera on the same level as your head – roughly at eye level.
One note here is that, if you are filming from the camera on your computer, make sure that you are not looking up into the camera at the top of the monitor.
There may be occasions, if you are filming a presentation on a stage for example, where you will want to talk slightly down into a camera for the “authority” effect. But generally setting your camera up at eye level will get the best results.
DISTANCE AND FRAMING
You will need to experiment with the correct distance to stand away from the camera. Often you want a mid-shot showing your head and half your torso, if you are filming yourself presenting in front of the camera. Check with the LCD, if you have one, until you get it right each time.
Often with framing, standing just slightly off-center is more pleasing on the eye than right in the center of the video screen. Have a play around and experiment with this…it’s trial and error until you get the position that looks and feels right. Then you will know what to do next time.
Before you even get to filming tips, when the cameras are rolling, pay attention to arranging the right preparation for your equipment, each time you make a video. Good preparation lessens the chances of mistakes that can cost time and money. If you want to see some of our own video productions, click here to visit our YouTube channel.