If you have read the newsletter, been through the website or spoken to me personally, you would have heard me say that many times before… many, many times before.
Maybe I just like the sound of my voice? Well, according to my buddies… it’s possible. Or maybe it’s because it is true!
And why do I say that?
Think of it as a friend telling a friend a piece of good news. It’s a natural human reaction. Have you ever described something in excitement to a friend? For example: have you seen a good movie, told a friend in the chance that they can enjoy the experience too. In the same way, I am passionate about filmmaking, I pass on my experiences so that others can ‘share in the joy’, so to speak (sounds corny when put like that). But there is a premise here that I am making, a not too far-fetched assumption that I am preaching to the converted. In that: You already have a video camera.
You have invested in the one essential tool, the foundation or keystone that the whole process pivots on. And maybe, just maybe you have the desire. The creative impulses pulsing beneath the surface.
You like to tell a story like Lucas or have a thing for action like Bruckheimer. Where you once sat in the pews of a theatre for the escapism of a Hollywood epic, now you notice the camera angles, the subtle scene changes and how they affect the mood and pace of a movie. And think how great it would be if you could do something like that too.
The moment excites the imagination, and a myriad of ideas floods your mind, adrenaline surges through your veins as your senses tingle… oh… sorry, I got carried away. Back to business: But what you don’t have is the knowledge. The “down to the smallest detail” data on how to go about it. All in the one ‘easily accessible’ place.
It is essential to have a stable platform for shooting video and obtaining a tripod should be your first port of call after the purchase of a camcorder. And with a little ingenuity, even a very basic tripod can help you produce some stellar shots. Here are some ways to use a tripod to best effect:
1. Correct tripod stance
Good tripod technique will go a long way towards capturing smooth video and starting with the correct stance makes the job a whole lot easier, to begin with.
Feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent to absorb lateral movements. One hand placed on the tripod vertex exerting pressure towards the ground while the other holds the handle.
This hand controlling the handle has the arm tucked into your waist so any pivot of the camcorder is a ‘whole body’ movement.
Best if any pan or sweeping shots taken with a camcorder on a tripod be done with a fluid head tripod.
2. Fluid Head vs Budget Tripods
While tripods can vary greatly in price and quality, they can be broadly placed in two categories.
One being the fluid head tripod and the other for ‘budget’ or cheaper tripods.
Fluid Head tripods are associated with professional or ‘serious’ videographers as they represent a greater investment in their business or hobby.
Made by companies such as Manfrotto and Libec, they will usually be quite robust and comparatively heavy with fluid heads to enable a smooth and constant pan and tilt of the camcorder perched on top.
They are specifically built to take the actions and rigours off video camera use.
Budget Tripods (below $50) are often given away as a bonus to a camcorder purpose.
They can be quite light (which can make them easy to knock over) and have a tripod head that is not developed to be used with a camcorder. As a result, if a pan or tilt is attempted while shooting video it will quite often result in jerky footage.
Having said that, if all your budget allows is the purchase of such a tripod, they can be a good stable platform to shoot video from if you’re not requiring tilts and pans, used as a monopod or can be adapted to get creative shots.
3. Boom & Jib
Want to get creative with your camcorder and tripod?
Extend the legs then keep them tucked together. Grab the tripod down near the bottom of the legs and (with the aid if the LCD screen for guidance) you have yourself a simple boom or camera jib.
Now you can get those high shots that swoop down on your subject. Or smooth tracking arcs that magically follow your subject over rough ground or a large distance.
4. Steadycam Techniques
The modern camcorders portability and lightweight can sometimes be at odds with getting smooth and steady video images.
Specific Steadicam devices have been made and these amazing tools even allow you to take smooth footage while running up and downstairs!
The budget technique is to attach your tripod to the camcorder with the legs not extended. The added weight can be used to take a lot of handheld shake from video footage.
5. Shoulder Support
So you have a camcorder and a tripod, you’re conscious of taking smooth footage but don’t have the time or space to set-up the tripod. What do you do?
Simply attach the tripod to the camera, place the legs on your shoulder and you have a simple shoulder support video taking device! Employing stable video taking techniques is the easiest way to separate your images from that of a rank amateur. And using a tripod is the first step in achieving better free shots. The next steps probably would be learning about video marketing. If you can afford it, get yourself a ‘fluid head’ tripod. Your audience will thank you for it. If you simply can’t stretch the budget at least get some kind of tripod and apply a little ingenuity. Remember, it’s the final shot that counts, make sure it’s a steady one.
Moving into the digital age has made a life for the video editor infinitely easier. Footage can be shuffled, altered and converted on a computer, you no longer have to use the original footage to edit. The sheer speed and options available via computer editing open a world of possibilities to amateurs through to experienced editors.
Optimizing PCs for DV Editing
Making sure your video editor (or computer system) can cope with a digital video stream and edit it without problems is the first and most important step in the desktop video.
This guide will help all levels of video editors step-through the elements needed to ensure they can concentrate on the creative side of editing. As the needs of video-makers vary so much it is difficult to recommend an optimum video editor for all users. Therefore, what you will learn here is a recommended ‘baseline’ editing system. One that can be built according to your personal needs and project requirements.
A video editor needs have to move and process an enormous amount of information so your editing system needs to be faster and more reliable than your usual home office computer system.
The CPU (Central Processing Unit or Processor Chip) is the ‘heart’ of your edit system and will affect every aspect of the editing process.
There is a direct relationship between the CPU and the processing of video in most systems. Processor speed is important when applying transitions, image filters or adjusting the image quality of the captured footage.
Any time a digital effect is placed over the whole video such as black and white or changing the brightness and contrast, this requires the computer’s CPU to recalculate each pixel in each frame of the movie. Therefore, the more powerful the CPU the quicker rendering will be completed. The Intel Pentium chip is a market leader with an excellent choice for digital video editing.
One of the most critical components of the video editor is the graphics or overlay card. It is important to ensure that the graphics card supports your chosen capture card and the editing software. It is best not to use a computer with a built-in graphics card for desktop video. Problems with graphics cards that cannot support video editing are one of the biggest desktop video support issues.
Make sure your system has at least a 16MB AGP graphics card (although, 32MB or 64MB is better). Recommended graphics cards with minimum requirements for video editing are ATI Macedon, Matrox G450/550, GeForce or Asus card utilizing the Nvidia chipset.
RAM affects everything about video editing. The more memory installed (up to a point) the faster the editing software, and all the utilities associated with it will perform.
RAM is found in two types, SDR and DDR. This stands for Single Data Ram and Double Data Ram. For the optimal running of your video editor, it is important to specify DDR type ram for your system 256MB of memory should be the base level of RAM you should consider, with 512MB providing optimal edit system performance as anything beyond that is ineffective. If working with Windows 7 or Windows 10 operating systems, 4Gb is the minimum recommended.
As a rule, the larger the hard drive the better when it comes to your video editor. All the latest ATA EIDE drives with a speed of 7200 rpm will work with a DV video stream. However, since the data rate of DV is 3.6MB per second, it is important to ensure the specification for the drive state that this is a sustained data transfer rate. Any drops below 3.6MB will result in dropped video frames.
In an optimized system, it is necessary to have the video drive as a second drive, with the computer’s primary drive (or C: drive) responsible for holding the operating system and application software.
A video editor can also utilize an external FireWire drive from companies like ADS, Maxtor and LaCie. FireWire drives can be daisy-chained together via their FireWire connections if necessary and they are portable if required.
The motherboard is the road network that links all the components of your video editor together. So what you are looking for here is stable and reliable operation.
When editing video, a critical component is the operation of the IDE DMA settings. DMA or Direct Mastering Access is the process of ‘by-passing’ the CPU for certain operations. If stable DMA is not possible the video stream to the hard drive will be interrupted. Fortunately not a common problem with most newer motherboards produced today.
Some video editing software does a preliminary test of the hard drive for performance characteristics and may not even attempt to write video to the drive if the DMA is not enabled or has problems related to the motherboard’s performance.
Intel® Pentium® and Asus motherboards are two that have a good reputation for stable operation. If you are looking to convert your existing PC into a video editor, you need to check the DMA settings in your computer’s operating system software to ensure the hard drives are correctly set for video capture and editing.
The final consideration is output. Do you want to output back to tape? Many video makers are increasingly looking at CD or DVD burning as an option. If you’re planning to store your finished jobs in a compressed format such as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2, DivX, Real, Quicktime or as Windows Media, your DV footage must be compressed. The best option for a video editor is to harness the enormous power of the latest Intel Pentium 4 processors with Hyper-Threading technology. This is recommended for the latest video editing software packages which have been optimized for Pentium processors.
Are you interested in video marketing? Maybe you’re a novice at video marketing and what it entails. No matter what the case, the best way to be successful is by doing your research. The following tips will help you to create an awesome video marketing campaign.
Your best bet for creating a successful video clip is to aim for short and sweet.
Many people are not willing to spend a lot of time watching a video online. If your video has to belong, think about making a series out of it so people can come back when the part they want to hear is available.
YouTube has excellent editing features. It is possible to add your annotations. Perhaps you want to add some extra detail about the product, or you wish to promote it further with a special coupon code. Keep all of your videos optimized. Use a different title and description as you load your videos to different websites. Don’t forget your keywords! Also, include your contact information so that people will be able to find you should they have the inclination.
Engaging titles are very useful for video marketing novices. An interesting title will attract more viewers. They will be more likely to watch. A creative title can help to drive viewers to your site.
Make sure that you include working links to products you are promoting in your video.
It is a good idea if it is within the actual video player. This way your link is always connected to your video, no matter where it ends up. Get all your staff involved in your videos. The person in front of the camera should be pleasant, happy and comfortable. It is great to bring in various employees on your videos.
You need to think of a tone for your online videos and ensure that it remains consistent. Humour can be used in silly spoofs or educational videos, alike. You must be considering the product and also the specific demographic. Understanding your audience can help you to grow your business successfully through video marketing.
People want honesty! If you plan to create a video, make sure you are genuinely interested in the subject. When you speak the truth to viewers about something you are passionate about, they will not only enjoy it, but they will appreciate it and come back for more.
Do not ignore the analytics for your video content.
You’ll be able to check out how many people have seen your video and where they’re from too. These findings will give you more information on your niche and help you improve your campaign.
Do not place the brunt of video marketing on your shoulders. It’s not possible to think of every great idea on your own. Your best bet is to brainstorm with a group of creative people and then come up with a list. Do this often to ensure you keep coming up with great content.
Do you fully understand how video marketing can be used to make more money? Push forward and try to implement video marketing in your own life. The sky is the limit, so get started today!