Camera Settings

Camera SettingsWith the couples spending a significant amount of money towards one of the most memorable days of their lives, weddings are surely a big deal. From the smallest details of the invitations to the huge decisions like color schemes and band selection, weddings have become a truly celebrated occasion of unity, family, and love.

In the wedding industry, modern documentation has been getting a lot of buzz considering that couples have now understood how important it is to have video or photos of the entire wedding day itself. Some book wedding videographers months in advance while others depend on close friends and family members to capture the wedding highlights. So if you are starting your own wedding video production company or if you are tasked by the couple to get the entire day on film, here are a few important points to remember in terms of wedding videos.

The ever-important gear. A soldier never goes to war without familiarizing himself with his weapon. Even if it is a borrowed camcorder or a freshly unboxed DSLR with video recording ability, the shooter must always get to know how operate his own camera. Know how to charge the battery, how to adjust the settings, and how to go about recording a scene. Also, bring along a sturdy tripod, it comes in handy during the long ceremony readings and the lengthy speeches at the reception.

The taken for granted audio. Since videos are generally moving photos, most people would think that it is all about the pictures and the visual aspect of the video. Actually, the audio plays a big part in the video’s success. Be it the natural audio of the scene or added special sound effects, the audio aspect of any video accounts for its clarity and authenticity. In weddings, there would be no point trying to perfect the video’s composition if the viewer cannot make sense of what the speeches are all about. It would be beneficial for the shooter to secure an audio or microphone system that can help in having a back up for the ceremony and reception recordings. Commonly, remote microphones can be hooked up to record the vows and it still can be hidden away in the groom’s pocket. Just don’t forget to retrieve it after the party and check it from time to time as it might run out of memory space in the middle of a really long speech.

Be prepared. Anticipating the day’s schedule and double-checking all gears before heading to the location are all part of the said preparation. However, it goes far more than the itinerary and the equipment. Professional videographers suggest that shooters attend the rehearsals to be able to properly see the venue itself and also to familiarize the members of the bridal entourage. Survey the venue if there is ample lighting especially in areas where the couple plans to hold the first dance, cake cutting, speeches, etc. Also, ask about contingency plans for weather so you too could be prepared for unexpected rainfall.

The early bird gets the best shots. Upon first hearing it, arriving two hours ahead of schedule might sound a little ridiculous and a bit exaggerated. However, most camera crews would prefer to be early on location to setup all gear and equipment orderly. Also, it allows for more establishing shots of the venue and the event. You get to shoot the venue as it is decorated with flowers and banners, wide angle shots of the establishment’s facade is also done better without the passersby or the parked cars. Most of all, arriving early means you still have time to go back and look for batteries, memory cards, DV tapes, etc. in case you have left them.

The precious B-roll. During the lengthy intermission numbers or successive speeches from one family to another, you’d think you are off the hook just as long as the video camera is aimed at the podium and the audio recordings are doing well. Actually, this is where a second camera comes in handy. Roam around the room and carefully observe the audience’s response and the couple’s reaction. In cinematography, these minor details may be filmed and then used as B-roll or cut-away clips. To break away from the continuous frames of one person talking for more than 5 minutes, these clips may be inserted. If it is a one-camera shoot, be quick to switch views in between scenes such as when the bride and groom are chatting up in another table or when the priest goes down the altar to prepare the couple’s papers. Use up your time wisely and shoot as many clips possible.

In the rapid-moving world of advertising, nothing ever beats videos. Commercial videos sell better than anything else. The big popularity of commercial videos over any other form of advertising is that videos allow for potential customers to actually see the product in full detail on screen. It gives viewers the idea of what the item is all about, what makes it stand out, and, when an ad is used to its strength, what makes it a necessity for everyone.

The power of video commercials is unceasingly great, industry giants have used it to start a fad or to make profits of over millions. It has gone through huge waves of evolution along with technology and the introduction of the Internet. High-definition cameras and instant post-process video editing have enhanced the entire commercial video production process.

Don’t be dazzled with the advertising industry’s sparkling hypes, making your own commercial video isn’t as simple as you think it would be. Compared to simple event documentation, commercial videos are made with great attention to details and are strongly based on a concrete storyboard. To help you make market-smashing commercial videos, here are a few simplified tips to give you an idea on how the production process works.

Deliver a story, scene by scene. Before anything else, it is your job to get to know the product or service to be advertised. Write a story regarding the product and streamline it according to the item’s own identity. For example, write a hip cool story if it is a product targeting teenagers and young adults or use a family as the main casts of the story if the item is to be used as a household commodity. Plan the storyboard and envision it unfolding scene by scene, this makes it easier to shoot and it also allows you to see what else would be needed for the video, like props, effects, stand ins, etc.

People are people. As much as possible, put in real characters in your commercial. It would be easy for the viewers to related to the video when they see actual human beings using the product. Be it through interviews, testimonials, or celebrity cameos, find the perfect characters to bring your story to life while also building the brand’s own identity.

Mind the time. As in everything else, time is a big factor in advertisements. In television, ads can run for as short as 15 seconds and for as long as 45 seconds. If the allotted time for the commercial is just about 30 seconds, work with every single second and edit everything as tight as possible. You would want every single scene to be shown, otherwise they could cut off the video even before you have flashed the store’s address or contact number.

The Audio-Video tandem. Whatever is said in the script or voice over spiel, it should be shown using the video clip. As the visuals show a fashion-forward bag, the audio should also be describing the fancy bag or the fabulous lady wearing it around town. Of course, getting crystal clear audio and sharp, vibrant shots is another unique obstacle to be tackled. Nowadays, high-definition screens are quite common. So, high-definition cameras are also rampant in the market, more specifically digital cameras which are handy for street shoots and also great with still shots. On-camera microphones can record clearly, given that the shoot is inside a closed, quiet room. However, outdoor shoots prefer to use clip-on microphones or an over-head boom mic to be able to capture the sounds better.

Technically speaking. Aside from the camera and the audio recorder, the technical side of the entire commercial making process is manned by different people with different tasks. If possible, assign people to do the basic tasks on set – operate the camera, assist with the production, and overlook the overall appearance of the video. In smaller companies, all three roles may be filled in by one person only. However, if the project is a big one, more roles are hired, like writers, make-up artists, audioman, etc. You may think that it is a simple and short video about a tiny product but then if a company has hired an entire crew to do the shoot, it should be nothing less than perfect.

Call to action. The important aspect of advertisements is its call for the audience to initiate action. Be it through visiting the store, calling in for a purchase, or simply telling another person about a great new product out in the market, commercials are expected to entice the viewers to do an action. Don’t forget to include all contact information – email address, service numbers, address, etc. In your video, always put the emphasis on these elements by using a large font plus a catchy color. Compose a tune to help viewers remember the number easily to end the advertisement with a bang.


video-production-tipsWith the advent of the internet, all the different forms of communication have evolved to reach more audiences over a span of short time. Messaging has gone from one continent to another within seconds, calling can now be made with video conferences involving more than two people, and videos can spread faster than the speed of light. Add in the sudden ease of owning a camera, whether it is a high-tech DSLR or a super zoom camera attached to a phone, an MP3 player, or even mounted to a wall. In the 21st century, making a video and posting it for the world to see is nothing but an ordinary feat.Web videos are a huge today, be it about a simple product review or a funny home video. The rise of video sharing sites coupled by social networking sites have helped make any short video clip become viral all over the globe. Though the fame may come in a snap, making high quality web videos is no laughing matter. Getting the viewers to go to your video channel or page is one thing, getting them to stay and watch the entire webcast is another.

Browsing through different web videos, it is obvious how much audiences appreciate videos with great content and quality appearance. So if you are planning to start your own online video channel or your own tutorial guru career, here are a few simple tips in capturing great quality web videos.

Content is key. No matter how advanced a video camera or how experienced the video editor may be, it all boils down to the video’s main message. Build a firm storyline for the video; it will run for only a few minutes but make every second count.

Highlight the content with good framing. As the speaker delivers the message on-screen, allow the viewers to clearly understand the speech through good composition. In cinematography, framing pertains to the way the subject is placed on the screen. Imagine the screen as a tic tac toe grid and frame the person’s face onto the spot where the lines intersect. If framed well, the audience can easily spot the speaker’s facial expressions and also have a clear view of what the topic is all about.

Two-faced light. In general, lighting is the video-maker’s best friend and also his worst enemy. Newbies think that standing below a lamp or shooting the video under direct lighting would pass for a clearer resolution. It would be best to set up facing a window or to have a good amount of light hitting the speaker’s face. Avoid shadows below the eyes and also avoid too much lighting that may produce an unreal-looking skin complexion for the speaker. If used well, light works wonders for the video’s quality. However, it may also destroy the video’s own clarity if not used effectively.

Zooming in and zooming out. Since the video is meant to be watched online, be mindful that viewers can watch it using different gadgets – laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc. For the most part, the viewing screens are smaller and more compact. So whenever possible, zoom in when the speaker is explaining a subject to capture a clearer view of the speaker’s face. Do not over do the zooming in though, frame it from the chest or shoulders and leave a small space above the speaker’s head as well. Zoom outs or wide shots can still be used during introductions and also when arm gestures are to be included in the video.

Clearly said, clearly heard. Audio is another aspect of presentations which is often taken for granted. Built-in microphones in camcorders and laptops can do a fair recording of the lengthy explanations and spiels, if shot in a quiet environment. To ensure crisp, no-fail audio recordings to accompany a quality web video, use external microphones which can be positioned near the speaker to get optimal results. For newbies, it would be better to make use of clip-on lapels since bulky overhead recorders may be too intimidating.

Do not be scared to do trial runs and continuously readjust settings to get the best video possible. If unsure of the clip’s clarity with regards to the video or the audio, check it by running the clip through a computer to view it just as the audience will.

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