So, you’re working on a new video project, huh? And you want it to look theater-worthy? You’d be surprised how a few simple best practices can make your video look infinitely better. In this article, we cover 5 tips that you can apply to your movie project today, without breaking the bank.
Tip #1 – Control the Light
Photography and film is all about light, right? So, taking full control over your lighting, and using plenty of it, is arguably the best thing you can do to make your video look professional. Control the natural light by choosing the right time of day to shoot, take the right angle vis-à-vis the sun, and make smart use of shade. And light your scenes, from fill lights to neon and to giant light panels. Use plenty of light, even for your night shots.
Tip #2 – Control the Sound
Your sound is just as important as your image, if not more. Keep your dialogs close-mic’d with a boom so you can record crisp clear voices without disturbing background noises. If necessary, dub your dialogs in the soundbooth in post production. Use SFX, from Foley, to stings, to light sabers, don’t try to capture these sounds on-stage. Add them in post using sound files to keep full control over your sound.
Tip #3 – Mix Up Your Angles
Videography is art. Be creative with your angles. Don’t shoot your whole film from the same angle let your choice of angle be guided by the story and the background of your scene. Make sure to always disconnect your subject from your background for a pleasing cinematic effect. You should only place your actors close and flat agains a wall when it serves the story.
Tip #4 – Shoot Stabilized
Nothing ruins the mood of the viewer more than shaky footage. Unless it’s deliberate and needed for the story, you should always look for ways to stabilize your camera. Most camera’s now come with internal stabilization in the body or lens. But you’d be smart to invest in hardware stabilizers like a Zhiyun or DJI Ronin. Of course, you can use sliders, shoulder rigs, tables, or the good old tripod for your static shots.
Tip #5 – Work from a shooting plan, a Script and/or Storyboard
This is an especially important tip when you work with a crew. Sending them scripts, plans, and storyboards will make sure that everyone’s synch’d on what needs to be done, when, and by whom. It will save you lots of time and headaches on set. Have a detailed plan of locations, shooting times, involved crew members, props and gear, and a day-by-day schedule.
Following these 5 tips will improve your video five-fold. Creating better video is a lifelong pursuit. Enjoy it and keep on learning!