Setting The Scene
• Get your director, film crew and key actors together before shooting to discuss what shots you’re wanting and the look/mood of the shoot. Take into consideration elements such as the weather, location, back up location, costume, props, movement etc.
• Storyboard out the entire video to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Start a new box on the storyboard every time there is a change in camera shot (extreme close-up, close-up, long shot, mid shot) and when you change location.
• This pre planning and organisation will make everything run smoothly and efficiently on the day of filming.
• Think about key scenes and the mood you want the audience to feel, and how you can convey this through lighting.
• Natural light is harder to change so you need to adjust your camera settings to capture this well.
• Artificial light is easier to manipulate through different lighting sources, coloured bulbs and shadows.
• Artificial lighting can be warm and welcoming (soft light, candles, fireplace) or harsh and striking (industrial lighting, neon, torches, spotlights). You can purchase affordable lighting sources from stores such as The Warehouse, Look Sharp, Bunnings Warehouse, Kmart etc.
• Important things to look out for are frame rate, ISO, aperture and shutter speed. The auto settings on your camera do most of this for you!
Always use a tripod unless you want the handheld effect for a specific reason.
• If you don’t have a tripod, look around you and put together a makeshift tripod. This could be a camera sitting on top of a shelf, a bar stool or ladder. Make sure the camera is secure.
• Try using coloured or crumpled cellophane in front of the camera lens to add a different mood to a particular scene.
• Record sound separately and add it in during the editing process.
• If you’d like to add in any narration, the voice memo app on mobile phones is great for capturing high quality sound.
• Soundtrack is also added during the editing process. (Feel free to have your soundtrack on a speaker as you film, this can be muted in the editing process and the soundtrack added over the top - magic!)
• By adding in soundtrack/effects during the editing process, you are eliminating background noise such as wind, a plane flying overhead or a car driving past. Recommended audio levels: Overall Mix Level: -10db to -14db Dialogue: -12db to -15db Music: -18db to -22db Sound Effects: -10db to -20db with occasional spikes up to -8db.
• YouTube is your friend! If you’re unsure how to do something, search a YouTube tutorial and it’ll take you step by step through the process.
• Being able to time the camera shots with heavy beats or drops in the soundtrack can look great, give this a go!
• iMovie is a great free software for Apple computers to edit your video. Another option that comes at a small price (or free trial) is Premiere Pro. Ask around your friends and family, it is very likely that someone will have access to these!
Check out the these videos for more tips and tricks from Taylor:
By Taylor Mansfield