Everything you need to know to start creating videos
Mobile phones are incredibly powerful tools for filmmakers and content creators. They allow anyone with the motivation to create beautiful and meaningful videos without the barrier of expensive equipment.
This post will outline everything a beginner filmmaker needs to know to create quality content. We will discuss what to do and what not to do, sharing some insider tips and some traps for young players.
Components of Filmmaking
For starters, nailing your lighting, audio and video stabilisation are key to your production quality.
Good lighting can have a huge impact on the quality of your video image. It enables beautiful shots and dictates the mood of the video. It works the other way as well. Poor lighting can often cheapen the quality of what would otherwise be a great shot. Well-lit subjects shot with an average camera will produce a better picture than poorly-lit subjects shot with a high-quality camera. Lighting is an important aspect to get right.
When audio quality is good, nobody notices. However when it is bad it is painfully obvious. Neglecting audio is a common mistake among beginner filmmakers. Viewers find it far easier to tolerate poor video quality than they do poor audio. When the sound is quiet or there is feedback it is quite irritating and they will tune out very quickly.
Using a tripod or another means of stabilisation is the easiest way to increase your production quality considerably. Shaky and handheld video has its place but it has to be controlled and deliberate to be interesting. Otherwise it just cheapens the quality of your video.
There are lots of actions one can take to ensure that a shoot goes smoothly and the most is made of the time available.
Planning or pre-production is closely aligned with the success of a video project. The more planning that is done, the better the video will turn out. Some important things to consider in pre-production include:
- Writing the narration
- Planning the shots
- Outlining a vision for the editing
- Planning the shoot
- Scouting the location
Managing video files is an important skill to get a grip of early on. Building good habits around saving and organising files will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Losing files or having some deleted because there was not a proper system in place is a hard way to learn this lesson.
Keep it simple. When your starting off it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to do too many things at once. Having a clear narrative or objective for your video project will save you a lot of time and energy ensuring you don’t get caught up pursuing aspects or ideas which are not relevant to your focus.
In a similar strain, keep your video short and concise. Scrutinise your work. Ensure that every scene and every shot serves to achieve the narrative or objective you outlined in pre-production. Of course different projects will have different lengths depending on their focus, but as a general rule of thumb you want to base the length of your video on its ability to keep the audience’s attention.
Utilising a variety of shots is a great way to keep your audience engaged. Including a mix of long shots, medium shots and close ups will keep your video exciting.
After you have completed shooting it is time for editing or post-production. Another one of the great things about your mobile device is that all the editing can all be done on the device in an app such as iMovie. At this point you can add background music and voice over/ narration. Ensure that the flow and pace of your editing aligns with the focus you outlined in pre-production.
At the heart of every good video regardless of genre, is a good story. As long as you are telling a good story, you will never go too wrong.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get into contact with us on either Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you and are happy to answer any of your questions.
Activate Entertainment is a learning center in Brisbane that teaches creativity and digital technology through educational experiences with a focus on filmmaking with devices. We believe that visual storytelling through digital technology offers endless possibilities for creating content. We offer inexpensive and DIY filmmaking solutions for in schools, small business and large organisations.