Videography involves capturing images electronically with the intent of storytelling. Videography is similar to story writing the only difference is that instead of words, imagery is used to tell the story. There are four basic steps to videography that every beginner must bear in mind. These are
i. develop a story
ii. translate the story into the language of moving images
iii. Record with a camera
iv. Edit to give the final shape.
With social media taking over our lives, short videos have become an effective medium of expression for people. Creating a professional quality video does not involve expensive equipment but you do need to focus on details and practice. The following videography tips will help you in creating interesting high-quality videos.
Create a strong Narrative
First and foremost, you have to choose a topic and then plan what type of video would you like to make. For instance, the length of the video, location, time, and background music or narration must all be planned. You can choose any of the following types of video namely
- Screen recording
- Live action
- Motion graphics
Your choice of the video must align with your topic and the style of your video; casual or formal. After choosing the topic, you must do some research on it to make sure your video tells a well-scripted and interesting story. All stories have a narrative namely a casual beginning, a climax that builds up in the middle, and an end. The narrative must be interesting enough to engage the viewers’ attention and compel them to watch till the end. To have a strong narrative, you must first do some research. Research helps you to get to know your subject better and plan your video better. You must know what you are talking about and what you want your viewers to know.
Research also involves getting to know your audience. Connecting with the audience is the basics of videography. Engaging the audience and making them take action must be the goal of your video. You must identify your target audience because no matter how well-scripted your video is, it is useless if it does not reach the right people. You must also determine how to convey the information to them in the most effective manner.
Choose Your background good background enhances the quality of the video. Your background can be real or you can create it but it must align with the video’s topic. If you are filming indoors then use a solid color background. Also, make sure the interior is tastefully decorated but not cluttered. Moreover, if you are appearing before the camera yourself then make sure to practice to become comfortable. You can spoil your video if you appear nervous or fidgety. Practicing before a mirror will help you with facial expressions and hand gestures.
Choose you Camera
Choosing the right camera is one of the basic requirements of videography. You do not need to purchase an expensive camera for a high-quality video. Your mobile phone is not only for communication but is also a great creative tool for quality casual video. Android and iPhone owners have exceptional cameras and can make beautiful videos. An important videography basic tip is to film in landscape mode or other words, film horizontally. Horizontal angle gives the best results for videos as the camera sensors are oriented horizontally. Landscape mode not only allows you to cover more but also enables you to shoot aesthetically pleasing videos. Horizontal orientation is especially necessary if the video is to be viewed on a TV or a movie screen. It is highly recommended to use a tripod to get stable images; to capture moving shots, use a dolly or a gimbal.
Opt for a DSLR or a mirrorless camera if you want to make a professional quality video. Although these cameras are expensive they give more control over the quality of videos. Another plus points of professional cameras are superior color technology. More desirable features include in-built image stabilization as well as the ability to swap lenses.
If you shoot video in low light, your viewers will not be able to understand what you are trying to show. Many newcomers make the mistake of facing the light source when holding their smartphones. Another mistake is to hold the camera behind the people being filmed. Both mistakes lead to dark and unclear footage. One of the videography basics tips for a well-lit video is to ensure that the light source is behind you. At this angle, light reflects on the objects or people behind you and you shoot a great video.
Framing and Composition
Framing refers to the positioning and placement of the subject in your shots. If you want to create an intense feeling or emotion, push toward the subject. It will make your subject appear intense and stronger. If, however, you want to show the background then you must pull away from the subject. This will result in the surroundings and the background becoming more visible. Framing tells you where to place the subject of your video. You can follow the Golden Ratio and the Rule of Thirds theories which divide the screen into sections to form a grid. Or you can simply consider where the subject should be, the middle or side of the frame.
Placement in the middle means giving more prominence to the subject. In this placement, the attention of the viewers is on the subject only and the surroundings become insignificant. When the subject is on the side, the viewers can see other things in the frame as well.
Another tip for videography basics is clear and crisp audio. Clear audio is an important factor for a quality video as it keeps viewers engaged. To avoid indistinct audio, you must invest in a good-quality microphone. This investment is especially necessary if your video requires recording audio.
A final aspect of videography basics is editing and the following tip will help you in crisp editing. The footage you have obtained so far is raw and to transform it into a spectacular video you need editing software. You have already visualized a finished format of your video and you just need to edit it to get the final shape. There are several editing software presented but for a beginner, I would suggest simple software. After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Da Vinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer, and Adobe Premier Pro are some video editing software popular among beginners. Using any of this software you can crop and trim your video. They also enable you to switch between different clips and add filters and overlays. You can also add graphics and texts with video editing software. Colour correction, changing background color and tilt, pan and zoom are other features of editing software.
If you are compiling video clips for social media then go for the free video editing app. This app is more suitable for shorter clips.
To sum up, all you need for your very first good-quality video is good planning, the right camera, and location. Adequate light, correct framing, and composition, and a good editing software will result in an amazing video.