The online module due date is looming in the near future, and I have begun shooting some of my lectures to post in my course. I feel comfortable using Canvas as a learning management system and have no problem with content, but I am stepping into realms unknown with video production. Due to my video inadequacies, I sought the advice of John Potter, the Senior Vice President of Professional Development for the Radio Advertising Bureau. Potter has been working with the RAB for more than a decade and has in large part been responsible for their training videos and materials. I asked him to provide a set of basic tips for the beginner videographer. Here they are…
- Use a tripod. Stabilization for the camera is key. Never try to handhold the camera.
- Record audio using an off camera microphone. Most cameras have an auxiliary audio input; use it. Audio quality is more important than video quality.
- Use visual cues or hand signals for scene cuts and retakes, so you can scrub to the appropriate edit and then make your edit.
- Always record in the highest quality the camera has to offer (preferably 1080P). You can always reduce quality when you render for reduction in file size, and you will have the opportunity to zoom in without losing resolution.
- Be sure to fully light your shot. On the cheap, you can use shop lights. Position two lights, one on either side of the talents with one a bit closer to create very light shadows.
- Manually focus the camera; otherwise, it may hunt for the focus causing it to go in and out of focus. In addition, set the aperture manually to reduce lighting fluctuation in a shot.
- The Hollywood standard is to have change in the scene every 3 seconds. Although this may not be feasible for an online course, it is important to include changes or motion as regularly as possible to keep attention. This may be as minor as a camera pan or a new bullet point appearing onscreen.
- Recommended video editing software for people on a tight budget would include Sony Movie Maker or Adobe Premier Elements. Free software recommendations would be Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMovie for Mac Users. Another mid-level Mac program for editing would be Final Cut. (Audacity would be Potter’s recommendation for free audio editing software)
With these eight tips, it should be possible to create a video that appears to be high quality for the budget conscious student, and I can remove that question mark after action.