Love is patient, love is kind."
1 Corinthians 13:4

SEO Tips

Pre-Production | Video Recording | Editing


How to Make a Video
(Quality First)

Video Recording: next: Video Editing

1. Two or more video cameras will help keep the final edit alive.

2. Indoor sets must be much brighter than normal everyday lighting. Video lights, table lamps, and reflectors (bounce) are always good.

3-point Lighting Images Sony Video Camera Images Three-point lighting should always be a priority. This is one bright (Key) light shining on the front to the side of subject. Then two dimmer lights for Fill (to remove dark shadows on the other front side) and Backlight. Key and Backlight should be above talent's head. Fill can be above or below, using a reflector (bounce) or another light. The focus here should be minimum bad darkness and no extra brightness on subjects.

When outdoors, the sun is best used as the Key light. Using shade from trees will reduce harsh sunlight when recording outside under a clear blue-sky.

Displaying the camcorder's zebra pattern is helpful. What must be done after the pattern shows up on the LCD screen? The bright lights need to be turned down until zebra patterns are gone.

Some cams come with an ND Filter. Using this is a must. The cam can reduce brightness recorded, within its unit. The cam could be recommending the proper ND setting in the LCD screen. In this case the user needs to make the call and manually set the ND Filter to the recommended setting.

It is possible to add brightness during video editing, but doing so likely adds white graininess to the picture.

3. Professionals prefer to white balance manually, using a white flat object (cardboard or paper), because true colors are more accurate than automatic mode. When the lighting or camera angle changes, white balance needs to be redone because the coloring temperature has changed.

The automatic white balance setting on video cameras should always record quality coloring. Some cams have "Indoor" and "Outdoor" auto settings. Even though these are "automatic" settings they still need manual adjustment to the correct (matching) auto setting, when the setting changes.

4. Manual-focus (not auto) is a must when shooting stationary subjects. Knowing this comes from experience in getting blurry shots using auto-focus.

Using manual focus: The cam operator can zoom in on subject's eyes, focus, then zoom out to the desired framing. The focus will stay at this set distance from the camera. This is how professional video camera operators prepare for shots. After doing this, when the subject moves closer or farther, the focus must be manually adjusted. Doing this without zooming in again on the eyes requires some guesswork on how much to hand-turn the focus ring. Good cam operators will prepare for all movements of subjects.

Auto focus is good at times when changing the focus manually will be too difficult. Rule of 3rds

5. Rule of Thirds: Using the cam's guideframe, the subject's eyes should be 1 ⁄ 3 from top of frame for viewer friendliness.

6. When the subject's nose is pointing to the camera, the subject should be center screen. When the subject is turned from the camera, the space in front of the subject, on screen, must be more than behind them.

7. The use of in and out zooms works for high quality productions. However, standard business videos could cause viewer nausea, when pushing-in and pulling-back the lens.

8. For handheld (shaky) shots, the image stabilization (Steadyshot) feature should be enabled (turned on). Some cams have low, medium and high Steadyshot settings.

When the camera is stationary, the image stabilization feature should be disabled (turned off), to allow for natural image recording.

9. Quality Sound: Microphones must be placed as close to the talent as possible. They should be set along the imaginary line of the subject's voice projection.

Sometimes the camcorder makes undesirable noises on its own. Using a lavaliere (small mike clipped to shirt) or hand-held will solve this issue.

10. Background Check: Nothing in background that keeps attention of viewers off subject. Example: No pot plants appearing to sprout out of people's heads.

Moving the video camera further from the subjects and zooming in to original shot will reduce background width seen on screen.

11. Keeping the camera's CCD chip safe: Video cam cannot be pointed at really bright lights. The camera should be turned on before taking off the lens cap. If you take the cap off then switch it on - light could stream-in and cause a damaged chip.

12. Shots helpful when editing: Close ups, buildings, reactions from other people, and anything that comes to mind.

Quality silent recordings in the middle of shots can be copied and pasted on the editing timeline to get rid of bad sounds. This will keep the ambient noise continuous.

13. I have found that the best quality for video images occur when avoiding editing zooming (cropping) and plug-ins. In other words, only using the shots exactly how they were recorded. This is why it is important to record using proper lighting and eye position (framing). I am 100% sure this is the case for my medium budget video making.

Editing plug-ins and cropping that look good on one new TV, likely, will show lower image quality on older sets.

14.Checklist between shots:

1) Proper lighting using Zebra pattern |
2) ND Filter (for cams that have this) |
3) White balance |
4) Steadyshot |
5) Manual or auto focus |
6) Quality sound |
7) Who, what, when or where? |
8) Reactions from people |

< Previous (Pre-Production)  Recording  Next > (Video Editing)

back to top | thySEO | Site Map

No Nukes


Camera operators are not supposed to appear in video. |

Camera operators should not make any small sounds. Being quiet behind the camera is important. |

Both eyes should be kept open to see what's going on in the viewfinder and around you. |

When recording, three seconds should be added to beginning and end of shots for editing fade-in and outs. |

Shots that have a subject physically moving something for a good reason are good. |

The bottom of the cam's frame should be kept even (parallel) with the horizon (flat surface) of the earth. |

Knowing how to white balance is found in the cam's manual. |

On camcorder LCD screens: A pencil's eraser can be used for touch (spot) focus. |

Camcorder should be kept clean (covered).


"The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14

"Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalms 46:10

Photo Accessories