The pandemic has changed the way we live our lives entirely. With multiple restrictions on travel and movement, it is important to learn how to shoot videos with the limited space and hardware available to us.
A good film is not one which has the best camera technology or the best visual effects but the one with the best story, acting and settings. Thus by understanding various factors such as lighting, camera angles and editing, one can make a video which is engaging without spending a fortune on hardware and software.
The following list will help you understand the requisites to shoot a great video at home while factoring the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
1. Choose The Correct Lighting For The Video
Lighting is one of the few cues our brains assess immediately to understand the mood of a video or a scene. Thus, while shooting something, it is crucial to use lighting to your advantage.
Mostly when shooting a video on any device, it is suggested to shoot in plenty of light since this influences the picture quality and focus of the camera.
It is always advisable to shoot a video in natural light as it gives the video warm and uniform lighting. That being said, you should try to shoot during morning or evening when the sun is not directly above you as downlighting is not desirable.
Similarly for shooting indoors, make sure the light source comes from the sides so as to give it uniform lighting instead of directly from above where the subject’s facial features come off as too bold.
2. Use Of A Clean And Uniform Background
Backgrounds are one of the essential things which set apart an amateur effort from a professionally made video. Backgrounds help to emphasize the subject who is in the foreground.
Clean, bold and contrasting backgrounds are mostly a great fit when shooting videos for professional purposes. You can use the walls of your house, use plain bed sheets or curtains as backgrounds.
Lastly, it is essential for the subject to maintain a slight distance from the background, especially with lighter shaded colours to avoid the formation of shadows on the wall spoiling the uniformity of the video.
3. Know How To Use Your Device
It is not necessary to have an expensive DSLR camera to shoot a professional-looking video. With the current video recording technology available on phones and laptops, it has made shooting videos at home effortless.
It is thus more important to use your devices to the best of their potential to suit your purpose. You can conduct online webcam tests to check the quality of your laptop webcam and use software to improve stability and quality.
Along with various inbuilt modes and software, there are a plethora of apps which help you shoot professional-looking videos on your smartphone.
It is thus a combination of understanding your hardware and choosing the right software which will help you to achieve your desired result.
4. Focus On Crisp And Clear Audio
Having clear and crisp audio is equally, if not more important than an HD video quality in making a professional-looking video. Thus buying a better camera can come second to buying a good microphone.
If you’re on a tight budget or unable to buy a microphone, you can always use an audio recording software or choose an editing software which has audio editing inbuilt. It is advised that the sound recording device should always be placed close to the subject to maintain uniform and clear audio quality.
Thus one of the cheapest ways to improve your video is ironically by investing in audio recording and editing software and hardware.
5. Post-Production And Editing Software
Editing is just as significant as recording; that’s where the magic happens! But the problem with editing software is knowing which ones are best suited for your purpose.
It is advisable to invest in a subscription of editing software which contains features that will help cover up the shortcomings of your hardware.
Editing software come with features such as video stabilization which is essential if you don’t have a tripod while shooting on a phone. They also have editing tools to help with focus, picture quality and lighting, which help when shooting with comparatively less at your disposal.
One of the most important features that you should look for in editing software is an audio editing feature. This not only saves you money on investing in audio recording hardware and software separately but also makes editing video and audio seamless.
6. Understanding Camera Angles
Camera angles are just as important as any other factor while shooting a video, depending on if you’re engaged in video selling (sales) or making videos for other professional or personal reasons, it’s important to understand correct camera angles for your video.
Holding a camera is not only exhausting but also results in shaky footage, this is why investing in a tripod to hold your mobile or camera is also essential especially if you are shooting videos in static positions.
Thus depending on the mood and purpose of the video, single or multiple camera angles must be explored to see which suit your requirements best.
7. Plan And Test Your Video In Advance
Most films have an extensive process before shooting which involves script writing, set building, shot selection and casting. Similarly, while making a video at home, you have a lot of processes which need to be done before the film can be shot.
Having a script or the video idea written down can help avoid deviation during the shoot.
Also, acquiring the right software, hardware, setting up the lighting, taking test shots and making adjustments should all be done in advance so that the shooting process goes by smoothly.
Film making and editing is an art. It takes many years to be comfortable and really get exactly what you envisioned for the video. That being said, there are always tricks and tips which can help you get over that learning curve faster, and it’s always important to experiment and find settings which are suitable for you.