You’ve probably filmed, or at least seen, a home movie or two. Hollywood it ain’t! Shooting hours of boring, shaky footage with muffled sounds is not how you win an Oscar. There’s only one Spielberg, but using a few simple tricks from Simon Monahan, Product Marketing Manager at Serif, you can make great home movies that will be watched time and time again.
There will always be moments where you want to spontaneously start filming, but for the planned times like parties, weddings, holidays etc., you should do a little preparation. Set up your tripod (you can buy one quite cheaply from any camera store) so it’s ready for shots that have to be steady. That way, you only need to clip on the camera and you’re ready to go. And always make sure your extra batteries are charged and within reach. You certainly do not want to run out of power at a crucial moment!
Just start shooting
You might be wondering when a good time to begin filming is. The answer is start as early as possible. Filming before an event even starts gives you a great opportunity to test equipment and make sure your camera’s settings are right for the conditions. You might even capture some great behind-the-scenes footage. The best action often happens when you least expect it!
Take shots from different angles and locations
Some people tend to set up their camera in a corner and stay there but this limits what you can film. Without a camera, you wouldn’t think twice about moving around to get a different view of the action – do the same when you are filming. It will add depth and dynamics to your movie. But try to avoid shooting with the sun, or another bright light source, directly in front of you to avoid silhouettes.
Hold shots for a while
When you are filming, it’s a great idea to hold a shot for a bit longer than you think you should, just to make sure you definitely have enough footage for the finished video. It’s also a good idea to zoom in a bit when capturing details; not so much as to take up the whole shot, but close enough so anyone can clearly see what’s going on. Zooming in and out should be done sparingly, and keep it slow and steady.
Edit your footage
When you’ve finished filming, edit your footage with good video editing software (available online and at all good software retail outlets). You might need to remove the start because you left the lens cap on, or the three minutes where you accidentally filmed the floor, or maybe add an appropriate song over the slow-motion replay of Uncle Leo falling over!
Free video editing software has its uses, but with professional-quality software, optimised for HD video, you can be sure that you will have the tools and features you need to add special effects and transitions, reduce noise and camera shake and enhance the picture quality,. Most will even burn your movie to DVD or Blu-ray Discs with the option to add interactive menus.
Whatever you are filming – you can apply these tips to almost any home movie situation. They will make it easier for viewers to see and hear what is actually happening and result in a more enjoyable viewing experience that won’t send viewers to sleep!
For more information on Serif and its video editing software MoviePlus X5, visit www.serif.com
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