Posts Tagged ‘edit’

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visit us on the web at:  www.adr-productions.com

Shooting and editing video is easy, right? After all, everyone is doing it, plans on doing it, or wants to do it. So what’s the problem? Why are there so many poor videos out there? YouTube, GoogleVideo, Liveleak, and other websites have loads of them. You’ll find them on DVDs, and even on some television broadcasts. Why is this happening?

Because basic rules of editing are often violated or ignored altogether. True, art has no “rules” yet there are some basic practices to which viewers have become accustomed and even expect.

Following these small tips will help you to make better DVD’s and web video. You’ll note that the first few tips are related to camera work and not the computer/editing aspect of the project.  Great video begins before you get it into your computer.  Great editing is much easier with good camera work.

Shoot for the edit
When you’re shooting your video, be peripherally aware of how you’ll be editing the story. This can be difficult with family/vacation videos etc, but shooting with some idea of how you want to tell the story will help. For example, you might consider starting each shot by tilting down from the sky, and finishing each shot tilting up towards the sky. Perhaps there is an element in the shot to the left or right that could be panned to/from at the beginning of each shot, or perhaps even the panning itself can be incorporated as part of a transitional element.

This technique like any other, may be over used if there are several scenes to be cut, so think about how many scenes you may be shooting. If it’s a lengthy vacation video, you won’t want to be panning to the sky every couple of minutes for half an hour. Also for family/vacation type footage, be aware of changing the camera position or angle.  Move yourself around every minute or two. Go from a wide angle to a tighter shot. This will provide more flexibility when editing.

Give Yourself Some TIME
One error many shooters make improperly is to begin shooting when they press the “Record” button. Do your best to get at least five seconds of pre-roll and five seconds of post roll. Not only will this provide some “head/tails” for the editing process, but it also might mean you catch some blooper or other fun content. Also, it gives your tape time to wind around the head so you’re not clipping off part of the action. If you’re in one of those “WHERE IS MY PICTURE/CAMERA???” (WIMP) situations, start the camera rolling before you remove the lens cap or start pointing the camera. Just get it rolling and worry about everything else later.

Get Stable
Nothing is more difficult to watch or edit as jerky, zoomy footage. Nothing screams “AMATEUR” more loudly than jerky or zoomy footage. Use the zoom quickly or not at all when the camera is recording. Try to avoid holding the camera at eye level; this is where the small LCD monitor panels are very useful, but be aware that using the LCD monitor also means faster battery drainage. Try to hold the camera steady at chest level, digging elbows into your sides, forming a crude tripod with hands on camera and elbows against the body. Monopods or tripods make shooting with stability easier, but also makes for a less portable shooting solution when shooting those quick moments.

When you do pan or zoom, be sure to hold on the subject for at least a few seconds. For example, if you are zooming in or panning on a tree to show a bird’s nest in the tree, make sure you hold on the nest before panning/zooming away.

Now Hear This
Audio is usually forgotten in the heat of the moment, and in those “WIMP?!” moments, that’s OK. But in situations where you’re calling the shot, audio is much more important than the picture. Viewers can forgive and even not notice poor framing, exposure, or even focus if the audio is good. Audiences “see” differently when good audio is present, and by the same rule, see differently when audio is poor. If it’s a challenge to hear what’s taking place, the senses attempt to process the audio as best as possible. We’re predominantly aural animals, so do what you can to have great audio. That might mean a better microphone on your camera or subject, or even going as far as acquiring an inexpensive wireless to allow for roving camera while keeping audio sources in one location.

If you’re doing an interview, prior to hitting the Record button you might want to ask your subject to speak up, particularly if you’re using an on-camera mic. If your voice will be heard on the recording too, consider speaking less loudly than you might normally speak, because you’re closer to the camera than your subject is. Use good judgment when choosing music. Your favorite Nickelback tune probably won’t work well with that cut of your son or daughter hitting a home run.

Take Two
When possible, shoot the same scene twice from two different angles or focal lengths. Shoot wide and then get in close, taking one high shot and then one low shot, or whatever other creative angles you might find. Get some “B-roll,” shots you can cut away to/from. For instance, you might shoot the winning field goal at the end of the game with a wide angle, but don’t be afraid of asking someone to kick the ball into the net again after the game, or better yet, shoot medium or close shots from time to time during the game. These can be used to prolong the moment, or provide more information.

Name That Tape
Label tapes. Label them by date, order, or Ovaltine Secret Code, but label those tapes. And when you capture those tapes, use the name of the tape as part of the capture folder. If you’re not using tape, such as with the newer AVCHD camcorders, then label a file folder with a unique name prior to transfer. You might even consider putting a text file in the folder describing the contents, as this will help you in the sorting of tapes. Some NLE’s such as Sony Vegas (professional version) offer searchable media managers that will help locate a specific file when you need to find it quickly. At the end of the day, if the file isn’t labeled, it doesn’t exist in the digital sense. Computers are for making life easier; help the computer do its job by labeling that information.

Picture This
Use graphics, title cards, or still photos to illustrate a shot or to cover a difficult edit point. Title cards or graphics can also be used to stretch a scene where the camera might not have been pointed at the subject just yet, or was turned away too quickly. They also come in handy during a focus or exposure shift due to auto settings on the camera. Cutting to a graphic or title card also provides a way to literally tell the audience what they’re going to see, are seeing, or have just seen if the video wasn’t completely compelling. “Will Johnny make the goal?” or “What Happens Next?” are two examples of title cards. These worked for years in the era of silent film, and can still be used to good advantage.

Edit for the Story
If you’re telling a story, cut out everything that isn’t related to the story. I recommend considering the audio first, so that the audio has a good rhythm and flow, and the picture will generally follow as a result. If the picture doesn’t follow, then B-roll, graphics, or title cards can be used to help carry the story along as long as the audio is in good rhythm. B-roll and graphics are good for transitional elements as well.

Speaking of Transitions
Every video editing package comes with at least a hundred transitions. That doesn’t mean each one needs to be used. In fact, 95% of them shouldn’t be used. Fly-away cubes, bouncing balls, shatters, etc should all be relegated to the deep dark corners where only the dust kitties play. There are instances where they may be considered tasteful, however rare they may be. Wipes and dissolves are very common for a reason; they’re not incredibly noticeable, and more importantly, they’re expected. Long dissolves are great for showing passage of time, flash transitions can be used to grab attention or create a transition to a flashback, wipes are great for going from location to location or from one distinct scene to another.

Hustle n’ Flow
Just like great music has a rhythm you can dance to, good video editing has a rhythm that can be sensed by the audience. Learning to edit to a rhythm isn’t hard to learn, but it can be difficult to learn to do it well. Cutting to musical beats is a good way to get started. Tools like Ultimate S or StillMotion for Sony Vegas can also help in this learning curve.

At the end of the day, editing is a series of cuts that remove parts of the story that don’t pertain to the clean, clear presentation of the story. Editing involves creating elements that help move the story along, whether they’re transitional, informational, directional, or clarifiers. Audio elements are cut so the story moves along and is clear and comprehensible.  Just as you would cut out “uh, um, oh by the way. . . ” from your audio, think of the video cuts as being the removal of the video equivalent of “uh, um, oh by the way. . . ” Cut  shaky footage, focus changes, just plain boring bit and any other shots that take away from your film.

Finally, practice. Like anything else worth doing, it takes practice to be a good editor, learning the rhythm and flow of a good video production that compels the audience to watch through to the end.  With this in mind, go shoot AND edit some great video!

As always, ADR Productions will work with you on any project you feel is beyond your production skills.

 

Visit our website at:  www.adr-productions.com

Professionals will often prefer to purchase a 3 CCD video camera, as these offer many benefits over other models. Consumer video cameras are perfect for documenting family memories. However, they are not suited for professional productions. There are many reasons why professionals will prefer 3 CCD cameras over consumer level camcorders.

What Is a CCD?

Almost all digital cameras on the market use CCDs. These are special electronic chips that convert the light entering the lens into electrical signals, which can then be stored. These chips are essential for all digital cameras to function correctly. A 3CCD video camera has three separate CCD sensors. Each of these collects Red, Blue and Green light separately.

Superior Quality

The quality of videos made with 3 CCD video cameras is superior to videos made with consumer level camcorders. Because different colors are collected on separate sensors, they can then be recombined to produce a very high quality and high resolution photograph.

Even camcorders with a higher resolution will normally produce poorer quality images than a 3CCD camera. This is because they need to use interpolation algorithms which reduce the actual resolution of the image.

More Advanced

A normal consumer level camcorder will feature a single CCD. This CCD will capture all of the colors of light entering the lens. By using a 3CCD model, it’s possible to take a step into the world of professional film making. There have been quite a few professional films which have been captured on these professional 3CCD camcorders.

Many of these video cameras have interchangeable lenses. This is very different to a consumer level camcorder which has a single fixed lens that cannot be removed. The ability to change lenses makes it much easier to shoot in a variety of different conditions.

Reliability

While these cameras are more complicated, they are much more reliable. Professionals will be aware that these are built to high specifications, which will ensure that they won’t let you down. These camcorders can cope with being used every day without any trouble. These are also much more rugged than a typical consumer camcorder, and this means that they do not need to be handled with kid gloves.

Flexibility

A consumer level video camera will shoot high quality video in most, but not all, situations. A 3CCD sensor is much more flexible as it allows you to shoot in a wide range of different lighting conditions. The three separate CCDs in the camera will ensure that the images are clearer and sharper, even when shooting in poor light conditions.

Choosing a 3CCD Video Camera

When looking for 3CCD video cameras, you will need to look at a few different names. These cameras are also sold as 3MOS and 3 chip cameras. It’s a good idea to stick to a well known brand name for these cameras, as this will ensure that you choose a high quality and high resolution camcorder.

Not all 3CCD video cameras are created equal. It’s a good idea to test the camera out before buying it as this will give you the chance to check how everything works.

Visit our website at www.adr-productions.com

At ADR Productions, we want to wish everyone a joyful and safe New Year 2011!

2011 marks another year where we hope to make new friends and visit with old friends.  We have some new and exciting ideas to bring you throughout 2011 which we hope you will enjoy.

As always, your suggestions and referrals are always appreciated!

We See Us in Our Customers!™

Sincerely,
Scott Shirley – Owner

Visit us on the web at www.adrproductions.com

It’s a good feeling when you can look back on a year and have it bring a smile to your face.  2010 was one of those years!

In 2010 we had the return of some old friends and the addition of some new friends.

We started the year off with the conclusion of the Stixrud project which started in September 2009.  Dr. Stixrud is a professor of neuropsychology who who specializes in the evaluation of children, adolescents, and adults with learning, attention, and/or social/emotional difficulties.  He partnered with us to film a twelve session training course  with the goal of creating an online course for his customers.  I found myself absolutely amazed at the information I gathered about the effects of TV on young children during the filming of this project.

Spring of 2010 saw the return of Elan DanceSport Center and their ProAm showcase.  We also welcomed a new customer to ADR Productions in the ballroom dance genre, Dance Factory!  The Dance Factory gave us a trial run on their Spring ProAm dance showcase and expressed the complete satisfaction with the finished product.

Summer of 2010 brought the addition of the semi-pro football team, Virginia Lions, to the ADR Productions family.  The Lions are part of the AFL and have committed to making ADR Productions their official video production company in 2011.

Fall of 2010 again saw the return of Elan DanceSport Center and The Dance Factory for their Fall ProAm showcase performances.  These really are must see events if you get a chance when they return in the Spring of 2011.

2010 also saw several other new clients such as ARMI Live and Urban Fat Chords, The Producers Choice music software.

We continue to run into old friends in the industry and make new ones.  I would like to welcome TimeLine Media to our circle of friends in the production arena.  We have had the great pleasure of working beside Rassi Borneo and his wife Bryony.  If you are looking for a professional photography company, Timeline Media should be your first choice.

At ADR Productions, we just want to say thanks to all of our new and old friends who have helped to make 2010 a very special year. We will see you in 2011!

Join us on Facebook at ADR Productions’ Facebook page!

Thanks,

Scott Shirley

ADR Productions

Visit us at:  www.adr-productions.com

ADR Productions is one of the premier production companies in the Washington, DC area.

They are located in Rockville, Maryland and operated by Scott Shirley.   They are most recognized for their work on the “Behind the Scenes of Extreme Makeover Home Edition” documentary featuring the build for a family of fifteen people in the Poolesville, MD area.

In 2004, ADR Productions produced a concert video for the popular rock band “Live”.

In 2009, ADR Productions teamed up with RaySat Broadcasting to produce several training videos featuring their T7 Mobile Satellite System with the AT&T CruiseCast Service.

Fall 2009 brings more exciting projects to ADR Productions with the return of Elan DanceSport Center’s “Dance Showcase” production featuring professional and armature dancers from around the Washington Metropolitan area. They have also contracted this fall with William Stixrud, PH.D., & Associates to produce and online course study video in neuropsychological education.

ADR Productions has been donating services every fall since 2004 to one Maryland high school to produce their football season highlights. This year they will be filming for the mighty Northwest Jaguars in Germantown, MD.

In 2009, ADR Productions added photography services with the addition of Giovanni Pizzino who is one of the area’s top photographers.

ADR Productions works in all areas from business video production to family video production. They have three departments of practice:

  1. Video Production
  2. Independent Media Production
  3. Entertainment Production