Ten Ways to Improve Your Video Skills

1. Keep your shots steady. Use whatever is around you as a tripod.

2. Framing. For the Web, remember the video player is often quite small. Get closer. Think rule of thirds. Keep your composition clean.

3. Avoid pans or zooms. If you use, them use them sparingly.

4. Ask questions that require a sentence to answer. Avoid yes/no questions or two-part questions. Ask questions that evoke feelings, emotions and opinions, not facts.

5. Make sure you are getting good sound. Get close to your subject when she is talking. Be aware of background noise that might drown out your audio.

6. Make sure you have an opening and closing shot.  Plan ahead and make sure you have a beginning and end to your story.

7. Shoot in sequences to get the building blocks of your story.
(Watch the BBC’s five-shot training video)  And try it yourself:

  • Close-up on hands
  • Close-up on face
  • Wide shot
  • Over the shoulder shot
  • Shot of your choosing (low, high, etc)

8. Gather a variety of shots. See Shot Types Hold each shot for a minimum of 10-15 seconds.

9. Get more b-roll than you think you will need.

10. Avoid jump cuts. When editing, don’t put together sequences that make your subject jump from one location to another. For example, Jump Cuts!

Helpful Resources for Editing:

Prism Video Converter (if you need to get your files in the proper format for editing)

iMovie Tutorials:
iMovie09 (Apple)
iMovie08 (Apple)

Windows Movie Maker Tutorial (from Mindy McAdams)

JayCut – free online video editing software

Web Video Tutorials:
Shooting Tips (Knight Digital Media Center)
Doing Stand-ups (Knight Digital Media Center)
Editing with iMovie (Knight Digital Media Center)

Video to WordPress.com
How Do I Upload a Video to YouTube?
How Do I Put a YouTube Video on My WordPress blog?
How Do I Put a Vimeo Video on My WordPress blog?
More about adding video to WordPress

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