Back in the good ol' days, video equipment was rare, expensive, and the exact opposite of portable. Nowadays, however, there has been an explosion of affordable and mobile video recording equipment such as digital cameras, smartphones, and tablets. Most of these cameras have the ability to shoot high quality images that are great to use for family events, to send a smile to a friend, or as supplemental video for a production (say, one at NCTV perhaps?) 

While the quality of these cameras can't compare to their professional counterparts, they certainly can capture important life moments and add a little extra to a production. 

The challenging question is: How do I take quality video on the go?

Drawing by S.P. Sullivan (@spsullivan on Twitter)

  1. STABILITY - Smartphones and tablets pride themselves on being light. That's great...until you try to take a video of your grandson's first steps and you can't hold it still! All it takes is a cup of coffee to make us mere humans jittery and unstable and without the extra weight that regular cameras have, it's hard to keep it still! Even something as simple as taking a breath can move your device enough to make your video look like it took place during an earthquake. When possible, try to find something to stabilize your device instead of handholding it. Often times resting it on a railing or table will help steady it enough. So far, my favorite go-to item is a flexible reusable cable tie that I can easily carry around in my wallet. It bends and re-bends to take whatever form I want, including a small phone stand for impromptu video recording! 
  2. ORIENTATION - We've all seen the viewer videos on the news that only take up a third of the screen, right? One of the easiest things to forget is that a video screen is wider than it is tall. If we film on our phones holding them in the same direction as we use to talk on them (portrait), our video will have to be severely cropped to fill the screen or will only take up a fraction of the screen when combined with regular video. If we turn the phone so that it is wider than it is tall (landscape), our video will blend in with our other video footage much better.
  3. AUDIO - Recording quality audio on a mobile device can be pretty tricky. I don't have much experience using my phone to record audio but I do know that most devices of late have the ability to plug in an external microphone. It might take some research, but it can be done! Otherwise, I would suggest using mobile video footage as supplemental footage for a recording in the studio. It's easy to remove the audio during editing and use just the images to describe something you're talking about. 
  4. PRACTICE - Good news, it's really easy to delete bad footage. Strip away the fear of capturing sub par videos and just get out there! Capture anything and everything without worrying about the cost of space because videos can easily be downloaded, deleted, and the space reused! The more you do it, the better you'll get!

What will you do with your videos after capturing them? Look for our basic editing class coming up on March 25th. All classes are FREE and open to any Norfolk resident! We will be looking at Final Cut Pro X in this class which is very similar to iMovie, the basic editing program that comes with all Mac computers. No experience necessary!

As always, we're happy to answer any questions you may have! Call, click, or come by! 

AuthorKaty Woodhams