4 Simple Tips for Making Better Videos

On this video by the basic filmmaker gives several useful tips for shooting videos (especially interviews or talking heads type videos).

By doing a few pretty simple things when you shoot (or edit) you can improve the quality of your videos considerably as well as cover potential mistakes.

Shooting b-roll (and lots of it) is a good place to start – if your talent is talking about a product take some shot of it. Have him or her hold it in the hand and look at it – taking a shot from a different angle, with a different focal length or even at a different location or background can make the video more interesting (but try not to overdo it to keep things consistent).

If you have two cameras you can shoot the first a little bit wider and the second one together (using a telephoto lens), however with a lot of today’s high-quality cameras (and yes 4K will be better in this respect) you can also crop in post. What you can’t create in post is a different angle – so if you do have two cameras we suggest to actually use them from two different angles and not just two focal lengths.

If you do zoom in – make a point of cutting it in edit at a logical moment and stay zoomed in for a few seconds before cutting back to the wider show. Never overdo this – if your video is short – once or twice is acceptable but much more might look like you are trying too much.
One small but useful tip – if you do zoom in in post – make a cut when you zoom in the timeline and add cross-dissolve and align your subject in a way that when you zoom the subject will stay in the same place in the frame (this looks much more natural to the viewer.
You can shoot the entire interview twice (in two different lengths), it is time-consuming and doesn’t fit every production – but it can give you more options during post processing. Making cards/text is another good way to hide mistakes (just like B-roll).

As always you can find more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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