“Video is a language – There are rules”: 10 Tips for Shooting Great Video

Sad fact: Most videos fail due to picture quality, sound quality or lack of story

There is much more to shooting great video than you think. You have about 10 seconds before 80% of the people that choose to click on your clip will stop watching. In the world of online video, there is no later. The viewer must be engaged every step of the way.

So what does it take to create a compelling clip that will not only get watched, but hopefully go viral? Great shots, good audio and a good story. Here are the tips I learned at the video bootcamp: (this is based on creating a compelling 1 minute online clip)

Shooting Tips and Tricks from the Pros
1. When you get to the location put the camera away for 20 minutes. Learn the location. Absorb what is happening. Do not try to shoot anything.

2. Figure out the most interesting shot in the location. You just need one shot incredibly well done, a killer shot, that will set the scene for the story you’re about to tell.

3. Find the 7 most compelling things in the location. You only need 7 sequences to tell a story in one minute. What catches your attention? Do not play a journalist, shoot establishing shots of the location or boring interviews.

4. Shoot almost nothing. You just need to shoot 7 sequences of 5 shots each. 15-20 min of footage will give you 1 minute clip. You need to get 15-20 minutes of perfect sequences. Miss almost everything.

5. If you don’t shoot it, it didn’t happen. You will eliminate 95% of reality.

6. Shoot 7 events in the location. Each event should contain 5 shots (10 seconds each). These shots are always the same. Memorize this and practice it constantly. You are shooting 10 seconds of each without moving the camera. This works really well with repetitive movement like chopping, stirring, typing, things that involve the hands.

Here is the sequence you need to follow:
1. Close up on the hands
2. Close up on the face
3. Wide shot
4. Over the shoulder
5. From the side

7. Unless you are shooting a TV show or motion picture, do not direct, it always looks fake. It’s not real and people can tell. It can turn into a liability issue if something goes wrong. Just capture the reality that’s there.

8. The location is crucial. Make sure it is interesting and will give you strong visuals.

9. Do not zoom. Do not pan. Do not move the camera. Find the shot you want then hit record and then hold for 10 seconds. You will come back with perfect shots every single time. It doesn’t matter what you are shooting or where you are.

10. Do not break the narrative of the story by including other objects that are not relevant.

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