Vintage Movie Look
Recently I published my review of Camtasia 8 from Techsmith which has long been my “go to” program for screen recording and editing those recordings into shape.
One of the features of Camtasia that I didn’t really go into in the review was the aspect of support for the program.
With the complexity these days of modern editing software it is important to remember that a good part of choosing the right program for you is ensuring that the program is well supported so that you have lot’s of resources for learning how to use it.
Otherwise, those shiny features don’t really add up to much.
Now more specific to Camtasia to get an idea of how good their tutorials are you should really take a look at the one linked below.
When they do a tutorial they don’t just slap together a video and leave it as that.
They do a video, add a project file you can download yourself and add to your own copy of the software as well as provide links to all the assets or any other needed resources to get the job done.
Framing Your Shots
You just can’t read too many articles on the art of framing.
So that’s the rule (cos’ I just wrote it) and in keeping with that rule I just made up, here is an article on framing your shots.
But seriously, last week I was trying to find a video demonstrating how to do something rather unusual.
So like a normal person I went on to YouTube and stared searching.
I found a few video and before I could get any information out of any of them I simply has to stop them mid video. Why?
Because they were shot so badly that there was no way I could get the information (by seeing it) I wanted.
All I really got from them was a feeling of annoyance.
The whole idea of framing well and composing well is so that the person watching it can SEE IT!
In fact the most basic difference between a watchable video and an un-watchable one is that the person shooting it had at least some concept he or she was not just viewing some event but was recording it for someone else to see later.
How to Make a Prop Crowbar!
Well of course you need to know how to build a cheap yet convincing crowbar!
Vlogging for Fun and Profit
Being totally part of the ‘cool kids’ group I of course am totally savvy with all the terms those crazy kids are using these days.
Hmmm… I may just have blown it by using the word “savvy.”
Anyhoo, one of the bigger words at the moment is Vlogging.
A term created by combining the word “blogging” with the video “video” to give you vlogging. Wow! Is there no end to the creativity of those crazy kids!
Scouting Location and Stealth Shooting
Although there are countless sites these days offering stock footage for your projects using that kind of footage can get real expensive real fast.
On top of that the footage you may purchase will most likely have been shot on a different camera to yours and without extensive color grading will look totally different.
The other way you can get that “B-roll” footage you are looking for is to shoot it yourself.
One of the problems with shooting this kind of footage is that often you want scenes involving people going about their normal lives yet when they spot a camera they start behaving differently.
This is where the art of stealth shooting comes into play but remember it is a fine line between discreetly shooting life going by and looking creepy!
So, take a tip from the pros and check out the video below for some tips on stealth shooting.
If ever there was a minefield in the world of video editing and distribution it would be that of video formats.
Sometimes I get someone asking why some file won’t do this or that and it really should because it is an .avi file!
As if somehow because it is an .avi file it should therefore do what the user wants.
Unfortunately like most things associated with video editing it isn’t as simple as that.
You see an .avi file is actually a container file created by Microsoft years ago and could have been created by one of around 500 codecs.
So we have containers, codecs and even codecs that are containers! Confused?
You should be!
Anyway here is an article that gives a pretty good roundup of the situation and really, if you are working with video files you need to at least have an idea of what’s what.
The Best Camcorder for You
I have often repeated the mantra that the best camera for shooting your video is the one you have in your hand right now.
I often get queries from readers asking about the best camera or the best video editing software but the harsh reality (that most of them don’t want to hear) is that in my experience most people are not getting the results they want because of their own shortcomings and not their equipment.
Now the camera manufacturers and the video editing software makers are more than happy to perpetuate the myth of that shiny new feature that is going to get you the results you always dreamed on but in reality it is a myth.
Take a look at the article below for a clue.
We have a hugely successful T.V. show being shot entirely on iPhones, iPads and MacBooks then being prepared in normal post production and being sent out at broadcast quality.
Of course they will have the benefit of studio lighting, make up artists and everything else that you get on a pro set but the basic footage is still coming from a device that is most likely the same as something you have in your pocket right now.
Green Screen Tips
A great old friend of mine has been in town recently shooting the new Martin Scorsese movie.
He is the Key Grip on the production and for those of you who don’t know what the grips do it is pretty simple.
They report directly to the Cinematographer and are essentially responsible for placing, mounting or moving the camera into a position whereby the shot can be taken.
This can vary from just planting the camera on the ground to building a rig on an army duck, attaching a boom and then fixing the camera to that.
In other words they just get shit done so the director can get the shot.
Part of their job is also green screen but not like you or I do it!
I think he said last week he green screened a stack of shipping containers 9 high and 6 wide… that’s a really big green screen!
Now I know that green screen is always promoted as being something that video editing software can do but the truth is that is only a small part of the story.
Effective green screen happens in the shooting, not the editing effects.
The article below goes into some pretty good detail about how to set it up for success but remember this is referring to a pro situation but at least check it out for some tips to get your green screen into shape.
DIY Bank Lights
One of the features that many of the major video editing software companies use in their marketing is that of green screen. I see endless questions on the subject and usually they are from people who were led to believe that just about any awesome Hollywood effect could be duplicated somehow by having access to green screen. Well, not so fast there Grasshopper.