Shoot preparation and shoot day tips

Plan your video shoot well

Before any successful shoot there is always some planning on my part as the cameraman or DOP. I like to have an idea of what I will be shooting and the location the shoot will be in. Really the more information you have will mean you can be better prepared and save time on set and most importantly get the best images. Try to get an outline of the shots needed or a storyboard is great too.
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Secret to making a great Video

Secrets to better videos

What is the secret to making a great video? A great cameraman.
While having all the gear you will need on set is always that best option, Gear does not make the cameraman, the cameraman makes the gear. Don’t forget Gear is good, but vision, know-how and creativity is better.
If you know how to properly use your gear, you can produce beautiful work. Does using professional camera gear perform better? Yes. But simply having the best camera isn’t enough you need to know-how to use it.
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Cine Lenses or Stills Lenses?

Whether you’re shooting video with a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or upgrading to a high-end video camera, true cine lenses provide a great way to enhance your video shooting experience and achieve professional results. So why go for a cine lens that may cost thousands of dollars when your regular stills lenses is doing a creditable job capturing video? Because true cine lenses offer much greater control and precision, provide a more seamless shooting experience, and can deliver even better overall video performance.
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Lighting Basics / Budget video lighting gear

Lighting basics

Lighting is the key to great looking high-quality videos. If you’re currently shooting without lights, buying a low priced kit is a smart investment. If you’re shooting your videos using only ambient lighting in most corporate offices or homes, you’re leaving lots of quality on the table. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get good lighting, but you do need to buy smart and know what you’re getting.
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Improve your Video and Stills photography lighting

Even with only two or three lights anyone can achieve great looking images on video or stills. A typical starting point for professional camera people is always the basic three point lighting setup, from there you can adapt it to achieve the mood you like on your shoot.

When three point lighting, the lights used are normally Key, Fill and Backlight (Hair light). The Key Light is the strongest light hitting your subject (or Talent), and the main source of light in the shot.

The Fill light is from the opposite side to the Key light and is there to reduce contrast and lighten shadows on the subject. Depending on how much contrast or shadow and definition you want on your subject, the Fill light can be moved closer or further away to vary the intensity (brightness). For a soft Fill light it can be filtered or bounced to diffuse it, or placed further away reduce the light’s brightness hitting the subject.

The Backlight (Hair Light) hits your subject from behind and or above which separates the subject from the background by making the edges of the subject’s body pop.
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Buying Professional Video Lighting gear

So you are after some new lights to shoot video with. With this comes lots of decisions which will be mainly answered by the video work you are doing or want to do.

Choosing the type lighting for your shoot makes an enormous impact on the quality of your final video. The correct use of lighting allows you to

  • control the mood of your video
  • Direct the eye of the viewer where you want it to go
  • Emphasize and de-emphasize elements within the frame
  • Add texture and color
  • Make people look beautiful, ugly, sinister, or angelic

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Essential Video gear – The C Stand

There is an ever increasing range of camera and lighting gear, new LED lights through to camera gimbals. But the C stand is probably the piece of gear that will be used on almost every shoot. The term ‘Century Stand’ goes back to the early days of motion picture production. Century Stands also known as “C Stands” are one of the most frequently used stands in the film industry. They are mainly used by grip and lighting and can support other things on film sets.

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