1. Use a DSLR – If you don’t follow the video production world you may be unaware of the recent trend towards using DSLR cameras for video. Recent updates to camerasÂ traditionallyÂ used only for digital photography now allow for recording of high definition video and audio. How does using a DSLR improve the look of your video?
â€¢ Larger sensors - Most DSLR that record HD video have larger sensors that are moreÂ sensitiveÂ to light. This allows you to get a better image in low light situations.
â€¢ Interchangeable lenses - The ability to use different lenses for different situations gives you the flexibility to really take your productions up a notch.Â PerhapsÂ the biggest advantage is the ability to shoot video with a shallow depth of field. Most traditional video cameras lack sensors big enough, and lenses with big enoughÂ aperturesÂ to produce video with a shallow depth of field. We’re used to seeing shots with shallow depth of field in professional productions, which until now requiredÂ expensiveÂ film or video cameras. These types of shots can now be accomplished with a sub $1,000 DSLR.
2. Don’t move the camera - A sure way to make your video look moreÂ amateurÂ is to hand hold the camera which produces camera shake. Get a good tripod and use it. If you practice, you can hand-hold the camera in some situations, but it takes practice to be able to shoot good video hand-held without making the audience sea sick.
3. Move the Camera - A good tripod for stationary shots will serve you well in almost every situation, however, another way to add to the professionalism of your production is to introduce someÂ professionalÂ camera movement. A camera slider can do amazing things to bring life to a shot.
4. Capture better audio - Good audio can really make a production work – bad audio can destroy it. It’s amazing how big a difference clear, crisp audio can make in any video production. If the audio is good, the audience won’t even notice it. But if there are crackles, hums, wind noise, pops, or bad audio levels, that’s ALL they’ll notice. Get a good lapel mic and an audio recorder. Also, a good set of headphones to monitor and check audio on set is essential. Nothing is worse than getting back from a shoot only to discover that you have bad audio and will have to reshoot.Â Much like good audio recording, a good background music track can lift a video and set the tone and mood. Depending on the project, music can drive the entire project, including dictating where to cut and how to edit. Use killertracks.com or audiojungle.net to find and license tracks that support your goal for your production.
5. Add more light - This may be the single most important thing you can do to improve a video production. Even if shooting with DSLRs that have great sensitivity to light, a good light kit can make the difference between poor, grainy footage, andÂ professionalÂ looking video that pops. Lighting doesn’t have to beÂ expensive. Build your own light kit with clamp-able shop lights from the hardware store – or invest in a more professional setup.