to Shoot Your Video
The Equipment To Get You Started
(one with firewire capabilities)
Power source (battery or charger)
Firewire Computer (one with a firewire port)
Video editing software
You with Us
Camcorder – Each One Different
In today’s marketplace, hundreds of camcorder models are
sold by dozens of manufacturers. Each is different but all offer
users a multitude of capabilities and recording options depending
upon the model and when it was manufactured.
provide video shooting and uploading
tips in our “How to Win” web site home page section
but if you are having difficulty operating, recording or transmitting
your video, consult your camcorder’s Owner’s
Manual. Most manuals should provide you with the information
Camcorder manufacturer web sites are the ideal place to visit
for “How To” tips and information on specific models,
access to download drivers and even copies of owner’s
you are experiencing problems connecting to us and downloading
your Message for America, we suggest these links:
– A great site for camcorder information. Its “Learn”
section provides additional tips on making good videos.
Airtek – airtek.com
DXG – dxgusa.com
Hitachi – hitachi.us
JVC – jvc.com
Panasonic – panasonic.com
Pure Digital – puredigitalinc.com
RCA – rcaaudiovideo.com
Samsung – samsung.com
Sanyo – sanyo.com
Sharp – sharp.com
Sony – sony.com
For Shooting A Great Video
sure to get permission where you are shooting and from who you
underestimate the power of an owner’s manual. Your camera's
manual cannot only teach you how to work your camera and its
features, but it also tells you what your camera is capable
of. At the very least you need to learn how to turn your camera
on and off, how to load a tape, how to record, how to white
balance, how to focus, how to zoom, how to use the iris, and
how to adjust the audio record levels.
sure to have good lighting. Avoid backlighting (a silhouetted
image), too much light (you don't want your actors to squint
the whole time), and avoid shadows (especially across peoples'
faces). If you have a light kit remember the three-point rule.
Have one key light on your actor, have one fill light to help
keep the shadows away, and have one backlight to separate your
actors from the background.
sure you pay attention to sound. Use a microphone if you have
one. Either way, you have to be aware of the natural sound going
on in the background. A good way to monitor your sound is by
taking advantage of the headphone jack (found on most video
cameras). Wear a headset at all times so you know what audio
you are recording. However, beware that what you hear may not
be what you record. You must also pay attention to your audio
levels on your VU meter. A headset's volume can be turned up
or down, but your VU meter will show what levels are being recorded.
Remember you never want your audio to peak, but you want to
keep it loud enough to hear. On a digital audio meter you want
to try to keep it between -25 and +8, and on an analogue audio
meter you want to keep it between -12 and +6.
are two ways to shoot someone giving speech, with a single camera
or with multiple cameras. If you use a single camera you can
either choose not to edit it and use a single take, or you can
videotape the speech multiple times from multiple angles. If
you use more then one camera make sure you have them at different
angles (but do not cross an axis).
*If you want to add a little variety or pizzazz to your video
try shooting in front of a background that makes your speaker
stand out, like a blank white room. Any background (without
a design) could work well. You could also have your speaker
stand (preferably without a podium), sit on a stool (or other
prop), or walk around a few steps (as long as the camera can
stay still). Use your imagination!!
*When you are framing your shot try to imagine the screen divided
into three horizontal rows. The eyes of your actor should be
right on the line between the top and middle sections. Just
below the imaginary line between the bottom and middle section
is where your titles should go. Remember not to cut off the
head of your actor and to give some lead room between the edge
of the screen and the direction that they are talking (or walking).
For a speech, the speaker can look directly into the camera
because he is talking to the audience.
a tripod if possible. If you do not have a tripod, see if there
is something you could use in place of one. For example, a table
or school desk could work in a pinch.
white balance before you begin shooting. When you white balance
you are telling the camera what color white is, and the camera
sets all the other colors based off of this. Remember to white
balance after entering each new lighting scenario (if you go
to a different room, if the sun moves, or outside to inside,
interesting trick you can do to keep the focus of your speaker,
even when you zoom, is called critical focus. Zoom in as far
as you can on what you want to stay in focus. Use the focus
ring to get a sharp focus. When you zoom out the speaker will
stay in focus the entire time!! However, you really don’t
need to zoom for a speech. Pick a nice waist shot and stick
with it for the entire speech unless you are using multiple
camera's iris (or aperture) is what allows light into the camera.
You need to adjust the iris to keep your video from being too
dark or too bright. Many cameras have zebra lines that you can
turn on to help judge your video's brightness.
"crossing the axis". Different angles can spice a
video up, but try to stay on one side of the action. If you
are looking at a speaker from a right profile and suddenly see
the same speaker from the left profile you will quickly loose
track of the positioning of the actors and get distracted and
confused on the storyline. Pay attention that you do not do
this in editing as well.
you plan on editing your video, be sure to record a little extra
video before and after the shot you want to use starts and ends.
This is called a handle (or tail). This allows you space for
editing and transitions. With a speech it is probably better
to keep the camera recording for the entire speech even if you
don’t always have a shot. It will help you sync up the
video during the editing process.
is cheap. Take multiple takes of each shot so you have plenty
to work with when you are editing.
For Editing A Great Video
a firewire to attach your camera to the computer. You can capture
your footage right into an editing software program.
computer editing systems use a drag and drop feature. You can
pick up the thumbnails of the clip you want to put onto your
timeline and drag and drop it where you want it in your video.
help smooth out your overall video. A longer, fade to black
helps convey a passing of time. A cross dissolve helps blend
together subjects or places. Be careful, too many transitions
make your video hard to watch and follow. For a speech you can
probably use straight cuts (no transitions) because your not
changing subjects or locations.
jump cuts. A jump cut is a noticeable and abrupt edit in the
video. If someone is walking down the beginning of a hallway
and the next shot is suddenly on the other end of the hallway,
that would be a jump cut. There is no explanation on how that
actor got to the other end of the hallway; this will confuse
you don't want your video to get boring so keep your shots between
3 and 6 seconds in length unless you need it to be longer because
of some action taking place. With a speech it would probably
be better to let the speaker finish a line before changing camera
angles. However, you do not have to change angles at the beginning
of every new sentence.
forget you have a purpose. Don't add a bunch of extra video
or information. It will only bore your audience, and they'll
can add a lot to a video, but you may not need it for a speech.
It could distract from what your speaker is saying. Remember
for Schooltube you cannot use any copyrighted material. If you
decide you do want to use music, try writing and performing
your own music or search the Internet for free royalty free
Your Video On Schooltube
you need to export your finished timeline into a QuickTime,
wmv, or Mpeg file. Follow the instructions of your editing software
to complete this step. (The help section of your software can
be of great use here.) Remember Schooltube has an upload limit
of 100MB per file. That limits you to about 15 minutes of footage.
If you find your file is to big, you can try adjusting the quality
settings then re-export.
your compressed file to Schooltube, and inform your moderator
that you have uploaded a new video.