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Home Movie Film School: How to Shoot

Home Movie Film School, Part 3

Hi, I'm Casey. Today, let's talk about shooting your video. Back in my day video cameras used tape. kids these days just drag and drop footage from memory cards onto the device itself which allows them to edit instantly. With this new breed of cameras comes new ways to shooting. The first thing you want to figure out with your camera is its focus function. Most cameras either have automatic focus or manual focus. In automatic focus your camera determines the focus point. Its usually in the middle of the frame. Sometimes it allows you to pick the focus point by touch screen. With manual focus you have to eyeball the focus point and adjust accordingly. Focus functions on cameras differentiate. Take time to learn yours. Nobody wants to look at a blurry image. Head room is the amount of space between your subjects head and the edge of frame. You could have too much or too little or just right. A quick trick to get it just right is to line up the subjects eyes in the upper third. Divide the frames height by 3, the subjects eyes should be 1/3 down from the top. If your close or wide you'll still have a good amount of head room. Image stability is important. If you're forced to hold the camera in a fixed position for a long time your arms can get tired and your image will have a lot of undesired bounce and shake. This can be extremely distracting. To keep a stabile image use a tripod for long interviews or events. Also if you're holding a long zoom which is prone to camera bounce a tripod will stabilize your shot but it can make the shot very static and impede your mobility. For this reason don't be afraid to shoot handheld. When you want something to feel realistic handheld is great. Adding camera movement to a static shot can bring some life into your footage. Just make sure you give your arms a break. Your camera will record footage after you hot the record button and keep going until you've stopped. It seems simple right. Honey are you recording? It is but forgetting is an easy mistake to make. Make a mental note to double check every time. You're guaranteed to make the mistake once. Don't be too hard on yourself. Being able to hear what your subjects are saying will drastically improve the quality of your video. The closer you are to your subject the better your sound will be. If you're in a loud room; you need to interview your subject take them to another room with less background noise. You'll be glad you got these bytes when you hit the edit. By practicing these simple techniques it'll make it much easier for your friends and family to enjoy your work. Remember rules are made to be broken. Video is an experimental medium so feel free play with some of these techniques, even outright ignore them. The point is to have fun and find your own personal filmmaking style. I hope you learned something and if you want more check thee rest of Home Movie Film School.

There are a variety of factors that need to be considered when shooting a home movie, from adjusting the focus to stabilizing the camera. Host Casey Ford Alexander, an actor and filmmaker, shares tips on how to shoot great footage.

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