Shooting do’s and dont’s
by Dan Noah, LSU Director of Video Production
Shoot lots of b-roll
Imagine you have never been to the location and you want to experience it for the first time. Shoot lots of vistas. Viewers want to see where you are. Shoot lots of close-ups of objects and details. Viewers want to see what you see. Shoot lots of faces, especially students. We want to see the emotion of the experience. These three things help build a comprehensive experience of the journey. In addition to these items, remember to find fun and emotional parts of the journey, which helps to engage your audience.
When interviewing, have the person look at the interviewer and not into the lens. When interviewing the subject, ask them comprehensive questions; avoid questions that require “yes” or “no” answers. Ask emotionally weighted questions, such as, “How does being here make you feel?”
Make sure the interviewee incorporates the subject of the question in their answer, and let them know that they should wait a bit after the question to answer, to avoid talking over the interviewer. Let them finish talking before asking the next question.
Make sure the person talking can be heard clearly. When shooting, get close enough to hear them. Additionally, make sure audio is recording properly by conducting a test record.
Frame the subject to the left or the right of frame. This is more dynamic than center framing. Make sure the background is interesting and not too boring, and avoid any objects that may cross behind the interviewee’s head. Otherwise, it will look as though he or she has something protruding from his or her head.
Lots of cameras have an auto adjust for image exposure. Please keep this in mind when setting up a shot. Make sure the shot is lighted similarly, i.e. shooting a person under a tree’s shade, or facing a person toward the sun, with the sun to the camera’s back. Be aware that shooting with the sun in front of the camera will cause the person to be exposed correctly and the background to be over-exposed, or the background to be exposed correctly, but the person to be too dark or under- exposed. Just make sure the image looks good.
When shooting interviews, try to use a tripod for stability and better image control. When shooting b-roll, you don’t have to use a tripod, but try to shoot with the lens at its widest, largest field of view. This helps to prevent shaking. When shooting close up to an object , you will have to get closer to it when the lens is set at its widest.
Please make sure your image is sharp and in focus.
The preferred format is 1920×1080 24p. You can set your camera to this setting in the menu area.
Have someone in charge of making sure the files from the camera card are saved. If you are shooting a lot you will fill up the cards quickly. Always double-check file size after copying and guard it like gold.
Just remember to shoot, shoot, shoot, and have fun.