In the hands of a master, tricks become techniques. In less competent hands, a technique can be reduced to a trick.
Here they are! Revolutionary techniques absolutely guaranteed to make your videos exciting, dramatic, hilarious. Win prizes ! Impress your friends!
Well, not quite. But there are some simple ways to punch up your tapes without depending completely on the intrinsic impact of your material. They're not techniques; they're tricks.
A technique furthers the theme of a piece, becoming so closely bound to content it's difficult to imagine a scene or sequence done any other way-the newsreel-style section of Citizen Kane, for example.
A trick gets and holds the audience's attention, like the rising, ominous music accompanying the shot of a door (a window, a house) in Friday the 13th Part XXIV.
Tricks aren't necessarily bad or to be avoided. In fact, in the hands of a master, tricks become techniques. The aforementioned Citizen Kane example is really a brilliant trick. In less competent hands, a technique can be used so reflexively it's reduced to the level of a trick.
But we're not talking only Citizen Kane here; your home-grown video epics deserve this same trick treatment. Following are some of the devices I use to break up the "home movie" look and feel of my videos.
Find a secondary subject that seems to be occurring in a parallel "real" time. Tape enough footage to provide plenty to choose from when editing. Shot with the edited product in mind, the motif becomes a running commentary on the main action.
Recently, I had an acquaintance recount anecdotes from a mutual friend's life as we shared a taxi enroute to the friend's anniversary party. (I used a wide-angle adapter for these scenes.) At the last minute, I thought to ask him to comment from time to time on how late we were going to be.
Start Your FREE Trial Plus Membership To View This Article
Why Become a Plus Member?
As a Plus Member, you'll enjoy:
- Exclusive access to 1,000s of articles, tips, and videos
- Unlimited access to Videomaker Tips & Tricks video series
- Special contests and monthly drawings
- Members only eLetters
- Early online access to the current issue of Videomaker Magazine
- Members only discounts on Videomaker merchandise and more
- Priority status at Videomaker events
- The Expert Hotline: direct email access to our editors. Get answers to questions about any video subject