You are here

How do I make better videos?

moetwinstyle's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 01/09/2012 - 1:52am

Hello! My sister and I have been making simple dance videos for Youtube and and Japanese video community called Nico Nico Douga. We've only made a couple so far, but we're not satisfied with the outcome of our videos. We took some video production classes in high school, but we're using totally different equipment for a totally different end product this time. We were hoping we could get some well needed tips from the community here!

Our Youtube channel is here. They're just simple videos that follow the general formula of one continuos shot while we dance (and sing).

[An example of one of our videos]

We are using a Canon Vixia HF R20 camera with a tripod. For the videos we've uploaded so far, we've only used Window Movie Maker, but we now have Adobe Premier Elements 10 that we are using to edit our future videos. We hoped to have better lighting/quality and an overall more professional feeling product, but we're falling quite short of what we want. How can we achieve this?

[What we'd like to have our videos like]

We'd like to achieve an end product like the video above. Most of the time we'll be filming outdoors, but we'll be filming indoors from time to time as well. How can we get that "larger than life" feeling that the second video has?

Thank you very much!


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 8 months 3 days ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

Ally & Sally, for a first attempt the first example you shared in the links above was GREAT. I do understand what you mean when you say you want to be more satisfied with the final results and I think I can see what might help.

BACKLIGHT ... your biggest problem with the dance in a diner sequence is the backlight from the window. You could, of course, set your iris to cut the vignetting, or add gels to the windows, but probably your best bet would be to try to find a position that does not include such a large swath of backlight to contend with. I perceive that the location you used might be a bit tight, providing little, if any, choice of positions away from the window. But the backlighting works against you here, instead of perhaps helping create GREAT lighting as a source from front or side.

THE WINDOW ... camera POV, while interesting, and in addition to backlighting, also generates bit too much distraction with pedestrian and auto activity outside, taking attention away from your routine.

Your music levels and audio levels are good, but you might consider doing the routine to the selection, then close recording (lip syncing). It appears you're using the audio from the on-camera mic. If I'm wrong, you still are too far away from the mic and need to address that for increased clarity.

The last thing simply is to shoot more than one take from more than one angle and/or POV, giving you the opportunity to change angles and points of view in the editing and generate a more creative and interesting piece.

All-in-all, ladies, you did a GREAT job and I very much enjoyed you sharing your creativity. I hope you'll find some of what I said useful and that you'll share more as you adjust your productions.

When I view the video you'd LIKE to be more like. I'll see if I have anything more ton contribute. By all means, don't stop. This is way awesome!


Moab Man's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 11/02/2010 - 3:35am

It looks like the wall is in focus and not the two of you during the introduction. The dance part is suffering from bad lighting. It's dark in front of you two girls, very bright behind you, too much activity seen through the window, and overall the light is just washing out your colors. The clothing colors blend too much with the surroundings. Looked at your other video and I would make all the same statements. To put it simply, you're not lighting your subject. The background is what's lit up.

The video you like has plenty of lighting and the girl is wearing strong colors that really pop out against the background, although I couldn't stop my eye from being drawn to the completely out of place drink bottle in front of her.

Just so you know, for what you're doing it's not a software issue. Windows Movie Maker will do everything you're doing so far. However, I would encourage you to learn the Adobe program so that once you get your lighting correct you can use the color adjustments to improve.

What are the setting you're using, there is a lot of interlacing (when you're moving and your arm for example breaks up) showing up?


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 8 months 3 days ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

OK, the sample you'd like to be more like. Don't. Sorry, but after a minute I wanted to turn it off and comment. At 2:12 I'd had enough ... all I could take. WHY?

Centered, straight on angle. Boring. Too much space and the reflective water caused some lighting issues as well with this one. I think the single most effective thing THIS VIDEO and yours could use is multiple shoots, repetitive performances, varying angles and POV, then using the new editing power Elements will provide you, cutting to keep some interest.

I'd shoot tighter. Unless the background is a significant and participating point of the focus, it's NOT contributing to, but taking away from, the point of interest. In both cases, the talent. I liked your intro for your first attempt, but when you got into the production you got to it. No lag. The buildup for sample two was too long. Totally boring and nothing like the BIG PICTURE or "larger than life" description you led me to believe I'd perceive.

Tight shots, varied angles, avoid backlighting, control the audio and you're going to have something that knocks the socks off your reference sample IMHO. What was cute in the second video was the obvious audio source being set, then placed on the block, but obviously the actual sound was recorded from a closer proximity in post. But nothing else about the second sample appealed to me to the extent your first effort did.