Learning video basics

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    • #37559
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I want to learn videography. Where do I start? I know this is a very broad question. I have made really small videos which are about 30 seconds. They consist of visual effects(special effects) I saw on TV and try replicate it by following video tutorials online to learn how to use Adobe after effects and Particle illusion(the trial versions). I have a Panasonic SDR-S7 which is a sd card camcorder, a 50″ Targus tripod and Adobe premiere elements 4. What books or dvd’s would you recommend for learning the basics videography? Thank you.

    • #166541
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      You don’t need books. Just go out and start shooting.

    • #166542
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Videomaker has 160 free videos to watch – it’s a good place to start.

      http://www.videomaker.com/vidcast/160/

      I’d also take a college video class – I learned a lot.

      You may also find these at Junior Colleges.

    • #166543
      AvatarXTR-91
      Participant

      inspire: I want to learn videography. Where do I start?

      Welcome to thedigital worldof videography! You can begin with a few basic training articles at Videomaker.com/learn. To get an idea of good shooting techniques, check out Videomaker’s contest winners – http://www.videomaker.com/video.

    • #166544
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      “You don’t need books. Just go out and start shooting.”

      Inspire,

      If you believe that, I’ve got some swampland in Arizona I want to sell you. To get a good ‘education’ in videography, you’ll invoke the trifecta of books, training and hands on experience. Just going out and shooting means you’ll just go out and shoot bad video. Videography is far more complex than photography despite sharing many of the same elements. When your ‘pictures move’ there are a number of important elements you must contend with.

      Composition – How are your image elements organized? Every movie, tv show and commercial you’ve ever seen the composition of the image was thoughtfully considered and manipulated to make it memorable.

      Sound – Unless you’re planning on making silent flicks, Audio is equally as important as the Video image. Not only must audio be ‘clean’, it must also be managed to properly emphasize the actions seen in the video. Ever watch a movie where the audio was off sync? Imagine the ‘big explosion’ audio happening before or after anything occured in the video….

      These are just two of a multitude of things that must be considered when shooting video outside of ‘happycaming’. Books will bring up points and issues you never could have thought of. Training videos, seminars and formal training will do the same and give you practical methods of dealing with the challenges presented when working in video. Hands on training will pull all of the information you’ve gathered together and build your skills as a videographer.

      Anyone who thinks that all there is to videography is, ‘just going out and shooting’ should pass whatever their smoking to the left.

    • #166545
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thank you for welcoming me. I wasn’t specify I want to start to do event videography, record for certain events such as school plays, award ceremony, and graduation. I tried this once about a year ago for a neighbor. Her daughter was in a school play and she wanted me to record the event for her. I though this would be simple, I was wrong. When I got there I set-up my camcorder on the tripod, turned the camcorder on and couldn’t see much. The lights were really dim. I was far from the stage, other acts were going on that wasn’t on stage that I wanted to capture. I capture and edit enough to make a small video. My neighbor and her daughter like the piece. I personality didn’t like it. I use the Panasonic SDR-S7 sd camcorder, the quailty of the video wasn’t sharp and the audio wasn’t great. I know there are a lot of DV camcorders out there. For a person starting out what feature should I look for?

    • #166546
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Inspire,

      Before you start down the dizzying path of trying to figure out what gear you need/want, learn how to use what you have first. When I first started my video training, they handed me a handycam and I used it to learn the basics. When I started freelancing on my own and couldn’t afford a pro camera I bought a handycam and went back to basics.

      Learn first how to compose and light your scene. Learn how to best use camera movements like panning, tilting, zoom in and out. Learn how to keep your subject in focus, properly white balance and how to shoot good handheld footage that doesn’t look like ‘earthquake cam’. When you are proficient with your consumer camera then start casting your eyes on a prosumer rig. There will be more controls to master, creative addon’s like filters to learn, possibly more complicated lenses to work with and so on.

      I’ve seen it happen too many times when intro level persons try to jump farther than their knowledge/skill before they were prepared. Most times, they buy a ton of gear and then lose interest once they realized they had no idea what they were doing. That you have recognized your current limitations is good. Mastering your tools will extend your limits so when you make the next move, it won’t be that big a stretch.

    • #166547
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      I sooooo agree with Composite1 here. It should be your gear that limits you, not your skills.

      When I was a professional photographer (another life – early 70’s), I was always given crap because I could only afford Canon gear (not the Nikons the other pros used). Well, as it turns out, I could have outshot some of those clowns with a Brownie. It’s not how good your equipment is, it;s how good you can use what you have.

      Just this week, I was complimented by many on a production I did (shot with a consumer level camera) and how much better it was than their regular guy’s work (who shoots with a very pricey professional camera). Same stuff.

      To reiterate again (yes, I know that’s redundant – making a point here) – When COmposite1 said to master your equipment before moving on, he was speaking great pearls of wisdom!

    • #166548
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      birdcat wrote “it;s how good you can use what you have.”, which is exactly right. The human factor is the biggest factor in video production. No need for expensive gear if you don’t know how to use it properly.

      As to this assertion:

      “You don’t need books. Just go out and start shooting.”

      I feel it’s a one-sided way of looking at video production. Video production is a complex field to work in, where a thousands factors play a role as to the end result. To say that you only have to do one thing in order to master it, doesn’t ring true to me. I think you need to draw on help and information from a wide area of sources. It’s true that you need to go out and make videos in order to get practical experience and practice what you know in theory. But you need to read as well. You need to communicate with others and get tips and feedback about what you’re doing. You need to watch videos made by others, and pay attention to how programs and movies are made while watching them. In order to be good at video, you need to use many sources to learn from. Going out to shoot IS a good idea, but it’s not the ONLY thing you need to do.

      Excuse the italics, not my fault.


    • #166549
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Birdcat,

      I had to ‘spit out’ those pearls like teeth learning from my early production mistakes. If I can help someone avoid similar mistakes that’s all the better. Thomas brought up a very good point about ‘watching video’. In between the time I stopped working for a production house and starting my own company I realized I had been making films for 3 years and got some major experience, but I really didn’t understand how to ‘make movies’. Yeah, I knew the technical ends but the creative part eluded me. I was a journeyman film technician, not a filmmaker. So to correct that I watched movies. Lots of them.

      I literally saw an ungodly portion of Turner Classic Movies collection and American Movie Channel’s stuff too! While watching I took note of how the story and character elements flowed, how the lighting was done, camera movements, sound effects, music, you name it. Then I would go out and shoot test shots with my little handycam to emulate what I had seen. By the time I got my business started, I was on a much stronger track. So strong, I got sponsored to study at a prominent filmschool. I learned quite a bit there, but mainly it just backed up all the training I already had and reinforced the observations I made watching all of those movies.

      For a long time, video production was always considered the ‘inferior stepchild’ to film production. Now hardcore film afficionados are turning to video to make their films. Except for a few gear additions (35mm adapter, lenses, etc.) all the rules that govern video still apply. So to Inspire and all the other ‘newbies’ or intermediates, you master the basics through the methods mentioned by the other experienced videographers and then the advanced stuff will be within your reach.

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