This week Brandon explores how to use weather to effect the mood of your video.
You ever wonder why classic Hollywood movies usually have a scary scene that involves thunder and lightning? Using the weather as a tool to add a sense of drama or suspense to your videos is actually very useful and done quite often.
I’m Brandon Pinard for Videomaker Presents. This week I’m gonna be showing you how to use the weather like a Hollywood pro to improve the look of your scary or dramatic videos.
One powerful tool that Mother Nature provides for us videographers to use is the sun. Using the sun in your videos can indicate a number of different things. For instance, the sun rising can indicate a new start or new beginnings, the change of a scene or even the change of an actual season.
Showing a nice sunrise and contrasting that with other shots of animals, flowers, creeks flowing, birds chirping can all indicate the end of winter and a beginning for life. In contrast, showing the sun setting can indicate the end of a bright season, the onslaught of scary events to come, or relief from the heat of a summer sun.
Now, everyone can agree that the onslaught of a thunderstorm on the horizon can pretty much indicate some scary times to come or a psychological trigger that can basically unleash a sort of uneasy feeling, suspense, terror, even, depending on the use of the weather in the video and the context of it. The most classic use of stormy weather would be in any classic Hollywood movie involving a scary scene with, say, a damsel in distress at home alone or a younger character at home alone.
One way to create the effect of a lightning bolt is to take a shot of the character, position the light on the character, maybe through a false window, and then hold up a board in front of the light. When you want the lightning to flash on, simply move the board back and forth, and this will flash a light on the character. See, if you pass the board through it, it has some telltale signs of sharp shadows moving across, but simply rotating the board in and out of the way will actually do this.
Another way is to actually film lightning and do cutaway shots of the lightning bolt. Cut back to your character looking scared and feeling the effects of the weather on them.
One way to indicate thunder and lightning without even showing any signs of it is simply through the use of sound. Lightning and thunder are their own distinct sounds. A classic way to simulate the sound of thunder is a sheet of metal. Sheet metal, held up, [sound of thunder] suspended, produces kind of a tinny sound, but depending on your micing capabilities you can produce a sound that’s very similar to actual thunder, and it’s a favorite of many Foley artists. Sounds pretty realistic.
Another way to capture that is to simply capture a rain storm. If you notice clouds on the horizon and you need sound for your video, go ahead and shoot the rain storm or simply capture the audio, and you get the sound of the rain, the lightning, and the thunder, and nothing really beats the authentic sounds of nature.
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