Spooky times are upon us as Halloween is just around the corner.
Something that can also seem spooky is VIDEO PRODUCTION. 👻👻👻
You may have seen previous posts, or episodes of our HOW TO video series, where we’ve given you so so so so many easy tips for how to make better, more professional looking, video productions (without breaking the bank). But of course, there are a fair number of steps you need to go through before a finished video can be published. And for some, this process may seem daunting. Or even scary! 😱
But fear not! We at Qbrick are here to highlight some of the most common roadblocks in the production process and to give you the proper tools to deal with them.
Here’s a list of 3 scary parts of video production and how to deal with them:
A storyboard is a great way to visualize the end result of your video early in the process. Simultaneously it gives you a chance to correct potential mistakes before the shooting starts. The issue is that a lot of the time people tend to skip this step simply because they feel like they cannot do it.
The idea of drawing out the concept of every scene in sketch-form – and that OTHER people might see them? That can make you feel self-conscious – or like it’s too far from your comfort zone!!
The truth is: you don’t need to be Picasso to make a great and (first and foremost) functional storyboard. The important thing is to get your point across.
For example, this is a great storyboard:
Or, if you really don’t want to draw, write a short summary of the scene in every frame. For example: “Interview shot 1, outside”. That gives you the info you need.
And if you want some visual references in your storyboard, but still don’t want to pick up a pen, you can work with pre-existing imagery.
For example: if you want to replicate the look of a TV interview you really liked; grab a screen shot of that interview and paste it into the appropriate frame. Or maybe you have a specific idea of how to film your surroundings? Find a reference image on google that represents your vision.
Basically – you don’t have to be afraid! Just try to keep it simple, and within your comfort zone.
Performing in front of the camera? 😩
You’ve decided to make a video. The script and storyboard are finished. Now, all you have to do is assign who is going to be in front of, and behind, the camera. And this is where things might get complicated.
Getting people to willingly stand in front of the camera, either answering questions of reading a script, can be a tough sell.
Whether it’s stage fright or any other reason there is usually a bit of a resistance from the potential interviewee. Almost always, this stems from nervousness and a fear of not preforming well enough. People picture themselves fumbling their lines or losing their train of though mid-sentence – even after they’ve accepted the job.
There is a very simple solution to this: practice and preparation.
As dull as it may seem this is a not so well-hidden secret in all types of media production. Even the most experienced TV-show hosts and news anchors in the world prepare rigorously before going on air as it gives them a steady foundation to stand on.
Ironically, it also gives them more room to improvise and go off-script as they know that they can return to the original agenda if it doesn’t fly.
How does this apply to your video?
In the scenario where your person is going to memorize a script, make sure that it is done and finalized well before the shooting starts; ideally a few days (or even a week) before.
This should give the person ample time to study the script and to develop their own take on it.
If possible, it can be very helpful to include your interviewee in the script writing process – as it’s much easier to remember a script that you were a part of writing yourself.
Some videos require lengthy paragraphs for the interviewee to read and depending on the situation it isn’t always realistic to expect them to memorize everything perfectly.
A simple workaround is to decide beforehand (with the help of the storyboard) what parts of the text the person will be visible.
In other words, most interview-style videos consists of a lot of fill footage (learn more about fill footage here) on top of the person speaking, so if you can pinpoint what parts they will be visible – they only have to memorize those lines. The rest of the script can then be read with the script in hand – making it much easier for the interviewee.
Another quick tip is to perform a “mock interview” before filming starts, and write down a transcript of what your interviewee answers. That transcript can help you during filming, if the interviewee needs tips on what to say.
Being behind the camera can also seem difficult or scary if you haven’t done it before. Check out our HOW TO video series for easy tips on how to make a better and more professional-looking video.
NEED MORE TIPS?
Here are some more tips on how to master your camera shy-ness.
VIDEO EDITING!? 😰😰
When all planning and filming is done, all that is left is putting the video together into a neat, professional-looking package.
At first glance editing can seem difficult or, at least, overwhelming. Then again, there are ways to simplify the process and improve the editing experience (check out this simple video editor – made for an easy work flow).
One common roadblock is that you have “too much” footage to work with in the editor – which can make navigating within your editing project a hassle.
We at Qbrick don’t believe in the idea that you can have “too much” footage. Actually, the most common problem is not having ENOUGH footage.
There is, however, a way to work around this without having to compromise the number of shots.
Do a rough cut before uploading/importing your clips to the editor. For example, if you’ve filmed with your smartphone, go through your footage and select those that you think turned out the best. This way, you only need to import the clips that you are going to edit.
Should you find that you’re lacking a certain clip, or that you want to try a different take, it’s easy to add those to the project later on.
Editing, just like any skill, gets easier the more you practice. For a beginner, the mere look of an editor can be daunting – with all of its functionalities and effects.
Even more so: committing to edits and deciding what stays in and what doesn’t can generate some anxiety.
But don’t worry!
While there aren’t any concrete “fixes” for this issue, we would like to offer some advice on how to make the editing process less intimidating.
First, start off simple.
Just like when building a house, you need a solid foundation before you can add the rest.
Take an interview for example, start off by going through the takes and then add them to the timeline in your preferred order and then trim the excess (dead air before or after the talking parts).
Now you have all of the major “content” in place already, while also getting a rough estimation of how long the runtime of the video will be.
When this is done you can add some music to fit the tone of the video. Adjust the volume if necessary, to make sure it isn’t overpowering the dialogue.
After that you can start adding your fill footage atop of the interview clips. Select clips that you feel compliment the interview answers well, or in any other way enhances the message.
With the music already in place you can even try matching your edits to the beat for a smoother viewing experience.
Now you have a great foundation for your video that you can tweak and tinker with until you’re fully satisfied.
A word of advice is to not start adding graphical elements until you’re happy with the basic edit.
Putting them into the mix too early usually makes for a messy timeline as you go over precision edits back and forth.
Last but not least: take it one edit at a time – making sure that it works. With consistency and a little bit of patience your video will turn out great!
Content creator for Qbrick productions
Andreas Bard (Qbrick Production Team) is a video editor and content creator based in Stockholm.