Video Production 101

April 15, 2010

We want to avoid incessantly moving views, movement from object to object, fast zooms, shots with too much sky or floor, and people who seem too close to the edge of the screen. These are the mistakes made on vacation videos.

Talk the talk:

Framing a shot
means determining what you want to include in the shot in terms of aspect ratio, field of view, vectors, composition, and psychological closure.

Aspect Ratio
The standard aspect ratio is 4 x 3–four units wide, 3 units high. Digital Television (DTV) allows a switch between the standard 4 x 3 and the 16 x 9 ratio of widescreen HDTV.

Field of View
reflects the camera’s closeness to the viewer, or how much of the “field” is in front of you in the shot.

Different kinds of shots… diverting from Field of View:
1. bust shot – upper part of person
2. knee shot – knee up
3. two-shot – two people or objects
4. three-shot – three people or objects
5. over-the-shoulder shot – camera looks O/S of another person nearer to the camera
6. cross shot – looking alternately at one or the other person. The camera-near person is completely out of the shot.

Vectors
are directional forces with various strengths.

Different kinds of vectors:
1. graphic vectors – lines created by objects that case you to look in a particular direction
2. index vectors – created by something that points unquestionable in a certain direction, such as an arrow or one-way-street. More definite.
3. motion vectors – created by moving object. People walking, cars speeding, or bird in flight.

Composition
“Our perceptual faculties are always striving to stabilize the chaotic world around us.”

Factors include:
1. subject placement – the most stable is screen-center placement.

–too much headroom exerts weird force.
–keep in mind picture loss when framing
–pay attention to noseroom when the person is turned towards one of the TV’s edges. If there is no space between the nose and screen edge, the person seems glued to it.
leadroom … don’t want to just introduce a laternally moving subject abruptly.

Psychological Closure
Combining visual cues or filling in missing visual information to arrive at a complete or stable configurations. Think about the example with the three dots… we picture a complete triangle.

Z-axis
The illusion of depth is created by placing an object along this axis. You can therefore define the distinct foreground, middleground, and background.

–with a wide-angle position, the Z-axis seems elongated, people look farther away.
–with a narrow-angle position, the Z-axis looks shorter than it is.

Depth of field
objects are widely scatter along the z-axis are all in focus. The range of distance where it’s sharp.

There is a lot to think about with video production. I feel like it would be better to get extraneous shots just so I could possibly use various material to fill in the gaps into shots. I want to make my video easy to watch. Since I’ll be speaking with various people again I want to make the same introductions for everyone. I was thinking of taking pictures of them… in the same setting–probably one of the blank walls of my living room. Just a couple bust shots… that will look identical to each other… introduce them like that… then have their video. I don’t think I’ll want to stick with the same job theme, but ask them questions like..
-what was your favorite moment in the past four years
-advice?

I’m hoping the end product of all these footage will be simple and a pleasure to watch :].

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