Bill Frank invited me on his radio show this morning – Brainstormin’ KKZZ AM 1400 – to talk about improving video. His show is geared toward the amateur audience, rather than the pros, so I put together a list of ten tips that beginners and hobbyists can use to improve the quality of their work.
I get a lot of requests for simple things people can do to improve their video – and I suspect you do to – so now I have something to give them.
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Larry’s Ten Tips For Improving Your Video
1. Don’t edit your home movies – the people in them are too important to you to cut them out. Just enjoy these movies for what they are.
2. Think about what you hate about watching everyone ELSE’S home movies. That’s what you need to get rid of in your movies.
* Shaky, hand-held camera work
* Out of focus shots
* Indecipherable images
* Inaudible audio
3. A good video tells a story – find the story and you’ve found your video. Even a short video can tell a powerful story.
4. The goal is NOT to create a video that YOU want to watch. The goal is to create a video that someone who has never seen it wants to watch.
5. The most important part of your video is the audio.
6. No time you spend lighting is ever wasted.
7. Shorter is always better than longer. Get people interested in your subject first.
8. If you have to use special effects, there’s something wrong with your story. Effects are often a crutch for inadequate performers, story, or concept.
9. We use dialog to tell the story; we use music to tell the emotion.
10. Don’t try to make your video “perfect.” Just focus on making each video you do better than the last one.
5 Responses to Larry's Ten Tips for Improving Your Video
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“1. Don’t edit your home movies – the people in them are too important to you to cut them out. Just enjoy these movies for what they are.”
i wouldn’t be working as a commercial and independent director if i had heeded your advice. cutting footage of my friends taught me the basics of editing, and inspired me to try to big things, real things. you seem to have a strangely specific (and possibly dated) idea of what ‘home movies’ are.
Ah, but you are not editing YOUR home movies, you are editing the home movies of others. I have NO doubt that your edits vastly improve the material you are given and make them enjoyable to a wider audience. But, if I were showing movies OF my family TO my family, there would be limited reason for editing them because we want to recall the memory of the event.
Just a thought.
they were *my* home movies — i see what you’re saying, though. just wanted to give you a different perspective. thanks for jumping in!
“8. If you have to use special effects, there’s something wrong with your story. Effects are often a crutch for inadequate performers, story, or concept.”
Unfortunately, some (lots?) of the clients want the “eye candy”. Taste? No. Bling-bling? Yeees…