Pro-Video Blogger

Video Production. Learn how to use video to tell your story. Whether it's a home movie of the kids or a corporate documentary.

Video for Bloggers

Martin Johnson - Thursday, June 04, 2015

I'm a member of a bloggers Facebook group and there has been some interesting posts in the last few days about how bloggers can get into video. I'm no expert when it comes to blogging, but video is certainly something I understand. So this post is not about the content of a video for a blogging site. It's about how to do it ... (See video here. )

Camera

The first thing you need is a camera and I'm going to focus on how you can use your smartphone for shooting, editing and uploading.  (A lot of what I'm about to say has been covered in previous posts and it's worth reading some of my earlier posts.)

Some quick comments about smartphones

* These were never meant for serious video work (or still photography for that matter) but as millions of videos on Youtube can testify, everyone is shooting and uploading video using them.

* Smartphones rely on using automatic exposure, colour balance and audio level. For a quick video of a family birthday - this is perfectly OK. The trick is know how to use these features to your advantage.

* Make sure your subject (you) is evenly lit. This can be in direct sunlight, but don't face directly into the sun - probably between 30 and 60 degrees is fine. You need to make sure most of your face however is lit by the sun. If the sun is only on one side, the unlit side will be quite dark. Experiment to find the best angle

* Sound on smartphones picks up everything. Stay away from noisy locations and listen out for aircraft, jack hammers, noisy roads etc. If possible, stay away from these as they will dominate your audio track

* Shoot on a day with no wind. Wind is a sound recordist's nightmare as it 'buffets' the microphone and usually ruins a good audio track. Only solution for smartphone users is a windless day.

Backgrounds

Shoot against a neutral background. Stay away from bright backgrounds or dark ones. Trees/bushes are great but stand at least 5 metres in front of them. They should be in the 'background'.

Shot size

Stand closer rather than further away from the camera. People need to see you in a mid-shot at least (waist up). Be animated - use your hands but make sure you stay in frame. Because a smartphone lens is wide angle, you can lean right in to make a point. 

Editing

iMovie on an iPhone is just one option. You can add credits, fade-ins and fade-outs and even (corny) music. You can also add titles and text. Well worth the >$10 it costs.

Upload

An average 2 to 3 minute video shot on your iPhone and edited should end up at around 200mb (at the 720P setting in iMovie). Using the medium setting (540P) it'll be about 100mb. The secret is if possible, DON'T upload this from your iPhone. Use iPhoto and get it onto your PC and upload to Youtube that way - it will be heaps quicker and only take around 20 mins. I agree this is often the longest part of the process, but unless you have the NBN, that's how it's going to be.

Love to have your questions. 

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