Tips for making a VIDEO (by Karl Gude)Begin by asking, “Who is my audience?”How can I construct my narrative so that it isinteresting and entertaining?What are my goals?What do you want people to do? Generally, youwant to educate them, and then persuade them totake some sort of action.How will I get there? What little stories do Ineed to tell that will make up the bigger story?How do I get my shots? What are mylocations, interviews, etc.
Tell a Story.Outline the key points you want to make.Have a beginning, a middle and an end.1. Identify the issue(toxic site next to school)2. Is the issue with it?(it’s leeching into the water table)3. So what? (Kids are getting sick!!)4. What can be done? (Remove the threat)5. What will it take? (Resources)
Tell your story from the macro tothe micro:What is the big picture here. If talking aboutbreast cancer:The macro: the total number of peoplewho have it, how many die each year andthe demographics of who gets it.The micro: One person’s story.Personalize it. Bring it home.
Pacing: Pace your video appropriately, dependingon the subject.If it’s a fun story about a carnival clown, thenhave lots of fast cuts to different shots and scenes.Keep the story lively, ﬂowing, fun.If it’s a sad story about someone’s battle withcancer, then make your scenes longer and pauseon someone to add drama and create mood, evenif they’re not saying anything.
How will you organize your story?Keep the editing process in mind when shooting.Chronologically: Narrative moves frombeginning to end.Mix it up: Start with the end and work towardhow you got there. Or start with the presentand mix in ﬂashbacks.Thematically: Group interests and activities.
Key visual elements to video storytelling:Shoot wide, middle and tight shots: Wide setsthe overall scene, middle comes in closer to someonetalking and tight shots show details, like the personﬁddling with their glasses.Shoot B-Roll: Shoot scenes to that will illustratewhat someone is talking about, and for ﬁller whileyou’re narrating (like a river ﬂowing, a bee on a ﬂower, astreet scene, etc.)Interviews: (next slide)
When interviewing someone:Shoot them early. You may want to go back andillustrate what they say. How much of the story willthey tell in their voice, vs. your narrative. Let them tellthe story whenever possible.Let the person interviewed do the talking:Don’t ask, “Are you feeling well today?” becausethey’ll answer, “Yes,” which is useless. Instead, askthem to talk about how they are feeling. Don’t you saya word while they’re talking, like, “Uh huh, yeah, right.”Get in close for good audio. Don’t conduct aninterview in a loud coffee shop or on a busy streetcorner. Take them somewhere quieter.
Think about these things when shooting:Use a tripod. If you must hold the camera, don’t!Set it on a wall or a table. Jittery ﬁlm looksamateurish.Avoid slow (boring!) pans and zooms!!!If you do shoot one, chop the middle out whenediting. Jump from close to far, left to right. Don’tdrag us along on a slow moving pan/zoom.Get good angles. Put your camera on theground and let people walk by. Get up high.Shoot a scene several times if necessary
Choose your shots carefully. Pick yourshots. What tells the story, what would make goodB-roll? Do you really want to edit all that footage?Lighting: Make sure you’re not shooting into thesun or in the dark. Is your subject squinting? Bringthem into the shade.Composition: Before you start shooting, ask ifthe shot is interesting, well composed. Is there aphone pole coming out of someone’s head?Action: Show movement.Keep it short! Three minutes is long for mostattention spans.
News report parody link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtGSXMuWMR4 Karl’s free visual tools wiki (video hosting, etc.): http://freevisualtools.wikispaces.com/An interview of me shot by a student. Notice the B-roll shots of the monitor, etc. as I talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjHYmkq_biw Student work: Brace yourself: http://jrn203-fs10.wikispaces.com/Video+Storytelling