Anyone involved with producing online video probably is aware of the too numerous to mention web sites they can go to for helpful information and tips on how to do it right. From holding the camera right to getting the color right, it’s all there readily available for the eager to learn and grow. Yet through it all there isn’t much mention on how to do it wrong. So, here I am finding that niche. This is Glen Canning’s guide to failing at online video.
Fail 1. Batteries
Always leave your batteries in your camera from the last shoot and let them sit there for days and whatever you do don’t check them before you head out to that five alarm fire. Leave the spare at the bottom of your gear bag for weeks on end so your desperate “please” plea is answered immediately by a flashing low battery icon as soon as you switch the camera back on with the trusty spare in place. That’s beautiful stuff. While your failing at that remember to never check your wireless microphone battery. No sense having good audio with no video.
Fail 2. Audio
It’s a myth that you can have bad video but not bad audio. People love listening to an overpowering hiss when they listen to someone talk. Never wear headphones to monitor your audio levels and you’ll be amazed at how high you can crank that gain after recording someone you can barely hear. While we’re on that topic remember low levels big brother – distortion. Distortion rules in todays heavy metal unemployed cameraman line ups. Headphones are for iPods. Leave them at home and let the auto audio speak for you and your sense of rock and roll.
Fail 3. White Balance
Fail 4. Focusing
Fail 5. Tripods
The less kit the better. Right? Tripods are big and ugly and I always end up clocking someone in the head with them. Leave them at home with the headphones. The newest thing to come out of Hollywood is that fly all over the place shot that doesn’t stay on any one thing for much more then a second. It looks awesome, especially when it’s used with press interviews. I interviewed a cop one time who stopped talking and asked me if I was rolling. Flopping all over the place kept him guessing and on his toes. It was right out of NYPD Blues. Awesome!
Fail 6. Lighting
Never plan ahead. Poor planning makes for quick editing. That’s always a plus. Wing your story and never think about sequencing. Conduct endless talking head interviews with one eyed poorly lit barely audible monsters that are cut off at the forehead.
Oh, and keep your lens dirty for the war photog in the trenches look. Lovely stuff.
Did I miss anything? Leave a comment and let me know.