Shooting basic videos in everyday life is simple, but directing, editing and presenting videos like a pro will only come with practice and experience. There are certain skills that a good professional videographer most posses, such as good timing, quick thinking, knowledge of lighting and sound, directorial skills, and editing and dubbing know-how. Accomplishing all of this requires professional equipment, which is quite expensive, but you can try the editing bit on your own computer, usin gone of the many popular editing tools. But editing skills are useless if your source material isn’t good enough, so learning how to capture video well is the first and most essential step.
There are several websites dedicated to video graphy that start at the very basics, with tutorials on how to shoot a video, including topics which help you with the dos and don’ts. ‘www.desktop-video-guide.com’ features a basic starter guide on video shooting techniques. It shows you how to plan your video, the equipment you would require, how to shoot and capture, editing the final video, and how to publish/share it. Also featured are a few tips and tricks on how to get better and some common mistakes to avoid. It also highlights a few links on video editing software that you can make use of. ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Camerawork’ (by Videomaker) is a great video on YouTube, which shows you the common mistakes that you should avoid while shooting.
The tutorials at MediaCollege (‘http://www.mediacollege.com/video’) carry video camera basics like using manual focus, tuning the white balance, exposure settings, and types of shots (extreme wide, medium close-up, over-the-shoulder, etc). You can then move on to more advanced topics like converting and streaming videos, guides on shooting home videos and interviews, and video and TV production. Videomaker.com (‘http://www.videomaker.com/learn/’) also carries useful tips that will help you shoot great videos. Topics include making low-budget movies, creating special effects, and green screen directing. The How To section includes articles on getting started, pre-production, production, post production, distribution, technology, etc. If you’d like to use the green screen or chroma key method in your videos, Creative Cow (‘http://library.creativecow.net/articles/onneweer_barend/chromashoot.php’) has a short but interesting tutorial on how to shoot for chroma-keying. An important aspect of this technique is lighting and you can learn how to set it up by referring to the lighting guide at ‘http://www.lowel.com/edu/lesson_green_screen.html’. Once you are done with shooting/capturing, the next step is to edit your video. This requires a lot of time and skill, and there are many video editing tools (paid and free) available with a variety of features, which can help make your videos stand out. We suggest that you start with Windows Video Maker or Nero DVD Maker to learn aspects such as transitions, subtitles, etc. VirtualDub is a free capturing and editing tool, which has a few limitations, but is good enough for beginners. Once you’re comfortable with basic editing, you can move to professional-level editing software like Sony Vegas, Avid or Adobe Premier, which can help you enrich and polish up your videos in ways beginner tools can’t. You may also want to consider editing software from Pinnacle. If you are familiar with animation, you can use applications such as Blender, Autodesk Maya, 3Ds Max, or Cinema 4D to create animated models and video clips. Visual effects can also be added via Nuke, Eyeon Fusion, Adobe After-Eff ects, Adobe Premiere, and many more. Advanced users can even experiment with green screens or chroma keys using Sony Vegas or Avid, where you can overlay videos and animation.
Once your video is finalized, you can refer to some websites where you can upload them to get some exposure. Websites such as YouTube and Vimeo are great platforms for you to share your videos with the world, and many budding film, TV and ad film makers have gained recognition from their videos on such sites. Easy Web Video (‘www.easywebvideo.com’) is another website that can help you publish your videos in a simple and professional manner. It’s a good idea to not publicize your videos in just one place because sites like YouTube are so heavily populated with content that your videos can tend to get lost in the crowd. You can gain more exposure by additionally hosting your videos on your blog or on your Facebook profi le and associating the same using channels such as Twitter for a larger audience. Other areas where you can apply simple videography, editing and publishing are videos for lowcost advertisements for small businesses, low budget self-made fi lms and documentaries, party videos, and corporate functions and meetings. You’ll have to start small, and practice makes perfect, so use such opportunities to get out your camcorder and fi ne tune your skills.