Produced by Jamie Redford & Kontent Films.
Using your camera phone, a video camera or your computer, record an introduction to your WRO project and tell us a little about yourself.
Make sure we can see you. Record your video by a window, or next to a lamp. Don’t film with a bright light or window behind you.
Put your camera, phone camera or computer on a steady place, or a tripod if you have it. And be sure to put it at the same level as your face. We don’t want to see up your nose. Yuck. And record in landscape mode!
Be sure to record in a quiet place away from barking dogs, crying little brothers or sisters, traffic noise or big crowds. If you have a microphone to use, even better!
Film Sensei tips
Start your clip a second or two before you start speaking or whatever it is you’re showing us. Keep rolling a second or two after you’re done. It gives the editor “handles” to slide the clip as needed in the editing process. In the same vein if you are shooting some b-roll (and narrating) try to hold a shot of whatever you’re shooting for at least 5 seconds. Again, better for the editor.
Be sure to shoot landscape (horizontal) mode. Test you microphone. Make sure it’s properly connected. There’s nothing more tragic than to having to reshoot an answer because there is no sound. ARGH!
I like to say that similar to Smell being 90% of the sensation of Taste, Sound is 80% of the sensation of what you See. If you can’t hear dialogue very well, or the sound is distracting, there’s a good chance you won’t watch something. That’s why I am really trying to get every one aware of sound, especially for the interview (A roll) clips.
When answering questions, be aware of background sound. Music under an interview is an editor’s nightmare. Because if you must make an edit, the background music will “jump”. It’s very distracting.
In the finished piece, we will not hear the interviewers question, the subject (meaning you all) must give context by putting the question in their answer. Not repeating the question, but giving context in a full sentence i.e. If you ask “What is your favorite color?” Instead of answering “Green”, you should give context by saying, “My favorite color is green.” Make sense?
With my questions, don’t think too hard about them. Try to imagine as if I were there interviewing you. Ask the question, then turn your camera on and go for it. You can always upload another answer, and I will probably have a follow up question for you, so there are no wrong answers.
Now that we’ve HEARD what your day is like, we need to SEE what it is like. Film is visual, and B-roll is how we visualize the film. You can narrate what we’re seeing with your microphone, but also include yourself once in a while in your shots (selfie mode).
Now that you’re aware of the importance of good sound, pay attention to your framing, lighting and background. Visual style says a lot about a story. Be creative. Have fun!
Hold your shots a bit longer than you might normally. At least 5 seconds.
Try some of your answers with a different distance from the lens (if you had a different lens, it would be called changing the “focal length”). Check to see if your recording device can hold the focus, but try a Close Up (C/U).
Try to hold your camera steady, which is much harder to do if you are zoomed in. If you are hand holding your camera phone, it’s best to stay on a wide angle.
It’s good to show your “failures” in practice. And talk about them. Record those interactions with your team mates (or have someone else film them). It will help set up some dramatic tension for the audience to know that things need work, and how hard you are working to get there.
For better editorial results, it’s helpful to have a different aspect ration to cut to. Meaning either closer up or further away. It helps prevent what are called JUMP CUTS, if you can cut to a Close Up (C/U). Or a Wide Shot (W/S). If you are adding a follow-up clip, try it with a C/U or a W/S. Stay in the same room though.
For scenic panoramas, pick a starting composition and know your ending composition. Roll the camera for a few seconds before you start the pan. Pan slowly. We can speed it up in edit if need be. Once you get to your final composition, keep rolling for a few seconds. Your editor will thank you.
Slow down your movements with the camera. And hold your shots just a little bit longer before stopping recording. It will make the editor happy.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRODUCER, JAMES REDFORD - October 16, 2018
DIRECTOR UPDATE - Sep. 28, 2018
DIRECTOR UPDATE - Sep. 26, 2018
WELCOME TO ME AND MY ROBOT!