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Tips When Filming Or Editing?

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Anyone got any?

How to make day look like night it what I want to know!

Bugger all this filming AT night, trying to fiddle with lighting and make it look "dark" and still try to focus the damn camera!

In Sony Vegas I have discovered an effect in "colour curves" that says " night".

It casts a very blue darkish look to the clips shot in day light. Still needs some desaturation done in order to look semi "night-ish".

I'm wondering if this indeed will prove the way to go.

I still have a lot of fiddling to do before I'll know for sure.

Anyway.....just thought I'd start this subject in case anyone has ANY sort of tips to offer those of us eager to learn!


One tip I have to offer the novice, is.........always shoot a clip longer than what you expect to need to use.

8 seconds in front and 8 in back for ease of editing.

Nothing worse than shots that finish too quick.....or a line mimed and then the eyes immediately drop with that "Ok I'm done" look that you can't disguise in editing when fading to the next bit.

If you know what I mean?

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Hey Tracy

No, i'm just starting with filming. I am sure sophisticated packages such as photoshop elements could help but I don't know enough I'm afraid. I started playing around with 3D modeling in blender but not much more other than basic editing of film.

Be interested to know too. Keep me up to date please :)



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Actually I have quite a few more tips to offer based on what I have learned SO FAR.

I don't mean to sound like I know everything because that is so far from the truth it's not funny!

But........for the complete novice, perhaps some of what I have listed below might be of some help?

I hope so....because this is darn complicated stuff!

Really gives me an entirely new appreciation for those who have been doing this kind of thing for years and are really good at it!

Just some thoughts on what I have read and learned so far... I hope to hear some more from others round here that have many more years of filming and editing experience up their sleeves!



To paint a picture through moving images is far more complex than it first seems.

It's nowhere near as easy as pulling a video camera out of a bag and pointing and shooting something that appeals to you.

That's perfectly fine for home movies but if you're wanting to get arty farty, or make something aimed at a wider audience then there are some things that can help you make a more "interesting" video.

The most important thing I believe is required to make your filming appealing to the eye, is that you use a tripod!

Unless you have some kind of steadycam, flycam device, hand held filming, despite the decent internal image stabilisers most home video camera's have these days, is NEVER that comfortable to watch.

The exception is filming action stuff like sport and perhaps to create an atmosphere of unease and tension like in something horror related.

Tiny snippets of hand held footage could be worked into a whole piece but it doesn't work when the whole thing is hand held....as I have learned.

When looking at piecing a whole bunch of images together in an editing program it's really important that while you film you think about HOW you are going to join it all together.

For example ....when filming a waterfall video I ran around randomly shooting all the "pretty water", completely disregarding the angles at which I was filming it.

Therefore I had water running from left to right....from right to left.....directly towards the camera....away from the camera....down the cliff and with the camera pointing AT the cliff.

It was an absolute NIGHTMARE to piece it all together when I edited it in order for it not to be "jarring" to the eye when I cross faded the images.

So perhaps to be aware of how you "might" edit it as you are filming is advisable otherwise you end up in a mess!

Or story board the whole thing prior to filming if it is more complex than just nature stuff.

As I mentioned before......it's also a good rule of thumb to count eight seconds when you press record before you do anything like pan or zoom etc....and then leave another eight seconds after you have "got the shot" you want.

This way when you edit it together you have some wiggle room.

As I have discovered while dabbling in making my few music videos, when you want a scene for example of someone singing/miming, and they immediately drop their eyes from the camera as soon as the line has been sung/mimed, it's impossible to avoid that "Ok I'm done now!" eye movement when you fade to the next scene.

Holding the eye contact/head position etc for a few seconds allows for much better editing.

To make your footage more interesting it's a good idea to combine distant, middle and close up shots.

To film everything at a distance - say a landscape, quickly becomes boring, no matter how spectacular it is.

Our eyes have learned to be "entertained" though movies and television and though you're not aware of it, everything you watch on TV combines these three elements (and more) CONSTANTLY.

Except perhaps newsreaders faces? lol!

The trick though is to combine all these different shots smoothly so they are not "noticed" as being shot from different perspectives.

The thing is, when we look at a scene with our eyes they take in EVERYTHING they see and transmit all those images as one thing to our eyes.

If you look at say a river....You see not just the river, but the glistening texture of the water as the sun shines on it....you see the water moving....the tree's on the far side of the river.... the sky in the distance, the clouds, the bank of the river, peripherally you are aware of things, movement, tree's, reeds, etc....and probably SO much more!

With a video camera you point it in one direction and it captures THAT, but is unable to capture ALL that your eyes take in, in one single shot.

So combining all those little elements of interest takes the viewer on a journey OF the river, much as your brain or eyes would.

Video is NOT the same as photography where "stillness" is what is intended.

Video is about movement...about "the journey", made up of hundreds of images.

For a music video as another example....When filming even something simple like a person singing while playing guitar, it's much more interesting to incorporate things like... say the hands on the strings of the guitar as they play, as a closeup shot.

A mid shot of head to waist.....a closeup shot of the face....even closer of the mouth or eyes...

Not JUST a pull away shot of the entire thing filmed from one perspective of the guy sitting on the chair singing as he plays.

Even more interesting is to add in different scenes relating to the song then coming back to the singer?

Framing the shot too is important.

The golden rule of thirds is something I'd never heard of before - you photographers would probably know all about that!

What it means is USUALLY the shot looks best when the point of interest is two thirds up the frame of the shot.

I did find a link about that at some point so I'll try and find it.

Worth having a play around anyway experimenting with what position to film a shot in looks best to your eye, before even starting to record.

Also included in that of course is getting your horizons straight!

This is my biggest problem! I must veiw the world lopsided or something because I RARELY manage to get them straight!

A tricky thing with horizons in editing is getting them to match.

When floating say one ocean scene over another, if the horizons are at a different level it will look "funny".

To fix that you can either be meticulous when filming all your horizons or you can add a contrasting scene - with NO horizon, to put between the shots so it's not so obvious to the eye that the two horizons are different.

OR you can use a crop tool in editing to match them up - though of course any zoom done in editing is digital and will affect the image quality.

One very obvious thing to remember - you would think, when filming is to make sure your shadow is not in the shot!

I don't know how many nice nature scenes I've recorded only to notice afterwards that there is me AND my tripod in the shot!

Being aware of ANYTHING that spoils the overall image is important....no matter how tiny it is.

Cars driving past in the distance between tree's are a real pain in the bum!

When editing, it's tempting to use all the effects you suddenly find at your fingertips.

I believe, less is more.

The simpler the better.

All of those cheesy wipes and transitions, like page roll overs etc are really better left for something you want to look like has been made in the eighties, lol!

This is personal preference I guess, but I have read people say that the minute they see a "wipe" of any kind it screams "amateur!"

Dissolves and crossfades used to smoothly flow one scene into the next is much gentler on the eye.

All depends of course on what you're filming.

You wouldn't gently cross fade scenes of a football match

Matching your fades and scene changes I always find is controlled by the pace of the music you choose.

It's tricky to "time" the scene changes to the music, but by expanding the time line you expand the music track and can "see" (more or less) where to line up your cross fades or dissolves.

If you have a shot of something and it's not quite long enough to fit where you want it, you can change the properties of it in your editing program and slow it down a little, which lengthens it slightly.

You can also speed it up slightly.....or a lot

Back to what I said before though......always film MORE of what you think you'll use in editing just to be on the safe side.....(but never use SO much that it becomes static and boring.)

There's nothing more frustrating than having a scene you love but its over in a heartbeat!

Always film in good light!

Early morning and late afternoon offer the best light to film in.

Heat haze here in Australia is a HUGE problem....even on cloudy winter days it STILL distorts the landscape images!

I'm so jealous of those that live in countries that don't have heat haze problems!

No camera's out there, despite what they say, work well under artificial light conditions.

You always need LOADS more light than what you think you'll need, even if you're trying to create a night time effect.

Just look at the horror/suspense movies...

Haven't you always noticed how "light" it looks for night time?

When filming indoors with ordinary light bulbs they cast a very orange light that you don't notice until you try to film with them on.

I was quite startled to see just how orange they make everything look!

Apparently you CAN buy light bulbs that have a more "white" light.

Something I'm looking into.

Remember though, the camera lens is just like your eye.....without light it becomes hard to focus.

Lighting in itself is a whole other learning curve to master....there really is an ART to it!

Bouncing light....reflecting light....pin pointing light....It's all VERY complicated!

Makes my head hurt.

When you use a video camera on "auto" settings it WILL automatically adjust itself depending on how much light is getting into the lens, therefore fading and brightening as the level of light changes.

Turning it to manual will give YOU the control.

Much trickier, but creatively much more freedom is available.

If you know anything about aperture and shutter speeds it's probably worth experimenting in manual mode to see what can be done.

Depth of focus can be very rewarding creatively when using your camera's manual setting.

Ok, that's a start.

When I think of more.... read and learn more, I'll add them to the list.

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