I’ve always had a passion for photography. It all started when I picked up a Kodak 126-film camera at a garage sale for 25 cents long ago. A lot sure has changed in camera tech since then. Today cameras, like my Canon 6D DSLR have the ability to record professional video. While I’ve always had a lingering interest in video, I just never really gotten into it – until now.
After I finished my business program as Las Positas College, I switched gears and starting working towards my photography certificate. A couple of semesters later and I finally got to take my first videography class. While I knew I’d enjoy it, I didn’t think I’d enjoy the creative process of making videos so much.
So I’ll be posting my video projects to share my work and tell you what I learned. Below are the first four assignments from my Intro to Videography class. Remember, this is the first time I’ve ever shot and edited video, but I hope you enjoy following the learning process.
Assignment 1: Shots
For our first assignment we learned how to do some basic camera shots. I’m using my Canon 6D with a 24-105mm f/4 lens. This is the first and last video I edited with iMovie. While it’s relatively easy to use, I’m mainly a Windows user and wanted to dive into the depths of Adobe Premiere Pro.
Besides shot basics, I learned a few things:
- DSLR lenses give an awesome cinematic look.
- Zooming is friggin’ hard on a DSLR. I’m researching budget rigs and follow focus systems.
- So is panning on a photo tripod head. Right away I bought a Manfrotto MHXPRO-2W XPRO Fluid Head.
- Editing is really fun!
Assignment 2: Conversations
Our second assignment was to come up with a scrip and record a conversation. I used Premiere and am picking it up rather quickly. Once I got the interface down, I felt I could do a lot more with it compared to iMovie.
For this one we worked in teams. There were several of us plated the rolls of camera operator, sound operator, and actors. We each had to take all the video and make our own edit. The one above it mine. It was interesting to see how each final cut was different. There is a lot of creativity in the editing process, much more than with photography.
After completing this video I found I needed to learn about color and white balance for video. When you use multiple cameras, it’s important to have everything match. I also learned that it’s easy to bore the viewers with long takes. It’s best to cut quick and keep a good pace.
Assignment 3: Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Okay, the topic for this PSA wasn’t my idea. “Yeah, right you say,” Haha! But I thought it was a fun idea and it was interesting to shoot and very fun to edit. If you want to learn more about the topic, just watch the video and go to the website at the end.
For this video, I learned how important planning is. We didn’t really have a plan and just winged it. I worked with one classmate and we wasted a lot of time standing around trying to figure what we wanted to do. It was quite draining and we had to come back another day to shoot again.
We tried to record sound, but man, sound in a gym locker room is horrible. So I dumped it and found an awesome site called FreeSound.org. I was able to find all the sound effects I needed to create what you hear above. I also spend a lot of time on cuts and it really paid off.
After watching, if you said “What just happened?” You’re not along 😉
Assignment 4: Viral Video
For this one, we had to come up with a “viral” video and get at least 100 views. Just days before, my security camera caught my cat on the front porch. I found a catchy tune at the YouTube Audio Library and put together what you see above. With over 500 views, it was a success.
So those are my first few assignments. Not too bad for a first timer. I’ll post more as I make and learn more. My only regret is that I didn’t take videography a lot sooner. It’s really fun and I’m enjoying it a lot.