Archive for Editing

Tips for Shooting Better Video

You’ve gotten yourself a brand new high-end camera and you’re ready to get out there and start shooting! So this means that you’re going to create a masterpiece on your first go, right? I mean, it’s a top of the line piece of equipment – of course it’s going to come out amazingly!

Unfortunately, no. Many people go into video with this mindset and are disappointed to learn that great equipment does not a great videographer make. Creating a visual masterpiece takes years of patience, hard work, and practice.

You don’t have years to learn all of the tricks of the trade? Well, that’s okay! We’ve compiled some tips for shooting better video that we hope will help you out!

Always make sure to keep back up memory on hand! – Whether it’s memory cards, CDs, tapes, or whichever, make sure to keep a spare or two on you just in case you need it. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of an important moment and realizing that your camera just ran out of space to record it. If you wait until you’re out of space, you might also run into problems with buying more. These days, most stores carry SD cards and things of the sort, but if you buy them at somewhere like a hotel, gift shop, gas station, or somewhere else on the go, odds are that you’ll be paying more than you would buying them somewhere else.

Make sure your battery is fully charged beforehand, and if possible, keep a spare on hand! – The only thing worse than running out space to record is having the space but having your battery die on you! If you know you’re going to be filming something, make sure you charge up your battery in advance so that it’s ready to go. If possible, it’s also a good idea to keep a spare on you so that you can easily switch out the dead battery for a fresh one in case it dies at an inconvenient time.

Don’t overuse special effects that come with your camera! – You might think it’s really neat to play with your camera’s special effects, and it is, but when you’re recording an important moment, it’s best to just record it in it’s natural state and go back to add effects later if you wish to. If you shoot something with an added effect, generally there’s no way to remove it later on. If you shoot something in black and white and then later decide you want it in color, there’s no way to bring the color back. On the other hand, if you shoot it in its natural state and then later decide you want to make it black and white or add an effect, you can always add them in, undo the changes, whatever you want. Shooting naturally allows for total control of effects and removal of effects later on.

If editing isn’t in the cards, only record the crucial moments! – If you don’t plan on taking the footage into an editing program later to edit out all the extra moments you recorded to get to the good bits, don’t bother recording the extra, unimportant moments. Without editing, anyone watching will either have to sit through the extra bits or fastforward through them, and either of those can be annoying. If you do plan on editing, record to your heart’s content!

Avoid techniques that might make your video look amateur! – Much like Comic Sans is frowned upon in the graphic design community, there are certain techniques that are looked down upon in videography. Avoid excessive zooming in and out, and when you do use zoom, take it slow and easy! Frame your shots well and don’t use wide shots too often. Avoid heavy backlighting, as it can cause the focus of your shot to look dark and you can lose a lot of detail in your shot. Also, try to shoot from different angles and perspectives to switch things up and keep it interesting.

Always back up your files! – Speaking from experience, it’s horrible recording important memories and then losing them for some reason or another, whether it’s due to a corrupt hard drive, a broken CD, misplaced files, or accidentally recording over them. Always keep back ups of your files so that in case anything does happen to the original, you can rest assured knowing that you haven’t lost your precious memories or hard creative work. We walk you through backing up your files here on our blog, but AM Tech Video can also do it for you in store. Just give us a call or bring your files in and we’d be more than happy to help you out!

Do-It-Yourself Camera or SD Video Card to DVD

Many still cameras now offer a video mode. Getting your videos to a DVD can, however, be a bit of a challenge. I would first check with your camera’s manufacturer to see about any free software that would offer a solution. Barring that option, here is how to transfer video files to DVD. Your camera may have a USB port and a cable to directly transfer the video files to your computer. If not, your computer may have a card reader built in that you can use to transfer the files from a memory card.

If your computer does not have one, you will need to purchase one. The card reader must match the type of card that you have. All card readers are not the same! If you have an SDHC card from your camera and your card reader only reads SD cards, you will need to upgrade to a card reader that reads SDHC cards.

Transfer your video files to a folder on whichever drive of your computer that you would like to save them on. I find this a more reliable way to work with the files opposed to working off of the card or digital camera. Your computer will also have to be fast enough and have enough memory to play your video. How fast does your computer have to be to play video? As a rule, about 2.2 GHz, and it should have about 2 GB of RAM. This can vary as to how choked up your computer is. The more speed and memory, the better! A second Hard Drive would be beneficial to store and play your videos. This may solve some of the top and go type of video playback.

Once you have the files in your computer, open up your favorite DVD Authoring Program, import your video files from the folder you copied them to and follow program instructions. If your DVD Authoring Program doesn’t recognize the video files, you will need to get a video file converter program or find a different DVD Authoring Program that does read that type of file. Look for a high rated program that lists your file type, whether it’s .mp4, .mov, .avi, or whichever. Have fun! 🙂

Keep in mind, the easiest solution would be to bring your SD memory card or camera in to us here at AM Tech Video and let us do the DVD transfer for you! Mention that you saw it here and get a $5.00 discount! Check out http://www.cameratransfer.com/ for more information.

Trouble Transferring Video from Camera to DVD?

All kinds of digital cameras provide the ability to take short video clips now! You’re no longer limited to just taking still images anymore. While that’s a great feature, it’s not always easy to transfer your videos to DVD from your camera.

There are plenty of kiosks at drug stores and such that will allow you to transfer your photo files to physical prints, but they will not transfer your videos to DVD. This is because there just isn’t a way to do every type of file from every type of camera. If you try to do it yourself, you may also find it to be time consuming and quite a technological challenge.

If you’re looking to have a DVD made with your camera that will play in your DVD player, come to ATV Productions! We can copy your videos from your memory card into our computer and call you when your DVD movies are ready for pick up! In most cases, you don’t even have to leave your camera behind! You’ll have a playable DVD with your videos for your family to enjoy. We can even make you a low cost back-up copy for safe keeping.

Give us a call or visit http://www.atvproductions.com/ for more information on these services!

Preserving Your 8mm Film

If you’re wondering how to keep your old 8mm film safe and protected, the best thing we can recommend is to get them transferred to DVD. You can preserve the life of the film as long as possible by storing it in a cool, low moisture area away from sunlight. Even with the best possible care, the film will deteriorate over time, and the only sure way to keep your precious memories truly safe is to get them over to a more permanent format, such as DVD.

We do film transfers here at ATV Productions in-house to ensure the safety of your priceless videos. Give us a call today or visit us at http://www.atvproductions.com/ for more info!

Reach Out to Customers with Video on Your Website!

There are plenty of statistics, articles, blogs, etc. that will tell you the same thing:  Online video attracts more customers to your business website! On top of that, Google looks for video content on sites and actually ranks pages higher for it. If that doesn’t attract more customers, then I don’t know what will.

If you own a small business and you’re considering video for your site, please contact AM Tech Video, Inc. for your production needs. We can make it a lot easier and more affordable than you think. We provide cost efficient, quality video production for your local business right here in Cleveland, Ohio! What’s even better is that if you have an online listing with a yellow pages site, they’ll post whatever videos you have regardless of who made them. These services usually offer video production services, which can be rather pricey and they outsource to a local studio to do it anyway.

We have the facilities, equipment and talent here to make your video exactly what you want. Thinking about using a green screen? ATV has that too, as well as a huge studio, props, lighting, teleprompters and everything else you could need. Need help writing a script? We’d be more than happy to help! We’re local, trustworthy and have been in business since 1985. Check out our website at http://www.onwebtalent.com/ or http://www.atvproductions.com/ for my information.

Check out this article about adding video to your small business website!

The Easiest Way to Get Video Off Your Camera

Do you have a video camera with a hard drive? The easiest way to get video off your camcorder is to use the video out cables. You plug them into your video camera and a video recorder.

If you’re still unsure, bring your camera and cords into AM Tech Video, Inc. We have all the equipment here to do the job quickly and efficiently. We also have a do-it-yourself video editing station that we can show you how to use once your footage is off the camera.

Visit our website at http://www.atvproductions.com/ for all your video production needs and questions!