Scott’s Shooting Rule #1
- don’t zoom in and out all the darn time while your camera is recording.
People get nauseated watching that!
the next time you watch TV, take note of how often you see a shot zoom in, then immediately zoom out again. *
People ask me all the time, “What brand of tape is best?”
Most camcorders- even the least expensive ones- seem to be shipping with on board digital effects these days.
I have some great advice for using those in your own home movies.
Don’t use Digital Effects. They’re not cool.
Ha. Were you expecting to see Lucy Lawless naked? Don’t you have better things to do?
Like learn how to make killer home movies.
In this case, Xena is a dog, and she’s her own blonde side-kick. Xena hates taking a bath, and this video proves it.
Her full name is Xena Belle Warrior Princess Markowitz.
My daughter edited this video (She’s 13) on iMovie ’09. It took her about 1/2 an hour to edit, and I think it came out pretty good.
Problem: I have several tapes, and I have no idea what’s on them.
Solution: Pre-label your tapes before you shoot on them.
Do you keep a blank tape in our camera bag just in case you need one. Of course you do. Don’t be ridiculous!
This is the kind of work I do at my day job.
I enjoy making the home movies more. I get to do whatever I feel like doing. I get to explore whatever techniques I want to try out. It’s a natural extension of my creative energy!
Yes, I know. This is not an easy-to-do home movie.
But you can achieve a really fun effect by doing something that is easy to do.
Draw pictures with one letter of the alphabet per drawing- or have your kids draw draw them. Then using your camcorder on a tripod, shoot the pictures. They are now “art cards” and this is how they used to actually put graphics on screen in the original days of broadcasting.
It’s cool, it’s retro. Best of all, you could do it, too.
How I made Star Wars ABC’s:
I made separate graphic files for each letter of the alphabet in Adobe Photoshop. then, I animated them inside Adobe After Effects. This is expensive software, but as a professional, I am very accustomed to using them.
Then I edited the After Effects animation with the live footage of my son, Ryan.
Problem: Your camcorder reset its time counter to 00:00:00
even though you know you had many minutes of video already recorded to tape.
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN TO YOU:
You most likely (or maybe it was your friend; why do I always blame you?) switched to playback mode on your camcorder to review some of your footage. Then, when you were done, you cued the tape back up to approximately where you left off on the tape.
You (or your buddy) thought you were at the end of the last scene, but you actually cued the tape forward just a little too far. (Usually the screen turns solid blue when it runs past the end of picture)
Once cued past the tape’s data, the camera will assume that it to prepare a new tape for recording. Then, it correctly starts back at time 00:00:00
Solution: Cue your tape to about a second BEFORE the last scene is over on your tape.
Super Solution: Really plan ahead here, and roll each shot about 3 seconds longer than you think you need to. It’s a good habit to get into- so that you have plenty of extra data on the tape for the camcorder to be able to read when you are cuing the tape.
This short movie illustrates how you can get creative with your own movies.
I took simple footage from my consumer camcorder and motion tracked my mouth onto it.
In your version it doesn’t have to be so elaborate. You can just draw a mouth onto your finger and get a similar effect.