Advice for Shooting Live DV - TUTORIAL

This is third in a ten-part series of “NodeRanger’s essential (yet un-asked-for) life lessons.”

I’m in the middle of cutting together a three minute internal promo for MTV, with clips of a party focused on the hip-hip fashion guru Ecko tricking out some ugly-as-butt Nissan Pathfinders. Here are couple of things everybody could learn from this event’s highly skilled videographer:

  1. Epileptic seizures can often be treated with a combination of medicine and deep meditation. Also, if you are having one, put the camera down.

  2. The lights above you are interesting but do not look nearly as good on film as you think.

  3. DVCAM is NOT the same as MiniDV. NOT THE SAME. blank tapes do not increase your chances of getting editable film.

  4. A person is composed of a head, a torso, and legs. When they are talking, focus on the head. Also, get their whole head. shots where the lips fill the whole frame can only be used in rare instances.

  5. All an editor needs is a few STILL shots. I cannot stress this enough. If something is interesting do NOT ZOOM IN AND OUT WHILE RUNNING AT MARATHON SPEEDS AROUND THE OBJECT IN A VAIN ATTEMPT AT “MATRIX” STYLE VISUALS. I can always add those in later according the boss’s need for overblown effects.

  6. If you are trying to shoot an interview in the middle of a crowd consider not shooting the interview in the middle of a large, noisy crowd of people. It is often useful to hear what your subjects are saying.

  7. along the same lines, do not turn the audio off in the middle of an interview.

and finally,

  1. If somebody flips you off while you are filming them they are usually not a good subject.

with these short steps you too can be a professional. Who needs film school?

  1. A person is composed of a head, a torso, and legs. When they are talking, focus on the head. Also, get their whole head. shots where the lips fill the whole frame can only be used in rare instances.
    Do you mean only the head, or just insure it isn’t cut off in anyway? otherwise: I would say there’s a fine line there, often when people are talking they also express with their hands, so you may want a full body or a waist-up shot.

Sounds like you didnt have fun :stuck_out_tongue:

trust me, nuances like that would be lost on this guy. I just didn’t want any more shots of people’s legs while they were talking…

(off-topic, but) you do work for MTV? Wow, what’s that like?

not quite. I work for a motion graphics company that does promos, ads, network IDs and special effects in aftereffects, maya, lightwave, and blender (plus stop-motion animation). MTV and Cartoon Network are some of our clients, but I don’t “work” for MTV. which is good, because actually, they don’t pay very well. they just assume the “cred” you get for working there is good enough…

This is funny -LMAO-. Having edited a few poorly shot party/band videos, I can relate. No matter how good you are at editing, the basic formula still applies: Crap in = crap out.