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Preparation For Video Editing

Actually filming your audio-visual project is extremely complex, the subject of entire film school courses, and well outside the scope of this book. There are a few key principles to remember, though, in order to save yourself some hassle later on: shoot multiple takes, make sure your key images are large and interestingly framed, and shoot enough footage to give yourself some leeway in editing.

Shooting multiple takes is just common sense. You might shoot what you think is a perfect take of a testimonial, leave your shooting location to plug your footage into your video editing software, and find out that your microphone wasn't plugged in correctly and didn't pick up any sound whatsoever.

Or you might find that your sound levels are fine, but you've inadvertently cut off one of your performer's heads or even your product's logo. Or you might find any number of things that would have been easy to fix while you were actually shooting--but you're not shooting any more, and to go back and reshoot will cost you money and time. So shoot multiple takes, even if you don't think you'll need them: better to be safe than sorry.

Framing your images is a huge film-school subject, but here are a few guidelines: make sure that whatever the subject of the scene is fills up most of the camera frame, and try not to center your images too closely. If you frame your subjects too loosely and leave too much of a blank border around your image, you're wasting space and you're making your footage look much less interesting.

Why would you want to film the walls of your garage when you could be devoting that space to a bigger close-up of the new power tool you've invented? The rule about centering is less vital, but it's still a good trick to remember: placing your primary subject slightly away from the absolute center of the camera's focus adds visual interest to your footage, engages your viewer's attention, and makes your audio-visual presentation much more interesting.

But some of these issues are just icing on the cake. Your basic concerns with video recording are simple: make sure your images are clear, make sure you can easily transfer your footage to editing software, and make sure you leave yourself plenty of leeway when it comes to editing.

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