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Shooting Strategy

Lesson 9 from: Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

9. Shooting Strategy

Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

Lesson Info

Shooting Strategy

Shooting strategy. So shooting strategy gives you a plan for capturing content, organize your thoughts, and build your shoot schedule. So what I'm really talking about here is just a strategy. So what's your schedule? What's gonna lay it out? Kathy Ramos, guys. I worked with Kathy on saying hey, we're gonna try to figure out what we're gonna do and plan out our day. And then what our basic shooting strategy, okay, it's like what is the shooting strategy? What are we gonna do? We have two days. What's day one gonna consist of? What's day two gonna consist of? Those are two really, really important things. If you don't figure out what you're gonna shoot in one day or two, you're gonna show up on set, and you're just gonna meander, and if you meander, you're not gonna get the contacts you need. Have a purpose. Set a plan. Get a strategy. So what was day one? I decided two-camera, I wanna be at 4K, 24 frames per second, CineStyle, but deliver in HD. I need to walk myself through this, beca...

use in the process of walking myself through this, if I realize I don't have a camera that shoots 4K, that goes on the bill. That's it, no more, can't do it. And then I need to have cameras be static. I can't move that second camera around, because I'm by myself. If I'm here engaged with the person in the interview, I can't walk around to the other side of the camera, because he's not talking to anybody then. You're engaging them. It's your responsibility to get them to talk to you. You can't just walk around and be like, oh yeah, cool, keep talking. Oh yeah, cool cool cool cool. And in the shoot, I had to go to the other camera, because again, we had some failures. I had to fix the other camera during the shoot, so I had to grab somebody, and stick them here so they could talk to them so that I could move around. You have to have someone to talk to. So day one, B-roll at a glance, I'm gonna strip down all my equipment, take down all the lights, take down all the stuff, make it lightweight, and then I'm really gonna be using a lot of the 5d on a monopod and the DJI. That DJI is awesome. Here. I could never operate a Steadicam, but I got this, and it's been phenomenal. It's a handheld gimbal that stabilizes the camera, and you're gonna see some footage from this that's just gonna drop your jaw. I'm just like, wow, that can't be real. Shoot some 4K. It's affordable. (audience laughter) Oh! Sorry. So, you know, it's really neat, and it connects wirelessly to your phone so that you can have a screen to see what the camera's recording. It's just a really, really, cool, cool, powerful tool. Three years ago I would've never dreamt that that type of technology would exist. You're always learning. You're always finding new pieces of equipment. You're always finding that thing that's gonna give you an edge, and allow you to tell your story better, because before I couldn't operate a Handicam or a Steadicam. I couldn't do any of that. I'm not trained, I'm not good enough. But I can hold that. The challenge in that thing is just grading the footage. Well, I can do that. So just give yourself an opportunity to learn, and that's why you guys are here, and I'm so grateful for it, but don't just think that oh, you've got it, you're done. I literally walked into a camera shop in Arizona and saw that and I needed to have it, because I knew the possibilities it would allow me as a content creator. So fun, so great. So it looked like the version of that particular Osmo is the one that has the camera on it. I know there's also a version of that that exists where you shoot with your phone. Correct. Can you talk about the advantages or disadvantages-- Yeah, yeah. Of that piece of equipment? Okay, so let me bring the thing out again. Okay. So the Osmo is the handle. The handle is what drives this whole system. What this thing is, this is the Zenmuse. This is the camera. I could buy or later upgrade this camera module to one that is better as time progresses, because then I can just plug it into this thing, and then it would work. Now the question was, well, they make one for mobile phones. What are the pros and cons of the one for mobile phones versus the one that you have? So that one shoots 4K, straight up. 4K at 24. I can dumb it down and shoot a higher frame rate if I wanted to. So it gives me a lot of room, a lot of flexibility. The app that's attached to it that I can use my phone to meter and get all of the framing correct, that's a huge, huge thing, because I'm not relying on the phone to do the recording, I'm relying on the phone to control the device that's recording it. That's really powerful. If you were gonna go on the opposite way, I think the benefit of using the one that holds the phone, that's huge because you don't have to buy a camera, and as you upgrade your phone, that camera is gonna get much better, so the rapidity of which camera upgrades will happen are probably gonna be much quicker. We'll probably get better cameras on our phones as we kinda go on here, because that's the natural progression of things. I think what the limitation is, is cell phones die very quickly. Capacity. I can toss in a 128 gigabyte card into that camera and just go for days. Whereas if I'm shooting 4K on a phone, it could be prohibitive, because what's the largest phone right now, it's 128, but then I got all my apps, what if I'm shooting and I get a text message? There's things that are happening on the phone that are completely separate of my filmmaking career. These are things you have to weigh and balance. I prefer to have a dedicated camera where my phone controls it because if I do get a text message while it's controlling, I can ignore it, and it's not gonna affect my footage. So to wrap it up, I think Day 2 at a glance was, it's a backup day. If I mess up, if I mess up royally, I have a safety day. Thank God I didn't need it. If everything goes well, it's an extra day to start editing. If something goes wrong, it's my safety valve, I already talked about that. This whole section on pre-production involved equipment, it involved talking to the client, it involved a lot of work that went into this shoot, and it's like, wow, how much more can we discuss before we actually even get on set? That's kind of where I really wanna drive us towards, is what more work can we do before we turn a camera on? Because the minute we turn a camera on, all that prep work, all that training, all that effort becomes backseat, because then it's all reflex. Then it's all knowledge. And that's all like you guys as photographers, trying to capture motion. Continuing to hone in on, we have experience, we have gear, but looking at some of these things we then think, oh my gosh, can I actually do this? So, StudioStinson asks, what do we do when all we have is a DLSR and no budget to get anything more? Can we still do this with all within a camera? Yes. Yes you can. I would not be up here if you could not. Because when I started, all I had was a photo tripod and a DLSR with a bunch of lenses, and I did a bunch of voiceover videos, made a bunch of videos with soundtrack, I did a bunch of videos that had no, no audio track recorded whatsoever. I didn't even record an audio track until like, a year into creating videos. I made some of the dumbest videos known to man, but they were dumb videos I really, really enjoyed making because it taught me a lot about the camera, taught me a lot about editing. The two things that you need to learn are editing, how to edit, and the other thing, your camera and how to get the most out of it. You don't even need, at the moment of starting, at the beginning you don't even need to get a microphone if you can't get one. You've just gotta start recording, start getting it on a tripod, understanding that every, I do this a lot. Watch what we're watching on television, on Netflix, on Hulu, on Amazon Prime, on HBO GO, whatever you guys watch how much of that footage is static, and how much of it is moving. Like 80% of the footage we watch is static. You don't need, you do not need a fancy-schmancy thing that's gonna let you follow somebody, because honestly, those are great, long takes are awesome, but they get boring real quick. Content drives. Content drives people watching stuff. If you've got great footage but no story, then it doesn't matter. These days, video stabilization done in software has gotten so much better, and I'm wondering if you feel like the investment in a gimbal really gives you much better results than doing it later in post-processing? I've been really doing video for six and a half years. Six and a half years, almost seven. With DSLR. And I bought my first gimbal almost eight months ago. So no, you don't need it. Is it the replacement for video stabilization in software? I don't think they're, they're not comparable. They're not analogous. Video stabilization in software is a safety valve for when you mess up. It's not in replacement of. A gimbal, not necessary. A gimbal is something you do in addition to, when you've mastered some of the other things that allows you to tell your story better. That says something, right? I shot videos for six and a half years, and I didn't even buy a gimbal until eight months ago. That's a valuable statement for me, because it mattered more to me to get it right on a tripod, get it right on a monopod, get it right on a slider, do the things I knew I could do well, and do them well. Victor, we have a couple of Qs from online. Lynn Hardy says, could you use two cameras that are different makes and get consistent color, such as a Nikon and a Sony, and any considerations when you're using two different brands? Okay, so. This is your best friend. I shot a Canon 5D Mark III, a Canon 5D Mark IV, and a DJI Osmo. Al three different cameras, and what got me in the ballpark of color was this guy. I'm pretty passionate about this because this is something that for me, made life really, really easy shooting separate cameras. That video target in DaVinci is aces. It's so good. So good. I'll just show you guys, I can't wait to show you later. Okay, another one from Vicky Schrams-Johnson, who says, what is your opinion on using lav mics that plug into a smartphone, as opposed to using a recorder and wireless transmissions? You use what you have, first thing. Use what you have. If you got a lav into a smartphone, cool, use it. Make sure that it's in airplane mode. Make sure you're not receiving notifications or phone calls while you're recording a job. That's the first thing. I prefer a dedicated recorder, because for the price of a smartphone that someone would walk off of, break, drop, destroy, I can buy, like, five, DR-10s. I feel like a DR-10's like, a hundred bucks. And it's dedicated to recording, so it's gonna have features and functionality like the task cam, for example. On the DR-60, I can record two audio tracks, one at 6 DB lower, in case I get a spike in audio. There's just things I can do, slating, there's just a lot of stuff I can get out of a recorder. But again, use what you got. If you have a phone, or if you have an extra phone that is a backup, or if you've got an iPod Touch or something that you can use as a recorder, use it. Don't let the fact that you can't get a recorder be a limitation for you to capturing sound. That should never be the obstacle for you to create something, is, oh, I can't afford the gear, that should never be it. Victor, I really appreciate that you keep hitting that point home, because as we often say, we're the thing that's in our way the most, and we like to blame it on gear a lot, but it's really our fears, or not being able to think that we can do these things with what we have. To that same point we have a final question, from DPix, can I do this as a one man show, since I can never find anybody to help when I'm shooting video? I'll be happy to say that I shot this entire piece by myself. Yes. So yes you can. It takes a lot of practice. It takes taking some lumps, as what Ivan says a lot. But I think, like, I hate to put myself up there on a pedestal, but I am proof positive that as a photographer, you can do this, and you can do it well. If you take time and practice, and if you take time and realize that it's not about the equipment, that it's about what you're doing, how you're doing it. How many times have we gotten to the statement of, trapped ourselves into the statement of, when I get that piece of gear, I'm gonna be able to shoot really good stuff. And then you get that piece of gear, and the stuff you shoot is mediocre. When I get that lens, I'm gonna be so good! You say that all the time as a photographer. I'm gonna get this lens, and it's gonna make me awesome, because it's got that one point four aperture! It's gonna make it so good! And then you shoot at one point four, and you realize everything's out of focus. (audience laughter) So it's like, yeah, it's not about the gear. I mean, I've made all of those mistakes. I still do. I just was at an event shooting stills, and I actually just abandoned the stills and just started shooting Instaxes because that was more fun because the stills I just couldn't get the lighting right, I just couldn't do it. I just had a brain fart that day and couldn't do it. So I had an Instax, and all the client wanted was just photos. So what I did is I brought an Instax and just gave Instaxes out all night, and that was more beneficial to me than anything, because it was fun.

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5 Rules to B Roll

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Ratings and Reviews

Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video

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