The Future Church - A Church Communications Podcast
Church Media + Communications

E059 - Tips For Filming Alone

Joanna: Film on a budget often means you're filming by yourself. James can you give us some tips today on how to shoot by yourself.

James: So today we're going to go into some finer details about shooting video by yourself. Basically these are some of the things that I do when I know I'm going to be by myself and I have to make it still look like it's a bigger crew. So this is how to make it look more professional but really it's one man. So we actually just recently did a shoot for our church Jo where I used some of these techniques. It was four of our worship artists talking about an album and actually some awards they had just received for how like this brand new album that they had made. And although they were only able to shoot on Sunday and it was only me that was available to shoot it. And so here's what you always do. If you have two cameras setup one on a tripod that's a wide angle that has everybody that's gonna be you're just your best shot. And then on a second camera what I did was I was walking around the room out of the angle of the first camera and I was zooming in on people as they talked. And what that gave is the idea that there's multiple cameras in the room. So when I started editing basically we just cut back and forth. And what you're what you're making it appear as is there was probably three cameras in the room going and three people filming when really it was just one guy with a tripod and then just walking around hand-held with the other camera. And it's because you have the two cameras recording at once. You're now able to give it an appearance like it's some sort of studio shoot. And the reality was it was actually really simple to do. The second is make sure you record the audio separately. I'm a big believer in that because then I was able to manipulate the audio afterwards with four people talking amongst themselves. I just put one mic hanging in the middle just out of the shot. And I was able to record all the audio. It's not perfect. It's not crisp but again.

Joanna: But it's also part of the effect. It's part of your hand-held camera moving around. And you feels authentic and you want to be a fresh.

James: If I was worrying about getting four lapel mics all on the same people and trying to monitor the audio by myself and shoot it's never gonna happen you're gonna make mistakes. So sometimes making it simple and avoiding complication is the best way to actually get the best results right. The next thing is don't always just shoot in the highest resolution. I think video people always because you can shoot in 4K means you should shoot and 4K. I often won't shoot in 4K because the reality is if it's going to go just for an email blast or it's just gonna go on the website your church website it's not you know projecting in for 4K anyways so why? And most projectors aren't there yet. Most people don't have LED walls where you gonna play these videos so why take up the data and the time it takes for your computer to kind of render that out if you don't need to. So I opt to shoot HD. Just because my camera can do 4K and can shoot RAW doesn't mean I should not every time. And the second is always remember to get extra b-roll. So when we have this group of people sitting around the table talking after we finished the full conversation that they had and they said OK is that a wrap? Then I said I want you guys to just sit here for another five minutes and talk amongst yourselves what I'm gonna be doing is I'm going to be going around getting shots of your hands, getting shots of the table, I know you have a Bible on the table over there I may get a shot of you kind of just looking through it. And these are all little b-roll shots that are made to hide cuts later on down the road. And I think people often zip past that and then when they're editing they wish they had something that comes out rearranging you pull out that one line I- misspoke. You need something to cover that up and that's a great time to cut to someone just with even just their hands still on the table and it stays within the same story and it makes it look a lot more professional a lot more like what we're used to seeing on TV even these days so it's these are all very simple things that you can do by yourself and you're just going to save your time save you money and save everybody headaches down the line.

Joanna: Awesome. James there is so much that we could get from you on all things filmmaking how to do these kinds of shoots really really practical. People have questions we would love to get your questions on Instagram. Why don't you post back to us in future episodes we're going to keep answering more of your questions around how to do great video on a budget.

James: Yeah absolutely send us a message through Instagram and we will be more than willing to give you some advice give you some tips. And if we don't have the answer we will send you somewhere where we think there is the right answer.