Video Tips 1

By Barry Casson

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Make your video like real film.  

There is a simple but exciting way to make your video look more like film and take away the harsh look of video.  It's an old Hollywood technique that kept aging starlets always looking good.  Using an elastic band to hold it in place simply put a thin mesh fabric such as a black or white nylon stocking over the camera lens and check out the results. You will really notice the effect when you are shooting objects such as lit candles. Many modern directors of photography still prefer this home made technique rather than buying expensive filters that can also do the job.


Make your own camera dolly.

You can make a simple camera dolly so your shots move smoothly through space just like the pros.  All you need is two 10' lengths of 3" PVC pluming pipe, a 4' by 4' piece of ¾" plywood and four sets of roller skate wheels.  The wheels are secured to the plywood at all four corners, one set for each corner.  I am often asked, "Why not just zoom?"  The reason is simply that a dolly move displaces objects in the frame and creates a three dimensional feeling in the two dimensional space that we are viewing the image on. A zoom shot simply magnifies the image and still leaves us with a two dimensional feel.


Get the filter look without filters. 

This is a great technique for amateur filmmakers. Go to the art supply store and purchase a half dozen pastel pieces of show card.  Now instead of white balancing your camera on a piece of white card try balancing on these show cards and you will get a host  of filter like color effects without having to purchase filters.  Great for creating moonlight effects and old time looks to your videos. Make sure the saturation of colour in the cards is not too dense in or your camera will not be able to white balance.

For more video shooting tips, go to and grab your copy of Barry's book, The Video Bible.



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