Professional Tips for Shooting Better Home Movies by toriola1


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                                    Professional Tips For Shooting Better Home Movies
                                                                  By Paul Lyke

   Shooting home movies of your family is incredibly easy with today's camcorders, yet you may find
yourself still dissappointed with the final footage. By following these basic shooting techniques, you can
make your home movies more enjoyable for the family to watch.

1. Ensure Proper Light. When shooting indoors, turn on all the lights in the room if possible. This will
avoid graininess when your camera tries to brighten up the image. As a last resort, use an on-camera
light, although it will give you a more "deer in the headlights" look compared to the natural beauty of
multiple lamps. When shooting outdoors, keep the sun above your subject, or to the side. This will
prevent your subject from having to squint in the sunlight, or from having the background too bright.

2. Turn off the Auto-Iris (exposure) if Possible. The iris is what controls the amount of light coming into
the camera. Normally this is set to be automatic, so you don't have to think about it. But this results in
the video image being brightened and darkened constantly as you pan between subjects, or having
your subject darkened to where you can't see it because you had a bright window behind them. If you
camera has the option of using manual exposure, be sure to turn it to manual so it stays even.

3. Avoid Zooming. Walk in close (within 5 ft.) to your subject whenever possible and avoid zooming,
which makes your image shaky and obscures the field of view around your subject. Plus you continue
to lose light as you zoom in. If you're shooting people or children, a close up of them while you're
completely zoomed out seems as if you're right there next to them, not some distant stranger trying to
peek in. Furthermore, your audio will be much louder, cleaner, and tighter when you shoot close up to
your subjects.

4. Frame your Subject Properly. Now that you've got the camera close up to your baby in the walker,
now frame the shot where the head is NOT in the center of the viewfinder all the time. Always try to put
the back of their head near the edge of the viewfinder. This is a much more pleasing picture to watch,
instead of having faces bumped up against the edge of the screen.

5. Overshoot, then Edit Later. You will get far more memorable moments on camera if the camera is
actually recording compared to when it is turned off. So overshoot constantly even if nothing seems
like it's happening, because eventually it will! Go back later and edit out the slow stuff. If it seems too
tedious or too expensive to invest in all that tape stock, consider upgrading to a non-tape camera, such

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as a DVD recorder, hard drive recorder, or even a good digital still camera can shoot decent full screen
video and record it to a memory card. This way you can record nonstop and delete the boring scenes
instantly. The result will be beautifully composed, lighted, and entertaining home movies that your
family will cherish forever.

Paul Lyke is the Managing Director of MidSouth Visual, Inc., ( a
Nashville video production agency.

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                                10 Ways to Make Better Movies With Your Camcorder
                                                      By Mark Etinger

While more families own high-end camcorders than ever before, it doesn’t necessarily mean that more
great home movies are actually being shot. On the contrary, even though cameras have become
easier to use and feature much higher resolutions than their predecessors, people still can’t seem to
figure them out.

 With our directorially-challenged friends in mind, we present the following list of essential tips for
getting the most out of your camcorder

Tips for Making Better Movies with your Camcorder:

 1. Take off the lens cap. Just kidding! Our first tip is actually to use the Manual Focus option if it is
offered on your camera. Manual focus will allow you to get sharper images throughout your video
without experiencing the blurriness that occurs when an auto-focus takes time to readjust itself.

 2. Always keep the sun behind you. When shooting outdoor video, always be sure that the sun is
behind your back. This will greatly reduce glare and “white-out” caused by the brightness of the natural
light source.

 3. Craft a plan. Unless you’re capturing the most spur of the moment events, why not plan what you
are going to shoot? This will help you keep a steadier hand as you move from shot to shot, and you
won’t forget to include anyone or anything that you intended to capture on film.

 4. Don’t fall in love with the ZOOM. Yes, we know that zoom is one of the most fun features on your
camcorder, but that doesn’t give you right to create an amateur 3D movie every time you shoot
something. Choose a zoom length ONCE in your shot and stick with it. You don’t want to be handing
out Dramamine during your premiere.

 5. Keep movement to a minimum. Even the steadiest-of-hands will cause a disruption of the image
when they begin to move the camera around. We realize that some movements are unavoidable, but
try and stick to the tri-pod as much as possible.

 6. Always use a tripod. See note above. A tripod is truly a sound, “steady” investment for the amateur

 7. Stop “rooting” around. There are those among us who think that they are next Fellini (but trapped
shooting families at Chuck E Cheese). Consequently, they will stumble all over the place in search of
the perfect angle from which to shoot. Stick with the basics – shoot from the areas directly ahead of (or
to the side of) your subject and you can’t go wrong.

 8. Be natural. Try and stay inconspicuous when shooting video of friends and family. You want your
subjects to act naturally, and waving your arms around like a madman and telling everyone to “smile
and say something” is not going to create everlasting memories.

9. Keep a spare battery handy. Nothing kills a shoot quicker than a camera with a dead battery.

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Charge up a spare and keep it in your camera bag in case of emergencies.

 10. Record in widescreen. If your camera offers widescreen shooting, and you have a high-end TV at
home, take advantage of both. Shooting in widescreen allows you to capture your subject at its most

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