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How to get started with video production

Get an overview of how to get started with video production.

Embarking on the journey of video production is both exciting and rewarding. In an age where content is king, understanding the basics of video creation can set you apart, whether you’re a budding filmmaker, a business owner, or just someone looking to capture moments. This guide simplifies the foundational aspects, helping beginners confidently navigate the world of video production.

Camera Fundamentals

In the age of rapid technological advancements, the most encouraging thing I can share with you is this: all cameras are good. The story matters far more than the tool itself. Whether you’re starting with a smartphone or cinema camera, what matters is the energy you put into crafting a good story or idea. My recommendation use your phone or some camera your parents have.

As your skills and requirements grow, consider exploring the realms of mirrorless cameras such as the Lumix s5ii, Sony a7c ii, or Canon R6. If you are deeply engrossed in cinematography, you might even look towards a cinema camera like the c70 or Sony fx6.

But, while image quality is excellent, remember the golden rule: audio is king. An audience can forgive a less-than-perfect shot, but incoherent audio will lose them in seconds. Prioritize clear sound by investing in essential gear like a shotgun or Lavalier microphone. Followed by one excellent light.

With your gear in place, it’s time to delve into the core fundamentals:

  • Resolution: Terms like 1080p (Full HD) and 4K might seem complex, but they’re simple indicators of image clarity. Higher resolutions promise crisp visuals, they come with the caveat of needing more storage and processing power from your computer. Know your tools and storage capacity, and choose a resolution that matches your needs. It’s still a great choice to shoot in
  • Frame Rate: The magic of movies often lies in the unnoticed, like the classic 24fps frame rate Hollywood swears by. This choice offers a cinematic, dramatic feel. But if you’re chasing the thrill of action or the fluidity of real life, 30fps or 60fps might be more your speed. Shooting in higher frame rates like 60fps or 120fps means you can then slow the footage down in post. Which can help add diversity to your edit. Just be mindful of how much you use it. My rule of thumb stick to 24fps for anything narrative. If you’re doing something for social do 24fps or 30fps if fine. If. you need something to be slow motion then go to 60fps or above. If you need slow motion and perhaps some audio then 60fps.
  • Exposure Triad: Now, let’s talk about the trinity of exposure: ISO, Shutter Speed (or Angle), and Aperture. Imagine them as the collaborative force controlling how light interacts with your camera. ISO gauges the sensor’s sensitivity to light, shutter speed determines how long the sensor is exposed to it, and aperture dictates the amount of light let in. Understanding and balancing these elements can dramatically elevate your footage. The more you shoot, the easier to know what to change.
  • White Balance: Have you ever noticed videos where the world looks a little too blue or excessively orange? That’s where white balance comes into play. While many cameras offer auto white balance, take a moment to set it manually for every new location you record in. This ensures that the colors captured are as true to life as possible. You may need to watch a tutorial on how to set a custom white balance for the camera you own.

Last thing. When filming, hold your shot. I typically recommend holding between 15 to 40 seconds. This helps when you are in the editing process. Remember, the best camera is the one you have with you.

Essential Shot Types

Understanding and utilizing various shot types is crucial for creating visually captivating video content. Shot types serve as the language of film. Mastering these shots will add variety to your videos and enhance your familiarity with your camera. It will enable you to think critically about the purpose behind each specific image.

Common Shot to know

  • Wide Shot (WS): Captures the full scene, setting the environment.
  • Medium Shot (MS): Often waist-up, focusing on a subject, bringing viewers closer to the action.
  • Close-Up (CU): Focuses tightly on a subject, capturing emotions or details.
  • Over-the-Shoulder (OTS): Provides a perspective from behind one subject, looking at another, often used in conversations.
  • Point-of-View (POV): Represents what a character or subject sees, immersing the viewer in the experience.

Video Editing

A video isn’t done until you’ve cut and exported it from your editing software. This is my favorite part of the video production process. It’s like building Legos! You have lots of pieces and as you put them together, you begin to see the result. It can also be the most challenging part because it’s lonely, and if you don’t have the repetition in, you’ll be learning and getting more familiar with editing on top of making creative choices, which can be very tasking.

  • Software: You should start with beginner-friendly software like iMovie, capcut or if you want something to grow with you DaVinci Resolve. As you gain confidence, transition to Final Cut, Resolve studio, or Premiere Pro.
  • Basic Techniques: You need to learn how to import. Select videos and add them to your timeline. How to trim and cut. How to work with audio and text graphics and finally exporting. This seems like a lot and it is but i assure you the more you do it the easier it’ll be and once you know the fundamentals you can take them to any video editor.

That’s really what you need to know. If you’re interested in getting started with video editing in Final Cut. We have two courses for you to choose from.

Final cut in 60 seconds:

  • Learn the basics of editing in Final Cut
  • Learn to navigate Final Cut interface.
  • Includes samples
Learn Final Cut Pro in 60 min.

Zero to Hero Final Cut Pro

  • Learn basic and advanced editing techniques.
  • Access to course projects.
  • Great if you want to accelerate your video editing skills.
Final Cut Pro – Master Class

Starting your journey in video production may feel overwhelming, but fear not! By breaking it down into manageable steps, you can make the process enjoyable and achievable. With this simple overview, kickstart your journey, and you will enhance your skills with dedication and perseverance. Then, before you know it, you’ll produce videos you’re proud of. So, write those captivating scripts, press that record button, and let the world witness your incredible stories.

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