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Basic Video Production and Editing

Tips for using smartphones and basic videocamera gear to create a film.

Tips on Where and When to Film

For video production light and ambient sound are the two biggest considerations on where to film.

Inside or outside, more light is generally better for video production. Clip on booklights, desk lamps, diffused flashlights, etc. can help you create more light just off-screen, but add complication to filming. If you need to add lighting, it's generally better to have another person on hand to help with the lights so that the people in the scene and the person filming can concentrate on those tasks. 

Generally speaking, daytime outdoors is great for video, but presents serious audio challenges. Choose shooting locations that are sheltered from the wind, use a microphone, or record just the audio for a scene later and fix the problem during editing. 

While you're focused on getting a perfect take, it can be easy to lose focus on your surroundings. Having someone on hand to watch out for oncoming traffic, direct people away from your location or ask them for quiet, and generally run interference can be truly invaluable. 

Likewise, you want to consider the normal usage of the space you want to film in. Trying to film a scene outside a classroom building is a great backdrop...unless you're trying to film a quiet scene when people are heading to lunch. If you're not sure when the busy times are for a location, scout it out: spend some time in the space when you'd ideally like to film or ask someone who works or lives nearby when the busy times are.

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