Tips for better video

You’re a writer, not a videographer or filmmaker, so we don’t expect your videos to be perfect. We’d rather you focused on the writing and on taking literature to the streets, the bus, the mall or wherever else people are going about their daily lives and don’t expect to find literature.

Today’s tools make video easier than ever before. When GuerrillaReads was founded, we recommended that you borrow a camcorder (remember those?). Then we became big fans of the Flip video camera. until the Kodak Zi8 came along, mostly because it had a mic input.

Today you can use your cellphone to shoot, edit and post ready-to-watch videos. These tips for journalists can help you get started.

Whatever tool you use, you can upload the raw video to YouTube or Vimeo, or you can use editing software to create titles and credits, fades and other cool tricks. Just remember to keep the focus on the writing.

Top Ten Tips for Creating GuerrillaReads Videos

1. Get the camera in close to the reader. This will give you better picture and sound quality. The closer-upper the better.

2. Use a tripod. Shaky video will make your watchers nauseous.

3. In fact, stand still. The video camera should record action and movement, not create it by moving around.

4. Film the writer straight-on. Shooting from below or above just isn’t flattering. Try it and see.

5. Avoid “panning” shots where you try to get everyone and everything in the picture. Instead, focus close-in on the most important person and image(s).

6. Don’t use the zoom. You’ll lose video quality. If you want to get a close-up, get close-in.

7. Listen for background sounds. You might pick a location where the background noises are relevant to the writing. Great. However, make sure the background sounds don’t distract too much and prevent viewers from hearing your wonderful words.

8. Even better, use a microphone. We learned it the hard way – a mic can make a world of difference.

9. Don’t overload your video with too many transitions and cool effects.

10. When preparing the final file for upload, use the highest quality settings. This will give you the best quality video, although it will create a larger file that will take longer (in some cases much longer) time to upload.

Take a look at the GuerrillaReads videos already posted here, or watch some of your favorite online videos. What do you like? What would you do differently? Try it out for yourself.

Now that you’re video is uploaded and ready, how do you submit it? Click here for Submission Guidelines.


One response to “Tips for better video

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