Hesitant? Scared sh%tless? No worries. Here is the secret. That’s right. I’m not going to be a jerk and make you read until the end to tell you. WE ARE ALL scared to mess it up when we try something new. Pick up the damn camera and switch that sucker over to video mode. Don’t do it on your best client. Film your dog, your kid, yourself in mirror. ANYTHING. Points for creativity. Everyone starts somewhere. What is holding you back? Need some help… no sweat! We’ve got you covered.

male senior model

  • Set your frame rate. This depends on where you live, what you are shooting (reg speed/slowmo etc). And set the video system to NTSC. (These can all be found in your camera settings) I’m going to assume you live in the states. 24 frames per second is what is used to make most movies and is what you should be using if you are taking video with sound. (If you are looking out your window right now and see Kangaroo’s hopping around, you’ll want to be on 25fps and set your video system to PAL). I could get all technical, but that’s not me. NOT AT ALL. So, if you are curious… GOOGLE away, young grasshopper. We’ll get into higher frame rates, editing techniques and slow motion at another time. Your Shutter speed should be approximately double your frame rate (1/50th of a sec) for this demo. Approximately, because you can’t always exactly double, you’ll find. Can you hand hold that? Yes, you can. I like to bend at the knees and stop breathing ;), but I find the manfrotto video monopod is super helpful. I use it all of the time. Stop breathing? Are you crazy?? Well, yes. But I am literally taking clips for about 10 seconds. AT MOST. You can shoot in 1080 or 4k (or even 8k!) depending on your cameras capability. For starting purposes and web, 1080 is just fine.
  • Set your focus to manual. That’s right manual. Don’t be “scurred”. It’s ok to put out-of-focus clips in videos if you do it WITH PURPOSE. You can bring the viewer into the frame or out by adjusting focus, or don’t adjust at all. You are the artist. GO WILD… but remember… with purpose.
  • Test Your light. Make sure Your ISO and Kelvin is set just like you would if you were shooting photos and adjust, but in multiples of 160 for ISO..like 320 etc., because…MATH. Shout out to my DAD the calculus teacher who likes to celebrate prime birthdays!
    We can skip over the other settings in the camera for now (I can go ON AND ON.) If you know me, you know this is 100% true. However, if you are truly interested in learning the ins and outs of pro video for seniors, you can get on the early access list for the REINVENT workshop in Cleveland. (Reinvent@ttwss.com)
    Take a few short clips. Wide shot, medium, close up… stay on one side of the subject. (180 rule).
male model by Prince graffiti
  • DON’T TAKE TOO MANY CLIPS. Enough, but you aren’t making a feature film (unless you are??). Want to know my biggest mistake when I started making films? I had to spend a week editing each one AND each clip was way too long. Ok… I made a ton of other mistakes too, but how else do you learn? Yup. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. MAKE A TON OF MISTAKES. LEARN. THEN… MAKE NEW MISTAKES. The more you shoot, the more you have to cut. Find a sweet spot. Short clips. GOOD, NOT MORE. I know some of you are doing this in photography too. GUILTY SINCE THE SWITCH over from film? Or were you there after the beginning of digital? Do you set your shot or shoot 1000 photos and cross your fingers? Hands in the air?? Time is money, ya know?! We charge how much our time is worth away from our family after we figure in cost. That is how we price (for a different time and day). In senior film, you don’t want to miss something amazing when it happens, but you can’t be recording hoping to catch the moment for hours or it will not be worth your time and you will need a gazillion camera cards. ANTICIPATE the moment. Be ready for it. Keep your finger on the trigger. Keep your clips short, change position. Keep it interesting. Remember, you can cut things out. And don’t stop recording until just after you think the moments over. The most remarkable things happen when no one is paying attention.
male model in vans
  • EDITING- don’t have PREMIER PRO or not ready for it? NO WORRIES. There are so many easy peasy things you can quickly put a film together in before you are ready to break into that world. NO EXCUSES. Have an iphone? I know you do. imovie… or CLIPS. Clips has changed my world. You are welcome! I shot and edited a behind the scenes in FIVE MINUTES to music the other night PEOPLE. It was my first time opening the APP. NO EXCUSES. You can do this. AND IF you are ready to make the jump into PREMIER… we can help you out with that too. It will rock your world. (Reinvent@ttwss.com)

You can do this! Pay attention to movies, commercials, ads. ALL TRICKS of the TRADE. And… you are going to have to, because I’m about to challenge you on SSG. You’ve been warned. So, get ready. I’m coming for you. No pressure. Well… maybe a little. PEACE…

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male model on rooftop

Song: Royals by Nu Alkemi$t

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