Sandy Puc and Mike Long BTS Before Upcoming Tour
Trying to shoot video and stills at the same time is enough to make anyone’s head explode. I have a few recommendations for how you can keep it together while doing both.
If you are shooting a portrait, for example, and want to spice up the shoot for your client with a little BTS, you have to separate the two tasks as much as possible. Shoot video before and after the still photography session only, and if you have two cameras, set up one just for video and the other just for stills.
If you only have one camera, though, there are a few basics to remember when shooting video with your still camera. Here are a few suggestions:
- Manual control is key. There are no AF cinema lenses. Start shooting in manual focus as much as possible. No auto iris or ISO either. It will fluctuate during the scene and cause unwanted distraction.
- Always shoot at 24fps rather than 30fps. 24fps will give you a more cinematic feel. 30fps works well for live action events.
- The shutter should be double the frame rate. At 24fps, the shutter should be set at 1/50th. A slower shutter will produce a blurred image; a faster shutter will produce a staccato effect.
- Shoot as wide open as you can. I typically shoot somewhere in the f2.8-f4 range. This shallow DOF is a great tool in cinema and I use it to help tell the story and guide the audience through the scene.
- To save time in post, try to do as much work in camera as possible. “Fixing it in post” can take hours; try to get it right the first time.
- Shooting video is in fact, storytelling: there should be a beginning, middle and an end, and it should all be motivated somehow. Keeping this in mind will serve as a way to help you move the camera. Try and motivate any camera moves rather than just move it to add motion. Give yourself a few seconds at the head and tail of each clip for edit points.
- Try and keep your shots steady. An image-stabilized lens or hand-held rig will help. If you don’t have this, then stick with the tripod as much as possible. Shaky camera moves will only distract the audience.
- Keep all of your BTS videos under three minutes. Attention spans today are very short.
- Add music to your final product. Sound design is a critical part of the finished product. I highly recommend grabbing some royalty free music from Incompetech or another royalty free source.
- The BTS video should support the still photos, not take away from the final product. It should be somewhat raw.
In today’s increasingly competitive market, a little BTS video will go a long way toward helping you promote yourself, and as an added bonus for your clients. It will also open your eyes, giving you a new way of looking at your world.