A student camcorder should be small enough to fit easily in a crowded backpack, but also powerful enough to take high-quality video. Here are the key features of the Samsung F80BN, a camera that’s simple enough for a beginner, but powerful enough for the more advanced videographer.
"...simple enough for a beginner, but powerful enough for the more advanced videographer."
You’ve given them the right camcorder. Now it’s time to help them get started. Here are some essential tips for the novice videographer, no matter their age.
Check out the camera manual and then shoot some simple scenes to get comfortable and learn how to use its features. Now you’re ready to try something more demanding.
Have a project in mind? Write a real script, and polish it before you ever turn the camera on. Students should start small: A short film that’s just a few minutes long is a great place to start.
"...shoot some simple scenes to get comfortable and learn how to use its features."
Rehearsal doesn’t just give actors a chance to nail their lines, it also gives the director an opportunity to figure out where to put the camera in each scene. Give actors directions, called blocking, that dictate exactly where to move during each sequence.
Shots where the camera runs alongside the hero look great on professional films. On small, student productions, they’re more likely to make your audience queasy. Park the camera in one spot when shooting your action. If you need another vantage point, stop filming, move the camera, and shoot again from the new angle.
Indoor lighting is often a challenge for beginners to master. Shoot outside if possible, where the lighting is usually more forgiving. Just try to stay out of direct sunlight.
If it’s breezy outside, you’re likely to get a lot of noise on your audio track. Find a sheltered spot, or try shooting another day. Similarly, remember that freeway or construction noise can drown out your actors. Having them shout is not a good idea, unless it’s part of your story line.
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