One of the most important things to plan is the lighting of what you want to video tape. Most cameras have an auto-iris setting which works very well. This feature automatically adjusts brightness and darkness due to back-lighting. Be very careful there is not a strong source of light behind what you are recording. Your camera will adjust to the light behind the subject you are recording and darken the subject to the point that your video will not be to good.

If you have no choice with backlight problems such as someone standing in front of a window, use a tripod and zoom in as close as possible to the subject. This will help but is still not the best setting. Try to move people away from windows.

With todays modern video cameras there are very good zoom capibilities. The problem that occures is when you are far away from your suject and you zoom in on them the slightest movement of the camera will be magnified and result in a shakey picture that is not very pleasent to view. The best way to avoid this is move close to your subject with no zoom involved.. If this is not an option, use a tripod to steady the camera.

One of the best ways to create high quality video programs is to learn your video camera inside and out. This means taking time to read the instructions and know and understand the different settings avaible on your camera. Practice different shots and settings and view the outcome. You can learn and solve most problems buy taking time to experiment in different situations and knowing exactly what setting your camera
needs to be set on for the best results.

When shooting outside try to keep the sunlight behind you. If the sun is behind what you are recording move your cameras location so the sun is shinning over your shoulder toward the subject.

When recording video outside, the audio can be an issue. Most cameras have very good microphones built in to them but that isnt always good enough. You might want to consider buying a shotgun microphone that attaches to your camera that improves audio quality. Wireless microphones also are a good choice. Wearing headphones is a sure way to hear the quality of the audio. Be careful not to plug the headphones into the microphone jack on your camera. This will result in no audio at all !!!!

A good learning tool for positioning your subject in the viewfinder is to watch the news on television to see how they place the reporters. If you notice the top of the head is at the top of the screen. The face is not centered in the middle, leaving space above the person or subject being interviewed.

When at all possible try to use your AC power adapter for long un-interupted shoots such as a play or dance recital. This ensures you wont run out of power during the show.
If you are forced to use battery power, you should always have 1 or 2 backup batteries lined up ready for a quick change during a break in the show. Also keep plenty of extra video tapes right next to you ready to be switched out if you start to run low on tape capacity. Your batteries should always be stored at full charge when not in use.

Miracle of The North Lakes

Reel Pro Video "In Action" was constucted to be an advertising video to send to potential clients that might need our expertise in advertising.

The video was comprised around the music. The video clips used were shot over several years and after hours of choosing the scenes we wanted, we then started the proccess of the production that took around 20 hours of careful thought and timing.

When we completed the project a client of ours wanted to see it who is a T.V. producer in the motion picture business. He had so much fun watching our production he asked if he could enter it in a nation wide short film contest based in California. We of course were honered and gave permission for it to be shown to the public and the contest.

We did very well. We won 2nd place. Since then we have shot more footage from all around the world and I really want to make another one. I have lots of ideas for the next one. Shooting new video and preserving the old is what we love to do.
Click here to view "In Action".

Brian LaVoy,