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Shooting video to make a great story

From: Premiere Elements 7 Essential Training

Video: Shooting video to make a great story

In this tutorial, I'm going to give you some tips on how to shoot video with storytelling and editing in mind. You are the storyteller, you are the editor and you are the videographer, the shooter. So when you're shooting video, you need to think about the storyteller and the editor, you need to think about a story that has a beginning, a middle and end and has an arc to it, has a nugget, the story concept and maybe some characters. And as the editor, you need to think about, I need to give the editor shots that will allow him to go from one scene to the next without having abrupt changes or abrupt scene changes. And I need to think in terms of a variety of shots that he has lots to choose from.

Shooting video to make a great story

In this tutorial, I'm going to give you some tips on how to shoot video with storytelling and editing in mind. You are the storyteller, you are the editor and you are the videographer, the shooter. So when you're shooting video, you need to think about the storyteller and the editor, you need to think about a story that has a beginning, a middle and end and has an arc to it, has a nugget, the story concept and maybe some characters. And as the editor, you need to think about, I need to give the editor shots that will allow him to go from one scene to the next without having abrupt changes or abrupt scene changes. And I need to think in terms of a variety of shots that he has lots to choose from.

So I'm going to give you some tips about how to shoot good video and then after that I'm going to show you some examples in the video that I shot for my lynda.com tutorials. First and foremost, shoot a variety of video. Get some unusual angles, low shots, high angles. Get matched action where you see something happening repetitively. Get a shot of it wide and then go in tight, get the same thing happening again. Shoot sequences where one thing happens after another. Get wide and tight shots. Get tracking shots, these are ones where you follow action, actually physically moving along with the action, and then shoot cutaways.

If you're shooting, let's say, an interview and you want to place two clips together, get a shot of the person's hands as he's gesturing. Get a closing shot and then establishing shot. The closing shot may be the most important shot of your video. That's what people take away from your video. The establishing shots, sort of says where are we? Where is this taking place? What is happening? Keep your shot steady, avoid fast pans and zooms and bouncing shots. Finally, follow the rule of thirds, i.e., don't put the center of attention at the center of your video, you want it off into the corner of someplace, along the edges and you want your horizon lines running along the top-third or the bottom-third.

So now let me give you some examples inside Premiere Elements. If you want to follow along with those, open up the 15-tips project and here I've created an entire video about the day at the stable. I'm going to play it and give you some director's comments, as it were, about some of the shots. Now first of all, I want to show you that I've done some audio tricks here that I'll explain briefly. There are not things that I've explained in the course, but if you take a look at them, I think you'll figure out how it was done and you might want to try this kind of concept when you make your videos. Let's just get it rolling here and I start and with that dissolve up and then bring on the super. Now right away, this is an establishing shot, basically, you can see my daughter is carrying a saddle, wearing her riding togs and we turned into the stables.

So right away that says what the story is about and you want some kind of an establishing shot like that. If you noticed, I had her go off here and then she is off camera coming into the frame. We want to try to shoot that way, let people arrive into the frame. That makes it easier to edit, because you don't want to jump from one scene to the next with the person in the picture in one scene and in the picture in the next scene. She goes in and out of the shot, into the shot, this is a matching shot. Now you really have to get cooperation from the person doing the action. You've got to say hang on a second, let me get in close now. So here she's down there with the wide shot walking into the scene. Now I say, "well hang on a second," and I get in close and get the shot that we are doing there up close.

That's a matching action shot. Next shot is a cutaway because I'm going to cut away from her doing the fixing of the legs there to her actually putting on the saddle and you couldn't just jump from one to the next, so I have this cutaway that lets me cut from one scene to the next. Just a tight shot of something to kind of transition to the next scene. Now we have another where she appears on scene, but I thought it was just too abrupt from there to there, so I put a little dissolve there to kind of solve it. You know. Can't solve it, dissolve it! There she comes and we're going to have her walk through the scene, kind of a long shot. Now I could have had her coming out of the barn but I decided that I would rather than just take an exterior shot.

So now this is what's called a motivated pan. I'm waiting for the horse to start moving and then I started panning and I panned with the horse and then I pulled back. So I did a motivated pan and zoomed back to give another establishing shot. We are in this wide-open place with a lot of horses. Next shot, rather than have them immediately go the class, I want to make kind of a transition to the class and they're just kind of chatting and notice that that was a pan. I'm not against pans per se, but the pans should sort of settle down first and then pan and then settle down again. Not just like a zip, zip, zip back and forth.

(Instructor: And you really got a long approach to the green going downhill.) There is a sound bite where I held it wide because I wanted to sort of show the action here going on around there. I'll get a tight shot later. Now notice here I have my daughter come from off screen, out of the frame and then go into the frame. So again, it's an easy way for editors to help put the story together if you let the action go through the frame. Here's where I use some audio effects. It's a wide shot. I'm going to carry that wide shot, and then I grab a tight shot here. Now if I had used the audio from the tight shot, it would have been pretty obvious that it was different.

In fact, there is an airplane going across in the tight shot down here, so I didn't want that to make the abrupt change. So I kept the audio from the first clip and stretched it under and you can do that by what's called Unlinking. If you right-click on a clip, you can unlink the audio and video and then stretch the audio underneath it. So that's what I did there, so that would be consistent. And then I timed the jump to match the sound of her hitting the jump. Here's a tighter shot, just trying to move right in the sound bytes. (Instructor: ...all the way towards the end of the arena until you can shake the turn.) Here's the tight. Now what I did with that, I kept the audio from the tight shot because it's so dramatically louder, it's kind of cool.

Then if you notice, this clip starts wide, tight and wide again. That's just a one long clip if you take out the center part. The tight shot, that just splits the clip and then inserted the tight shot. And timed the horse move. Let her go out of the frame again. So that she could be in the frame in the next picture. Now here I've another wide and tight shot. Again you'll notice that the audio in the first clip goes under it. So I used the same audio, so it would be consistent throughout because I know that her horse hoof was going to hit.

So I wanted to show the horse hoof hitting, but in fact the tight shot is of a different girl jumping over the jump, but it's tight enough that you can't tell the difference. Then finally, I want to transition out of the lesson and I want to do that kind of gradually so that people know about that. So I transitioned the audio to kind of signal that I'm going to leave the lesson here. So I just transitioned the audio under the next shot, then I used audio from another scene because it's kind of a pastoral scene I wanted to be kind of quiet. So I used the audio up here, Audio 2, to kind of transition out of that.

I knew what my closing shot was going to be when I arrived there that day to take that shot. I knew in advance, I knew that I wanted to get this shot of them coming into the frame on both sides of me and going off in the distance. Because I knew the girls always kind of walked off on the trail at the end. So when you do go out, always think in terms of what's my closing shot going to be. So those are some basic video shooting tips where you keep storytelling and editing in mind.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Premiere Elements 7 Essential Training
Premiere Elements 7 Essential Training

44 video lessons · 4916 viewers

Jeff Sengstack
Author

 
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  1. 3m 47s
    1. Overview
      1m 21s
    2. Understanding the workflow
      55s
    3. Using the exercise files
      23s
    4. Relinking missing media
      1m 8s
  2. 10m 47s
    1. Understanding Premiere Elements 7 features
      5m 49s
    2. Touring the workspace
      3m 14s
    3. Using the Help function
      1m 44s
  3. 14m 2s
    1. Starting a new project
      2m 52s
    2. Getting video from a camcorder
      5m 22s
    3. Getting media from other sources
      2m 36s
    4. Managing clips with the Organizer and in Project view
      3m 12s
  4. 10m 6s
    1. Adding, rearranging, and deleting clips in the Sceneline
      3m 31s
    2. Adding, rearranging, deleting, and replacing clips in the Timeline
      6m 35s
  5. 19m 29s
    1. Using the Monitor panel to trim video in the Sceneline
      3m 51s
    2. Trimming video in the Timeline
      4m 3s
    3. Trimming clips in the Preview window
      3m 58s
    4. Changing clip speed, duration, and direction
      7m 37s
  6. 16m 18s
    1. Understanding transitions
      4m 31s
    2. Applying transitions
      4m 47s
    3. Adjusting transitions
      7m 0s
  7. 17m 53s
    1. Understanding video effects
      9m 47s
    2. Applying and modifying video effects
      8m 6s
  8. 30m 16s
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 34s
    2. Animating video effects
      9m 29s
    3. Using the Motion effect with keyframes
      4m 5s
    4. Working with effect presets
      8m 22s
    5. Controlling changes between keyframes
      3m 46s
  9. 18m 17s
    1. Recording narrations
      2m 53s
    2. Making soundtracks with SmartSound
      4m 16s
    3. Applying audio effects
      6m 2s
    4. Mixing audio tracks
      5m 6s
  10. 17m 56s
    1. Creating titles from scratch
      7m 25s
    2. Having fun with titles
      10m 31s
  11. 13m 10s
    1. Understanding compositing
      3m 6s
    2. Creating picture-in-picture overlays
      4m 52s
    3. Creating transparency with Videomerge
      5m 12s
  12. 6m 45s
    1. Using Instant Movie, themes, and Smart Tags
      6m 45s
  13. 12m 22s
    1. Understanding DVD authoring
      1m 34s
    2. Adding DVD scene markers
      3m 37s
    3. Creating DVD menus using templates
      7m 11s
  14. 8m 52s
    1. Sharing from the Tasks panel
      7m 4s
    2. Archiving projects
      1m 48s
  15. 6m 46s
    1. Shooting video to make a great story
      6m 46s
  16. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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