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By Robbie Carman | Saturday, September 27, 2014

Production Tips: Using Small Lights on Your Video Set

Small lights & other gear for video shoots

Sometimes you need a light that can be placed in a small space—where a traditional light can’t go.

Small lights can be tucked away to fill in the shadows and add accent colors on set. They can also be attached to a camera’s hot shoe to add some fill light.

This week on Video Gear Weekly, Rich and guest host James Ball explain the benefits of having small lights in your kit.

By Eduardo Angel | Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dolly Shots 101: Tracking Your Subject

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Nowadays dolly shots can be found in nearly every film, from indie low-budget productions to high-end Hollywood blockbusters. Technically speaking, the dolly setup is simple, consisting of a mobile platform, a construction upon which the platform glides, and the camera. You can achieve this camera movement with a dolly on tracks, a dolly on wheels, or—for faster, easier setups—a slider (see the latest Video Gear Weekly episode for more tips on sliders). Dolly shots are also often referred to as tracking or trucking shots.

By Eduardo Angel | Friday, September 05, 2014

Shake It Up? When to Use a Handheld Camera

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Camera movement is a powerful tool in filmmaking. It can infuse a scene with drama, track a characters’ movements, direct the viewer’s attention, reveal key details in a scene, and transition between shots in a sequence.

There are essentially six types of camera motion techniques: tilts, pans, dollies, trucks, pedestals, and arcs—and you can accomplish all of these with a handheld camera.

By Richard Harrington | Saturday, August 09, 2014

Keep the Shine off Your Video Talent

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The camera sees a person differently than the human eye does.

Everyone’s skin has a natural glow, but in front of the camera, skin can look oily and shiny.

This week on Video Gear Weekly, professional makeup artist and television stylist Kim Foley joins me to explore different options and techniques to knock out shine, even things out, and make your stars look their best on camera.

By Eduardo Angel | Saturday, August 02, 2014

Camera Movement: Tripod or Monopod?

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Unlike still photography, filmmaking is a medium defined by motion. Motion is the action within the frame—but it’s also the motion of the frame itself. Even a series of well-lit and well-composed shots can be perceived as a slideshow rather than a story in motion if the shots remain “stagnant.”

Nowadays we’re so used to seeing camera movement in Hollywood films that we expect to see movement in all the videos we watch—even if we don’t know much about filmmaking.

Here are the primary tools for accomplishing camera movement—and when to use which:

By Rose Meza | Saturday, July 12, 2014

Building Sets — On the Fly, and on Budget

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Do you ever notice the backgrounds in our live-action courses at lynda.com? Building sets is part of our production process. Our stellar team works with directors, producers, and builders to plan and assemble eye-catching sets in our soundproof, well-lit studios. But when the sandwich shop next door to our studios closed, leaving the space vacant for a few months, we saw an opportunity to create a new stage and build a fun new set in that space.

By Eduardo Angel | Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Shooting Video in Noon Lighting

Lighting Design for Video Productions” on lynda.com 03

Working with small crews—and sometimes even smaller budgets—video production crews often have to work fast with limited tools. A common situation is shooting B-roll the very same day you arrive in a new city. Understanding simple techniques like harvesting harsh noon sunlight or harnessing available shade can make or break a day on location.

Here are some tips for making the most of a location shoot in noon lighting.

By Jim Heid | Saturday, June 21, 2014

Room with a View: Shooting a Time-Lapse Video from a Hotel Window

Room with a View: Shooting a Time-Lapse Video from a Hotel Window

Frank Lloyd Wright used to say there are two kinds of people: nesters and perchers. Nesters like to be tucked among woods; perchers prefer being high atop hills.

I’m a percher, especially when I’m on the road. In hotels, I always try to score an upper-floor room with a view. It’s great for cityscape photography and for one of my new photographic interests: time-lapse photography.

Inspired by Richard Harrington’s courses on time-lapse photography and on the GoPro HERO cameras, I’ve begun taking my GoPro camera and its suction-cup mount with me when I travel. When I check in to a room with a view, I know there’s a time-lapse movie in my future.

On a recent trip to Boston, my wife and I scored a room on the 36th floor of a hotel in the city’s historic Back Bay neighborhood. With views of Copley Square, the Hancock Tower, and some of downtown Boston’s busiest streets, it was a perfect perch for shooting this time-lapse video.

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