Recently I noticed that a lot small business owners are creating video content for their social media pages on their phones. And I was wondering how can I help them create better videos without a large investment. So I created this short online course. It teaches some video fundamentals that business owners can implement with little financial investment.
Hopefully this series of videos helps you get out there and create some awesome video content! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at ZacharyWill@riverside-studios.com!
A recent project I had the pleasure of being apart was SEC Country & Jeff Woods’ “We are Volunteers” music video. It was a very small crew, just myself, the singer, the producer, and his wife. We filmed through the streets leading up to a Tennsense game. It was a very run and gun style filming with mostly natural light. Occasionally on the performance shots we used a reflector board to make Jeff’s face pop off the background.
I filmed the project with the Canon C100 and XC10. This was one of my first projects with the Canon XC10 and wanted to put it through it’s paces. Due to the slow motion, I tended to grab the XC10 for most of the b-roll shots. Unfortunately it’s screen was hard to tell what was in focus and was disappointed to see many of the shots out of focus once I dumped my cards for the day. Although it was a decent companion for my C100 as it was small enough to fit in my camera bag and carry it around.
The video got a bit of press. It has over 28k views on Facebook and over 1k on Youtube. It was also featured in a local newspaper. The music video depicted many of the struggles that Tennsense locals had recently gone through and how it makes them stronger.
Going into my first feature film was scary. It was scary despite having several years of experience on sets and several short films under my belt. Just the fact of how many days it would take to film. 21. We had planned for about 19. So here are some tips I learned along the way.
1) Keep Healthy
Keep yourself, your crew, and your cast healthy. This might seem simple but it’s not. Keep everyone fed, hydrated, and well rested. Film sets are already full of conflicts and stress. The worst thing you can do is throw a group of tired hungry people into it. So keep a case of water in the car, break for lunch at decent times, and try to wrap on time.
2) Stay Flexible
I know you have your amazing directorial vision that will carry the ship but you need to let go of that sometimes. Sometimes a location will drop at the last minute or it’ll rain. And you need that same scene to be inside instead of outside. (or you’ll have to add a day) Somethings aren’t worth it or the time it burdens people with.
3) Ask for another take
There are shots I wish I had one more take of. Maybe the focus wasn’t right, maybe the acting wasn’t quite there. Maybe the actor flubbed their line. Part of me got so caught up in making sure we were on time that I forget to ask myself basic things like, “did he flub that line”, “was that out of focus”. It’s not just the actor and DP’s job to notice those things. The director’s the one that puts that final stamp of approval. The thing I realized was as I was watching the monitor, I was watching the movie one shot at a time. My job was to make this small portion of the movie as good as it can be.
4) Say “Great Job”
At the end of a take, everyone looks at you to see what you thought. They’re looking for your opinion. If you liked a take or even thought it was half way there, say “Great Job!” “Awesome!” “Looking good..” you have to say something that encourages everyone. You can still make adjustments, but don’t let the first thing after cut be things that people did wrong.
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Zachary Will is an Award-Winning Filmmaker creating short films and content for the Internet as the owner of Riverside Studios. He has a Bachelor's in Film from Full Sail University. He has worked on productions for companies like Webmd, Sears, Home Depot, Six Flags and more!
"the trick is to never give up... I think the secret of success is not how little you get knocked down but how often you get back up." - Gareth Edwards