This video was produced by Transposition Films. The role I played was helping the DP Josh Knepper operate the A Cam. I only played a small part of the production, but I will speak of the project from a holistic perspective. The credit goes to the all the others that worked hard to make this a reality.
Pretty Fantastic Video Right?
I mean as far as event videos with extremely tight turn arounds go, this one turned out fantastic. I have to say my favorite part and what I believe really brought it to the next level, is the way the team was able to develop a story around this production.
SO MANY TRIP OR EVENT VIDEOS END UP BEING 5 MINUTE MONTAGES OF RANDOMLY STITCHED TOGETHER SHOTS. QUITE BORING ACTUALLY.
So often when setting out to make a video you can feel desperate that you need to get enough coverage of absolutely everything. Then when you go into the edit you feel as though you need to include all the components of what you shot. This is the first misnomer I am going to debunk.
Your Video Can't Possibly Include Everything, So Stop Trying To.
Less is more. Focusing in on a visual motif, a story line, something that can carry the piece along. These are all critical steps to kicking things up a notch. This is one of the most important things I have to say. So hear me now, focus in on a single element of what's happening in your video. Is it an event with people at it? Focus in on one person to try tie the whole thing together and show their experience. Making a travel video? Try share why you are visiting certain locations and why the viewer should care about the landscapes you are showing them. Share in the video how they moved you. With the Run For Water video there was so many things we could have included. Literally thousands of options. Instead of trying to include it all we focused in on one component or storyline. The piece is infinitely better for this reason. There are many storyline options you can chose from.
I just saw a travel video made by Jeff Sheldon. I really like this video because Jeff implemented good visual storytelling without having crazy expensive equipment. He implemented a strategy to give the beginning of his video more focus. His filming wasn't incredibly complex or with expensive gear, but he used the tools he had and focused in on a component of the story. You can find the video here https://vimeo.com/110170664.
Jeff starts off this video with the shots of feet walking on all sorts of different ground. It really helps establish the feel of a travel video and that there were a lot of places visited. It focuses the viewer in to this idea that they are experiencing a trip from the perspective of Jeff, the owner of those two feet. It is something so simple but starts off the video so well.
Try to Develop a Story Thread Beforehand
Putting in effort on the front end to develop or think about your potential story, helps give you focus when it comes to the day of shooting. Doing this before hand means you're not trying to piece together a thread afterwards from the footage that you already shot. The concept for the Run for Water film was simple, a mirrored day in the life of a girl doing the run to raise money, and a girl that will benefit from the donated money. Since we developed this story thread ahead of time we were able to get strategic shots of our talent on the day of that helped to tie the whole piece together.
Do not Use Your Gear as a Crutch
Having great tools is fantastic, but they certainly aren't going to make the story for you. I am fully confident we could have shot this event with our iPhones and still told an intriguing story. Sometimes you can get so caught up in trying to use fancy gear on the day of that you actual miss a lot of the important details. On the flip side, far to often I hear people say that they can't create good videos until they have *insert dream piece of gear* to shoot with. This is simply not true.
LIMITATIONS CREATE EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITIES
When you have limitations it actually forces you to focus instead of paralyzing you with options.
Go with the Flow, Capture Life as it Happens.
Seriously, just run with it. Document things as they happen and try not to stress to much. You will make mistakes. You will miss some fantastic moments. But if you work hard you will also capture some of those beautiful moments that no one could have planned for. Sometimes when you are shooting it can feel like every single person in your vicinity is looking at you. When I first started shooting events I found this oddly uncomfortable. For some people it can be even worse and they will feel like they should shoot at all. Here is the truth. People are not thinking about you or judging you as much as you feel.
That is the reality and you have to keep telling yourself that. Yes there is the occasional jerk, but most people won't give a passing thought to you and your filming. Of anything they will just find it interesting and then move on with their day. Don't let what you feel others could be thinking prevent you from shooting boldly. Who cares if it looks like your too 'into it.' Get the shots you need and try your best not to worry about other people. This is were there is a big benefit to shooting with a simple camera system. The more gear you add and the more fancy you look the more attention it will draw. You can use a really small get and get fantastic results without drawing much attention.
I truly do hope this gives you some ideas for your next event shoot. Remember, try your best to focus in on a story element that can help pull the whole thing together. I would love to see the results of your efforts. Tweet at me @theLeviAllen and I would love to see what you are making.
Life's better when you make stuff.
Download Free Guide
I have made this guide available to all current and future subscribers of the Leftcoast Collective. If you would like to receive a copy of it directly join the Leftcoast Collective bellow. I will continue to send free great content every Thursday and you can unsubscribe at any time. [yks-mailchimp-list id="e34efe9754" submit_text="SEND ME THE FREE EBOOK!"]
Written by: Levi Allen VanderKwaak