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I have a twitter page and a web page where I post little gems of wisdom (or as I like to think of them, common sense everyone should already know.) They are very basic for this site, they are intended for film students and young people just getting into video/film, but I'll get into more technical stuff as I get time.

• If you forget to slate a take, slate it at the end. However turn the slate upside down. It's called tail slate. Easy to see in fast playback.

• Most states and counties offer press credentials to media. You may be able to get them. They get you into a lot of cool places to shoot.

• There are some really cool electronic slates available for the iPhone and iPodTouch. Check them out.

• If you are a working video pro, you NEED to listen to this free entertainment law podcast for pros. http://entertainmentlawupdate.com/

• Diversity wireless systems will almost always have better operating range than similar non-diversity systems.

• Forget the clip on a lav. Use gaffer tape to tape it behind clothing. It cuts air, clothing russel sound and is flatter.

• Make sure your headphones are “studio” headphones, without any audio conditioning properties. Hear what you are really recording.

• Always Shoot Room Tone. It will improve your edit if you have nat audio to fill in the dead spots in the audio.

• Only use the built in mic for nat (natural or background) sounds. Get a good wired or wireless mic. Much better audio.

• Find out what a GOBO is and start using them. They can improve food and interview shot a lot.

• Don’t leave batts in a hot car. They self-discharge quicker when it's hot. Over 90o they'll start losing their charge faster.

• If the battery will not be in use for a month or longer, it is recommended that digital camcorder batteries be removed from the device.

• On initial use (or after a prolonged storage) a digital camcorder battery may require 3-4 cycles before hitting max capacity.

• Check out The DV Show, Website and Podcast. More information than any other video site I’ve seen.

• Protective filters: A clear filter can be used over the lens of the camcorder to protect it from dirt, fingerprints, and other debris

• Check The Sound: wear headsets when you are shooting and still roll the video back now and then to check the audio.

• Shoot for the edit: Be aware of how you'll edit the story. You can save a lot of time in if you shoot so it fits together to tell the story.

• Leave that zoom rocker switch alone! That's your ticket to bad film-making. Constantly tromboning will make your audience sick.

• Get or make a Mic Muff - If shooting in a windy place put a furry wind muff on the mic. It will cut down on the roar you will hear.
• Get or make a 'Saddlecam' It's just a heavy duty canvas bean-bag, cleverly shaped to grip any type of camera. Great in confined places.

• Pick a tape and stick with it. Tape has a lubricant, when you mix different brand lubricants it become sticky and clogs heads.

• Layer shots with foreground elements, like a still shooter. They are more complex to see, but ratchet up the visual variety of your video.

• Let the action leave or enter your frame. Doing so allows you to compress time in your video.

• Get a perspective shot. Such as a shot following the feet of a mailman trudging through snow, or following a toddler from a low perspective.

• Don’t just shoot a tight shot. Go as tight as your lens can focus tight. These shots make excellent transitions between scenes.

• Take the viewer to a place they would not normally go for a unique perspective. Get on your knees or climb a tree.

• If you want your stuff on TV keep the action within “action safe” and “title safe” areas. If you don’t know what that is, look it up.

• Always keep an eye on what is in the background. Avoid stuff sprouting from people’s heads or backgrounds that distract from your subject.

• News photog's shoot both eyes open. Takes some practice but you to see what's going on around you. It’s a matter of safety.

• The most important component to composition is understanding the Rule of Thirds. Look it up if you don’t know it.

Always label a tape, and save files with unique name ( place,scene,date,etc)
It saves a lot of time


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