20110310 MSC Film Making Tips

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Text of 20110310 MSC Film Making Tips

  • 28 februari 2011 - 1/13

    Vorming Most Significant Change Mirjam Schaap, Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation - 1 maart 2011

    Most Significant Change Technique and Video Film Making Tips


    get your camera ready

    study the manual

    know all camera functions

    charge batteries

    check memory space / empty tapes

    try to get a tripod


    find a good location to film

    try to find a location for the storytelling which that will illustrate the story

    avoid moving backgrounds (waving leaves), this will prevent compressing into smaller


    arrange proper light

    make sure you have enough light

    try to shoot outside in natural light, not inside (if possible)

    avoid shooting into the sun or backlighting (your subject wil be too dark)

    keep the sun in your back or from the side

    get the sound right

    be aware of the position of the built in microphone

    get close to the person to get better sound (microphones dont zoom)

    find a quiet place to do the interview (avoid background noise + wind)

    use an external clip microphone to improve the sound

    composition: frame the picture right

    use close ups (CU) or medium close ups (MCU) when you want to share your video

    through the internet

    frame the eye's of the interviewee on one-third of the frame (rule of thirds)

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    ask the interviewee to maintain eye contact with you and not to look directly into the


    do not film the front but a little bit the side

    keep some space in the direction the interviewee is talking (lead)

    when using a photocamera or mobile phone, use landscape only (you cannot convert

    your movie from portrait to landscape)

    avoid camera movements

    don't use the zoom, it will make the video blurry, unnatural and shaky

    avoid to move the camera

    hold it steady (preferabbly use a tripod, otherwise thuck your arms in your side)

    less camera movement will create a video that compresses into a smaller file


    edit your story using editing software (windows moviemaker, adobe premiere, pinnacle


    import / capture the video shots into your computer

    edit the story (if you made storyboard use it as reference), for instance:

    o create a title

    o insert the cutaway shots

    o insert title slides

    o insert transitions (be sparse with wild transitions)

    o edit the sound (fade in/out, level)

    note: save your video project regularly

    export (publish or save) the video project to a video file (.wmv or .mov format)

    Make sure you have all the elements of your story in your video-editing

    program. If you haven't done so already, import all images, video, your voice-

    over, and musical elements.

    Next, bring the images or videos down into the timeline to match the layout of

    your storyboard.

    It's time to create an initial rough cut before adding transitions or special

    effects. The draft version gives you an overview of your project and spotlights

    areas where images or video are insufficient to carry the story.

    Next, add titles to the beginning and end of your story. You may also want to

    overlay text onto an image or video. Avoid the urge to get too jazzy with

    typefaces or colors: Use a straightforward typeface that's easy to read.

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    Now comes the hard part: adding transitions - a simple cross-dissolve

    generally works best - and altering the length of each visual element to make

    sure it corresponds properly with the voice-over. Often, storytellers find that

    the "Ken Burns effect" on a Mac is a good way to add visual interest to an

    image, panning across and zooming into a photo to highlight an expression

    or important element.

    The music is the last element to add (you may want to mute it until you're

    ready to tackle the soundtrack, usually by unchecking a small box in the

    timeline next to the music clip). When you're ready to add music, iMovie's

    controls easily let you adjust the volume to reduce the music volume during

    the voiceover. It's generally best to fade the music to a low level but not to

    drop it out completely for the sake of continuity.

    Expect to spend a few hours editing your story to get it just right. Don't

    overproduce: often the spontaneity and directness of the initial drafts get lost

    with too much polishing.

    Source: Expert tips on creating a polished, professional digital video. J.D.

    Lasica http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/techplan/page5897.cfm

  • 28 februari 2011 - 4/13


    Very Long Shot (VLS)

    The very long shot gives the viewer "geography". There

    is no doubt where the people in these shots are.

    Long Shot (LS)

    The long shot takes in the whole height of the person. It

    doesn't show as much background as the VLS but it

    does show enough to know the subject's location.

    Same as wide shot (WS)

    Mid Shot (MS)

    The mid shot cuts off at the waist. It is a good shot to

    introduce people to your audience. You get a good image

    of the subject and their surroundings.

    The MS is appropriate when the subject is speaking

    without too much emotion or intense concentration. It

    also works well when the intent is to deliver information,

    which is why it is frequently used by television news

    presenters. You will often see a story begin with a MS of

    the reporter (providing information), followed by closer

    shots of interview subjects (providing reactions and

    emotion). As well as being a comfortable, emotionally

    neutral shot, the mid shot allows room for hand gestures

    and a bit of movement.

    Medium Close Up (MCU)

    A Medium Close Up (MCU) shows the head and

    shoulders of a person or a detail of an object. Offers

    more intimacy than a MS.

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    Close Up (CU)

    You can see the look of concentration in a shot that is

    "full face". Also used for interviews - especially when

    things are getting personal.

    Close-ups are obviously useful for showing detail and

    can also be used as a cut-in. Whereas a mid-shot or

    wide-shot is more appropriate for delivering facts and

    general information, a close-up exaggerates facial

    expressions which convey emotion. The viewer is drawn

    into the subject's personal space and shares their


    Big Close Up (BCU )

    Very intimate shot. Great in dramatic moments when the

    actor is giving their all.

    Over the Shoulder Shot (OSS)

    Looking from behind a person at the subject, cutting off

    the frame just behind the ear. The person facing the

    subject should occupy about 1/3 of the frame.

    This shot helps to establish the positions of each person,

    and get the feel of looking at one person from the other's

    point of view.

    A variation of this shot can be a bit wider and include the

    shoulder of the person facing the subject.


    CA (Cutaway)

    A shot of something other than the current action. It could

    be a different subject (eg. this cat when the main subject

    is its owner), a close up of a different part of the subject

    (eg. the subject's hands), or just about anything else.

    The cutaway is used as a "buffer" between shots (to help

  • 28 februari 2011 - 6/13

    the editing process), or to add information.


    Shows some part of the subject in detail. Can be used

    purely as an edit point, or to emphasise emotion etc. For

    example, hand movements can show enthusiasm,

    agitation, nervousness, etc.

    Noddy Shot

    Usually refers to a shot of the interviewer listening and

    reacting to the subject,

    When shooting interviews with one camera, the usual

    routine is to shoot the subject (using OSS and one-shots)

    for the entire interview, then shoot some noddies of the

    interviewer once the interview is finished.

    The noddies are edited into the interview later.

    Point-of-View Shot (POV)

    Shows a view from the subject's perspective. This shot is

    usually edited in such a way that it is obvious whose

    POV it is


    low angle

    This shows the subject from below, giving them the

    impression of being more powerful or dominant. Tends

    to be dramatic

    Eye-Level - neutral angle

    Does not attract attention to itself

    This is the most common view, being the real-world

    angle that we are all used to. It shows subjects as we

    would expect to see them in real life. It is a fairly

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    neutral shot.

    high angle

    A high angle shows the subject from above, i.e. the

    camera is angled down towards the subject. This has

    the effect of diminishing the subject, making them

    appear small, less powerful, less significant or even




    Side to side movement with a static camera.


    Up and down


    Following the movement of the

    subject by moving the entire camera

  • 28 februari 2011 - 8/13


    The 180 rule is a basic guideline in film making that states that two characters (or other

    elements) in the