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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
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
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.
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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.
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
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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.
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
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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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
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180 DEGREE RULE
The 180 rule is a basic guideline in film making that states that two characters (or other
elements) in the