You planned your video, prepped your lighting and sound elements, and reached the filming stage. Before you yell “Action!” you still have a few things to get in place:

1. Camera.

If you’re going to be producing digital content, getting a digital video camera is a no-brainer. Price and features of cameras vary greatly, and we could write a whole post just on choosing a camera. (For now, here’s a helpful video from 2 Camera Guys on choosing a digital video camera.) We’ll assume you’ve chosen your camera, and we’ll move right along.

2. Learn the manual.

Before you begin, the person filming should spend time going over the manual and learning how to use the various features of the camera in order to achieve the best results. Experiment and keep a cheat sheet handy if needed.

3. Supply Kit.

You should have an extra battery, extra SD card, lens-cleaning cloth, battery charger/power cord for the camera, and a tripod. Bring your supply kit anywhere that you go to film.

4. Audio Equipment.

To find out what you need, read our recent tutorial on sound and audio for filming. This could include microphones, booms, and extra power sources.

5. Lighting Equipment.

Our tutorial on lighting for video will help you decide what’s needed here. This could include a variety of light sources, or possibly nothing if you’re shooting outdoors.

You’re on location and all of your parts are in place… Now you’re ready to shoot your video! A few things to keep mind as you get to work:

1. Rule of Thirds.

An old standby, this is the theory that while framing your shot, you should mentally divide the visual space into thirds using two straight lines, or nine blocks. (An explanation of the Rule of Thirds here.) Positioning visual points of interest along these lines, rather than centering your subject, complements how we usually view an image and tends to feel more natural.

2. Optical Zoom.

Whenever possible, use the optical zoom option, which uses the lens to achieve a high-quality zoom. This is a preferable alternative to the digital zoom, which effectively just enlarges the center portion of the shot, leading to a lesser quality image.

3. Shoot B-Roll.

Your b-roll is footage that isn’t of the primary things covered in your storyboard, but that might come in handy during the editing process, to fill in gaps or provide visual context. If you’re filming interviews with your company team, for example, you might shoot b-roll including the outside of your building, the workspace during crunch time, close-ups of team members on the job, and so on. Think ahead about what would make useful B-roll material, and allow time for shooting it.

Note: The experts say you can expect to shoot from 2 to 5 minutes of final-product footage per day of filming. So for a short video, give yourself and your production team a day for filming. And enjoy!

Have any questions, or something to add? Comment below, or tweet to us at @SproutVideo. We look forward to it!

Written by Laci Texter

SproutVideo blog contributor. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Posted March 25, 2013

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