Here’s some quick tips on how to make crappy home-made videos look erhmmm… not too crappy, great for anyone tinkering with their digicam or mobile phone vidcam like me…
Clerks II director Kevin Smith has this handy advice for improving your next low-budget flick.Shoot from more than one angle. Get as many shots as you can from as many directions as possible. This is called coverage, and it makes your film more visually interesting.
Use music as a band-aid. You can’t cut your unintelligible mother-in-law out of a birthday party scene by saying, “The running time is a bit long.” Instead, dub music over her. Set anyone to the right song and they come off looking pimp.
Remember that, as with most things, content is king. No one wants to watch a two-hour video of your vacation. But you can dazzle viewers with five Michael Bay, cut-heavy, chopped-up minutes.
If you’re starring in home porn, keep your ass off camera, particularly if it looks like mine.
Stay well lit. Indoor shoots have big problems with backlighting and shadows, so film outside as much as possible.
You’re not making a real documentary, so don’t be afraid to tell people what to do. If someone stutters or slurs, ask them to say it again. This is especially helpful with kids.
Good sound is important; your built-in mike just won’t cut it. Get an external microphone – a nice shotgun model that you can mount on the camcorder. That way, you won’t have to rely so much on music.
I like the part about using music to dub over any boring portion of the video such as mother-in-laws, pesky kids or pesky senators such as Ted Stevens. Proof in point, check out this Youtube audio clip on Ted Stevens.