Tips From Glenn PP Milligan
(Fuel TV, Red Bull, Fox, Nike, Vital)
Shooting or Composing Your Shot
This applies to any medium, not just Web. You all watch videos and you know what you like. Pick two or three of your favorite shots that you’ve seen in a movie, video, or Web vid. Go out and re-create that shot. Now watch what you shot. Does it look like the shot you like? Is it better? Is it worse? What can make it better? You watch TV and Videos everyday. That pretty much makes you an expert. Use your expertise to make a better video!
Web videos wash out a lot of color and contrast. Try turning up your saturation and play with the contrast to give you subject (the rider or action) more distinction from the rest of your shot (the Background).
[Editor’s Note: You can also do color and contrast changes and corrections to individual clips in your editing software.]
Get In There
Ok maybe you are filming a contest and you don’t want to get too close to the action, or maybe you have a great idea for a shot but you feel like a nerd asking the rider to bear with you while you need to get set up or figure it out. You have a mouth, use it. If your goal is to make something good, do it! Don’t let feeling like an idiot get in your way. When you read a comment on the Internet that says your filming sucks, when you know you had a better idea, you’ll feel way more like an idiot then. Or way worse, when you see your own final project and you know you could have done better, you’ll realize feeling like an idiot for a couple minutes to get it right is WAY worse then feeling like an idiot with something you cannot change.
Tips From Kyle Carlson
(Vital, Vimby, BNQT)
Compression is an art in itself and it’s always progressing. You’ve probably noticed that YouTube videos don’t look as good as Vimeo videos, which don’t look as good as HD videos that are occasionally hosted on individual sites. That is because of the way the different sites compress your video files. Play around with your export settings until you get something that looks proper. There are quite a few options in the QuickTime Conversion settings within Final Cut Pro and Sorensen Squeeze is a program devoted to compression that works great.
I switch it up a lot depending on the project; for Vital using Flash is a key part in exporting and that’s a bit harder to explain and requires a few more programs than average kids have.
Rather than spitting out some settings, I’d just prefer to link to Vimeo’s HD Q&A that gives some pretty dialed settings for compressing and uploading good quality HD videos to their site. I think that would help out a bit more than any settings I could give of my own. They’re pretty on point.
Also, if you’re as good looking as I am, occasionally pan the camera to your own face. Women will love it.
Tips From Harrison Boyce
Don't Think Of It As A Web Video
It's an easy way to make excuses for not trying that hard. Think of every project you do as a portfolio pieces. There's no reason to half-ass something when you can spend a little extra time and make it something you are really proud of. This will ultimately elevate the quality of your work and also the quality of BMX content on the web! Video is definitely the future of the web and sooner than you think, we'll be watching every video online at full screen and in full quality.
Know Your Equipment
It doesn't matter what kind of camera you have. A lot of kids send me emails asking what kind of gear I use. If you are just starting out, just use what you have and really get to know your equipment.
When you watch TV and movies, really pay attention to every camera movement, focus shift, edit, and take what you see and apply it to your work. Taking inspiration from something completely different from what you are working on can give you some great results. Also watch every film on hillmancurtis.com. Create concepts and produce videos that are more than just riding montages. Try to tell stories and mess around with voiceover, establishing shots, and elements that make up memorable content
Tips From Dave Mavro
(Fuel TV, Red Bull)
Use Common Sense
Hold the camera steady—use both hands. Figure out the most stable method of holding the camera, while still being able to function all the necessary controls. Keep your light source behind the camera. Stay away from having to move the camera or zoom too much while filming. Think ahead, and keep it simple. Think of the shot as a “moving” picture. Realize how much space you have on screen, yet keep the perspective in check: for instance, if you’re shooting a 10-foot air, keep the lip/coping in frame. Keep a level head, realize something can and always will go wrong. It’s all in how you deal with it. And most important…practice, practice, practice
(Ride BMX, duh.)
Don’t Rely On The Fish Eye
The fact that you have a Death Lens on your VX doesn’t mean you are a pro. Don’t get confused—the distortion that a fish eye lens gives a shot does not always make it look good or cool. Try composing a good shot long lens and don’t use the fish eye as a crutch.
Since Web vids are usually small and low quality (compared to the 42″ flat screen in your living room) it’s hard to see a rider if he only takes up a small fraction of the frame. Zoom in then zoom in some more. Try zooming a little more than you think you have to and see how it comes out.