Production value is a big aspect of making Good Clean Video. By adding production value your videos can really shine. But what is production value? How can you add to it (or accidentally a take away from it?).
What decreases production value?
The first thing I need to talk to you about is what takes away from the production value. Things like not using a tripod, not using a professional mic and bad lighting can decrease your production value. Another is having your kids talk over or walk into your shot. It might seem silly but something that can decrease the value is looking unkept on camera. I’m not saying that you need to be ready for the prom – but looking put together does help make your video better.
Ok how do I increase production value?
We’ve talked about what takes away from your production value. But what can you do to take it up a notch? There are some basic things and then they are some “pro” tricks that you can use to make your video look amazing.
Pay attention to the shot
By this I mean properly frame your shot. The rule of thirds applies to video as well as still photography so try to frame it nicely. Also pay attention to EVERYTHING that is in the frame. If it doesn’t have to do with what you’re discussing – it shouldn’t be there. In other words, signs that have words on them, distracting movement in the background, and other items that take away from what is supposed to be your main focus should stay out of the shot.
Pay attention to your lighting
The good news is that the best lighting source is free. When the sun is properly utilized it is a great resource. Make sure that your main focus in the frame is properly lit. Soft lighting is best. If you do use a light kit make sure that you know how to use it. And never ever film someone inside against the windows they will be dark or the windows will be blown out. ( I have seen this so many times I feel that I need to mention this specifically.
Pay attention to sound
This is the game changer that people ignore. But you have to pay attention to this. Sound is what makes you look (sound?) pro. But it’s more than just buying a mic. It’s paying attention to the noise in the room around you. If you’re next to a busy street be aware that some of that traffic noise will be heard. If you’re doing narration make sure that the house is quiet. Paying attention to little things like that can really up the production value.
The Money Shots
These are the bread and butter of the video production world. These nice shots production companies charge extra for because they take things up a notch. The first is a “dolly” shot. This can be done using a dolly, slider or cheap roller skate. Basically it’s the camera moving past an object. It makes the shot interesting has movement and screams production value. But it does take a special piece of equipment.
Another shot that doesn’t require you to dip into your hard earned cash is “racking focus”. All this is taking the shot and forcing the lens out of focus and manually “racking” it back into focus. It’s cheap it’s easy and it looks great.
So what can you do to take your production value up a notch? Let me know in the comments below!