Make and share your own videos
Why not join the fun and make your own videos for screening on Inspirationaltv. It's easy, just follow these three steps. All you'll need is a camera, a cord to connect the camera to a PC (fire-wire or similar) and a PC that has an internet connection.
PLANNING A VIDEO
To start with run through the four Ws and the H (what, who, when, where and how) to formulate your story. When you've got these basics roughed out you can get into some more serious planning.
To maximise the inspiration in each video and minimise the confusion in production, confirm basic details before you start:
- The overall message of inspiration that will be delivered by the video
- A story board showing introduction, content and conclusion
- The people appearing on the video, if anyone, as well as other people that may be involved. You may need permissions to film people, especially children. If you do, get them or their parents to sign a letter along the lines of "I consent to my child being filmed for a programme to be screened on www.inspirationaltv.net. I understand that filming will only take place with my consent and my child’s consent. Inspirationaltv will hold copyright. The material will however only be used on the Inspirationaltv website and production of ancillary DVD or television programs for public broadcast. If such ancillary products are ever sold it will only be to recover costs. To help to protect my privacy, my name will be used on the programme only if I agree and only in the form I agree. I understand that if I wish I may view the completed video before it is submitted to the website."
- The date of filming and the location of filming
- Any props that might be required
Find an angle:
- Ask a central question about your topic, don't try to simply show everything you know about your topic
- Focus around a central character or theme
Plan to capture interesting footage that helps answer your question or develops your theme:
- Plan a person to interview or get comments from
- Plan questions based on your central question
- Plan to shoot at an interesting location or several locations
- Ask the presenter or subject to do something while they talk
- Be prepared to capture unplanned events such as a moment of suspense, surprise or action
Show a result:
- Has your central question been answered?
- Is the central theme evident?
- What are the conclusions the viewer will make?
FILMING A VIDEO
Here's a checklist of what you'll need before you go out filming:
- Camera that plugs into your PC
- Fully charged battery or power cord
- Microphone, an external microphone is best but the camera microphone will do in a quiet situation
- Live microphone batteries
- Tripod or steadicam, optional for a steadier picture
- A video tape and back up tape
If you are using a presenter, make sure your presenter is prepared:
- Heavily crafted presenter personalities, unlike broadcast TV, do not work on web TV, this is the really fun thing about web content
- Presenters on broadcast TV are coached on how to talk, express themselves, use facial reactions etc. Your presenter can be much more "real", opinionated and personal, keep it to the way they talk and behave
- The presenter can give their feelings and opinions on a subject, which can be just as important as the facts
- It's okay to be wrong, admit you are confused or not an authority on the subject, that what is being offered is only opinion
So you're ready to film. If you are new to filming here are some tips:
- Establish your opening shots at each location, maybe several long distance shots that help viewers to establish context
- A clear introduction - who, what, why?
- For the main footage use a variety of different shots, wide shots, pans, medium and close up shots, as well as shots from different angles
- Take "b-roll" footage of props, action shots and reaction shots to cover any bad shoots or other problems when you come to edit
When you are starting to get really good also be sure to:
- Shoot lots of close ups to make it personal for the smaller web screen
- In group shots, get wide shots of the group and close-ups of listeners and head-turns
- In "following-the-action" shots get all kinds of shots (over the shoulder shots, close ups, wide shots), this will involve running around the subject a lot and zooming in (to get close-ups) and out again
CUTTING A VIDEO
Cutting is very satisfying. It's the point at which everything starts to come together and people take real pride from their involvement. It's wonderful to sit back at the end and be able to say "wow, we made that". We suggest you use Windows Movie Maker, it's easy to use and produces a good result. Most computers have it and if yours doesn't it can be downloaded for free at www.microsoft.com if your PC is a Windows PC.
Ensure your tape is in the camera, make sure the camera is plugged into the electricity. Now connect the camera to your PC with the firewire. One of two things will happen either a diologue box will pop and ask you to capture the video, select OK or, you will need to open Windows Movie Maker. Capture the video from your camera, naming what you are capturing and selecting where it will be saved to. If you are asked for file format select "Digital device format (DV-AVI)" and capture the entire tape or stop the capture manually when you have finsihed getting what you need. The video will be in the top left of the page. Drag it down to the top line of the story board ("video") further down. On the story board there are plus and minus buttons. Adjust the size of the story board using the buttons to make cutting easier. Play to the point you want to cut. Use the razor blade (two squares with a dotted line between them at the bottom of the video screen) to cut, click your curser on the piece you want to take out and press delete.
Use the razor blade to cut down to the chunks you want for the video. Delete the chunks you don't want. Rearrange the chunks in the order you want them. When you have cut your video insert titles and captions. Use the menu to choose where you would like the title to appear. You will be given a range of options to choose from. Once you get experienced you can also add music and photos. Places for free music and photos without copyright restrictions include:
Finally, publish your video so that it is ready to load to the web. When you save the video you will be given a number of options on the form to save it in. The two key things to get right for ease of loading to the web are first ensure the file format is "AVI" so it will load easily and second make sure the file is saved as "compressed" otherwise it will take hours to load to the web.
You are ready to load your video to the web, offering it to the world of web TV watchers. Open a free account with You Tube. Go to their web-site www.youtube.com. Select "Sign Up" in the top right hand corner of their home page and follow the instructions you'll be given to set up your account.
Once your account is set up select "Upload" in the top right hand corner of their home page and follow the instructions you'll be given to upload your video file. As it is loading, which may take about 15 minutes on broadband, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to add descriptions alongside the video so that people can find it easily.
Once the video is loaded e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to it and we'll be pleased to find a slot for it.
Well done, you did it!