Video tips and advice

Published on July 15th, 2021

1080 Media TV, an award-winning company involved in sailing, offers these tips for the amateur videographer:

Firstly, don’t shoot in ‘upright/vertical’ mode – shoot in landscape/horizontal mode. TV screens and computers are 16 x 9 ratio format; if you shoot with the camera in an upright/vertical mode, you will have thick black borders down the sides when we use the images. If you are ONLY filming for phone playback, then vertical is fine, but not for larger monitors.

Keep your horizon level

It’s so easy to film the yacht heeling, and forget the horizon is also at 45 degrees…! Keeping the horizon level shows the heel better, as people can relate to it with a level horizon. That is perhaps the most basic ‘rule’. You won’t be heeling for too long (hopefully!) but you get the idea…

Wobbly cameras
A shaking camera is simply hard to watch. Brace yourself against something and try and keep it still using two hands if it is safe to do so. Don’t keep panning and zooming! If you have a zoom on your camera, forget you have one….people often zoom in and out the whole time, making the shot pretty much unusable.

Hold a shot for 5 seconds before you move anything to be safe. Similarly, panning left and right quickly, or constantly, it makes people nauseous, and we wouldn’t use it. Sure you can pan, but be steady and smooth and concise. If you pan left, for example, pan for maybe 3-4 seconds, and then stop and hold for another 5 seconds. Now that’s a usable shot!

If you are filming someone as in an interview –the golden rules are:
a) Get something behind the person that shows you are on a yacht. A bobbing head,swaying around against a sky on deck could be anywhere in the world. Show the rigging, backstay, halyards, anything behind them, or anything that makes it clear you are not standing on the dock at home! Below decks it’s much easier of course.

b) Head and shoulders in view at the least; ideally get them to look ‘off camera’ and not at the camera; and alternate with people being on the right side and left side of the camera. Looking at the camera is great for ‘in the moment’ comments and when things are happening, but not ideal for specific interviews.

c) Generally, get any microphone being used as close to their mouth or chest as possible, and protect any microphone with a wind gag to prevent wind noise. If it’s impossible due to the noise, possibly not the best place or time to be shooting feature interviews!

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