This week, we yield our column to Jag Garcia, our resource person on creativity and innovation. He will enlighten us on a topic that is suddenly relevant to us all during the pandemic.
Why is it important for your team to learn video production skills? Three words: Death by Zoom. Social distancing and work from home have forced us to leverage on teleconferencing platforms—basically a video medium. It may be fine to look dark and dreary while on a video call with your mom, but when you report to your bosses you need to look presentable. This means you need to know and understand the fundamentals of the following:
Cameras: How do they “work”? What kind of resolution do they capture? How does your camera perform in low light?
Digital cameras are attuned to light, and when there’s insufficient light for a given camera, its electronics work overtime. This results in grainy textures, dull colors and poor resolution. You’ll need to know how to make the camera work for you and your environment; using manual or semi-auto features vs full-auto.
Camera work: It’s not just about seeing your face. Your frame defines what your audiences see, and how they see things. It also determines their expectations with regard to on-screen information. You must learn basic framing and composition and how to position yourself in front of the camera. A tip: Fill the frame, sit closer to the camera so the bottom frame is just below your shoulders, and your hair is just grazing the top of the frame.
Audio: Did you know that if you stick that microphone too close to your mouth, we. cannot.hear.you. A microphone’s task is to pick up sound, but if improperly used or positioned, all it picks up is noise and this becomes a much greater hindrance to communication. You need to understand simple microphone placement and usage, and basic audio principles. Something you can do now is to keep your microphone at least six inches away from your mouth. If you use a headset, don’t pick up and stick the mic in your mouth.
Lighting: What is bright to you may not be bright to your camera; and no, your ring light will not guarantee good lighting. Lighting is what allows the camera to “see” things clearly; but it’s also for sculpting and defining what the audience sees. You’ll need to brush up on the concepts of 3-point lighting and color. But one quick tip is to avoid a single full-frontal light. Use two lights on the left and right of your face for better shadow control.
Editing: Unless your two-hour presentation is as action-packed as a Hollywood blockbuster, you’d better know how to K.I.S.S. (keep it short and simple!)
Editing means knowing how to curate and design content to fit the medium; it’s not just about duration, it’s also about readability, emphasis, and engagement. You need to find out about basic editing techniques and the use of simple editing platforms; plus the basic rules of text and graphics for video.