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Video production tips for newbies

Hey, everyone, a happy new year to you all! The holidays have been a big blast and I’m yet to get down to the work that I had left behind, before the holidays began. The video production job I had taken on needed plenty of work done on it that I couldn’t find the time to focus on.

Now with the holiday break behind me, I feel excited and eager to take on the work and finish it.  The work does not seem to be as daunting as it did before the vacation. That’s what a cool holiday break does to you. While professional videos demand more attention to detail, home videos are an entirely different matter.

In the You Tube age we live in now, home videos are as common as photos. Videos reasonably good ones can be created just with your digital camera or even the camera in your phone. However, for a professional looking video, a camcorder is the ideal choice. Regardless of the type of camera you are using, here are some tips to kick-start your video creation, so you end up with professional looking videos.


Planning is important, regardless of what event you are videotaping. For instance, if it is a wedding anniversary celebration, your list should include the guests arriving, welcoming the guests, presentation of bouquets and gifts, cutting of the cake, gifts being opened, entertainment, dancing, food, and the guests leaving the venue.

If the event has an agenda, it can be used to prepare the videotaping list. When you know about what is going to happen during an event, it will be easier to prepare the shots and make a good production. During one of my video shoots outdoors for a birthday party, I found the view being blocked by low-lying branches. Fortunately, the host had a nice pole saw he had purchased at, which I used to clear the block and have a good angle of the cake cutting ceremony.


Whether it is still photography or videos, a tripod is a vital gear to have, even if it is a great hassle setting it up. If you are staying put in the same place while taking the video, a tripod is best to get clean and steady shots. For smooth recordings, tripod is important.

Close up

It is important to shoot close as in photography. This is to reduce the distractions in your shots and make them more appealing. Wide, close-up, medium, and extreme close shots are the four main shots used in videography. To begin with, you have to first establish the shot. This involves taking a video shot of the event or place where you are creating the video, such as an outdoor area or a party set indoors.

Wide and close

You should be able to shoot medium range to close up shots. For instance, in a birthday party you take a medium range shot of the guests greeting the birthday girl and then zoom in to the girl opening the present to give the shots a dramatic effect.

You need to familiarize with shooting different positions and angles to give the video a more lively and vibrant quality. If you are not planning to do any editing afterwards, make sure you time the shots to get a clear and crisp recording.

Creating Video Sets

Creating Video SetsWhile my influence on a video tends to end with recording or editing the work, there are many things which go into creating any sort of video. For starters you need a script, or something similar for the reader or readers to use when speaking during the video. You also need to create the set itself.

You might do this with a green screen and a computer program, but newer isn’t always necessarily better. Many production teams still create physical sets for recording videos, and there are few devices more useful when creating physical sets than the framing nailer.

Basically, a framing nailer is a handheld device which is used to join together large objects, usually pieces of wood. It works in a similar fashion to your everyday nail gun, except it uses much bigger, thicker nails and it drives these with reduced accuracy. This would be perilous if you were doing meticulous work, but nailing two support beams together isn’t exactly meticulous, is it? These nailers are useful for crafting stages and sets as well, since those are usually made mostly from wood. You can nail together walls, floors, ceilings and more with a framing nailer, so it’s versatile too.

Like other power tools, you will need a source of electricity for your framing nailer to work. In this way it is inferior to a simple hammer and nails, but since the device can hammer as many nails as a dozen people in the same amount of time or less, it has its positive side as well. Besides the wooden elements in a set, you must consider other additions like plants, glass panes, furniture and more. While a framing nailer could theoretically be used to nail together different pieces of wood in a couch, for example, this sort of wood work is typically too fine and precise for such a machine to do well.

The set you create for your video must be realistic and relevant to the video itself. If you’re trying to sell a floor cleaner, for example, your set must have floors of some kind. It would probably be good if they were composed of materials your cleaner is designed to clean, as well. Many points in creating sets seem like common sense to those viewing from the outside, but as has been said so many times in the past, hindsight is 20/20. When you’re in the thick of it and trying to create something on a strict timeline, some of these points might escape you.

Many other tools go into set creation as well. You’ll need saws, hammers, sanders and mops; brooms, brushes, paints and more. With the vast number of supplies necessary to craft a set, you will probably want to be positive of whatever set you want to make, before you start. Try drawing things out by hand and noting the materials you will need for each of these sketched sets before you start actual construction. This can save a lot of money and time, both of which are typically in short supply when making videos.

Using Modern Technology to Work Older Machines

Using Modern Technology to Work Older MachinesThere is often a painful contrast between the technology of today and those machines which people have grown accustomed to using over the previous decade (Or two, or three, or more). You’ve probably heard a pretty popular line once or twice in the past; “Why do we need x when we already have y?”

While new and improved technology is known to make lives easier and allow for doing more work in the same amount of time or less, using the same amount of resources or less, that isn’t where the benefits end. New technology can actually make it easier to use some of that old tech you’re enamored with.

One shining example that comes to my mind is cutting wood. The wood lathe is still popular and still used today when working with wood, making it one of the oldest tools still being used by modern society. There are computer programs which can help you to run simulations and figure out the best angles at which to cut the wood before you even buy a piece of wood to work with in the first place. If you’ve ever worked with CAD or similar drafting programs, you should already have an idea how computers can make cutting wood more accurate and cost effective.

Well, even if you haven’t, I can explain to you how it works. Simulate a piece of wood in your program which is the same length, width and size as the piece of wood you’re supposed to be working with when you’re cutting. Then simulate the cuts you want to make, watching the piece of imaginary wood change as you slice off piece after piece. If you don’t like what you see, you can always start over again – without needing a new piece of wood for each attempt. The benefits here should be simple enough to understand.

While I don’t have much occasion to work with a wood lathe in my line of work, that doesn’t mean other people don’t. Producing videos can be an extensive project depending on what needs to be recorded, and I would be lying if I said people haven’t used wood lathes in the past to make pieces of a stage or set. They are versatile tools and very popular when working with wood, since they give the user much more control over the finished product than would be possible with a simple clamp and saw combination.

Table tops (and table leg, for that matter), doors, floors, window molding and more can all be crafted using a wood lathe. The only problem with this is how expensive wood lathes tend to be. Even simplistic machines can cost several hundred dollars. If you want one of the more advanced ones, you should expect to pay ten times as much, or even more. It is possible to make a lathe right in your home too, though you shouldn’t expect much from something you make yourself unless you’re pretty handy at that sort of thing.

Electric Violins – an Amazing Technological Item

Electric Violins - an Amazing Technological ItemI met an old friend last week for coffee. I hadn’t seen him in a bit and I found out that he was in a band. I knew he played the violin, and I have a soft spot for them, so I said yes when he asked if I would like to come see them play at a gig in a club on the Upper East Side. So I went and saw them play, and they were amazing! But what I was most surprised at what that my friend used to play a beautiful classic violin, and now he had this black and red badass electric violin. I met him backstage later and asked to see it and was quite impressed. That’s where I got the inspiration to look into electric violins a bit and write a post about them. So here it is!

The main difference between an electric violin and a regular one is that electric violins have an electronic sound output. These are not to be confused with amplified violins which just have a pickup built into the body. Electric violins usually don’t have a solid body and that’s the main reason their design is sometimes so cool. Yes, beautifully carved wooden violins are amazing, but there is something so badass about these no-body violins!

I knew all of that before I started investigating them, but what I didn’t know s that they have been used since the 1920s! They were pretty rare than, and not many people used them. Well, times are a-changing and today really a lot of artists opt for electric violins rather than regular ones. And another thing worth mentioning about them is that a good electrical violin is not even that expensive to buy. From what I saw, a good classical violin is often more expensive!

From what I gathered from articles and forums, and from my friend, a lot of people prefer electric violins because they are amazingly versatile – you can excel by playing the national anthem, as well as at a wedding. They are also great for silent practicing, which you simply cannot do with a classical violin. A lot of people go electric because they live in apartment buildings and don’t have a place where they can practice because of the noise. This is not a problem with electric violins, as you can just put headphones on and practice without being heard.

Another amazing thing about electric violins is that you can actually plug an SD card in them and combine the sound you make with any recording you want! Amazing! It can also serve as a practice tool and a motivational incentive. Imagine rocking out to the sound of your favourite band!

Considering all I heard at the concert and all the videos and recordings of electric violinists I heard later, I am now determined to make a video which would feature an electric violin as a first instrument. With their amazing sharp sound and rawness, I think they would go great in a rock music video!

Streaming about Steaming

Streaming about SteamingDo you have the kind of parents who send you gifts during the holidays and then call you over and over again for the next year or so, asking if you’re getting any use out of the things they sent you? I have parents like this. It’s not really accurate what I said either, about it stopping after a year; once the next holiday season comes around and we all exchange gifts again it just starts over, like some kind of circle. At least it’s not a downward spiral or anything; I’m really happy that my folks still keep me in mind even though I’m grown and gone from home.

Well, this last time, I finally figured out a way to make it stop, I think. Not the gift-giving, I rather enjoy that part. But I figured, if I could just show them that I was getting some use out of their presents, that should stop the questions a lot earlier in the year, right? Well that’s what I decided to do. Specifically, I did some streaming where I showed off the new steaming iron my mother sent me, so she could see with her own eyes that I was indeed enjoying the gift, and I didn’t just return it or something like that.

There’s really not much to tell about that. I ironed some clothes while she watched, showed them off once I was finished and even asked her for some help with applying starch during the ironing process. It was a nice little bonding moment for us, but nothing anyone would want to read about. While we went back and forth, she told me she found the iron she bought for me by searching at Iron Expert Labs first. It’s not a website I ever heard of before, but since I’ve also never gone shopping for steaming irons, that makes sense.

I ended up really liking my new iron, so I went and visited that website a couple days later when I had the time to do some senseless browsing. It turns out they have reviews for all kinds of ironing boards as well, which you can read at if you wish. Hey, who knows, maybe you’re looking for some useful gift to give to somebody you love, right? Well if it helps any of you out, be sure to let me know so I can keep doing stuff like this.

As for the iron, I don’t think my clothes have ever looked better. Don’t go telling my ma, but I think I do an even better job of ironing my clothes than she did, back when she used to do it for me. I mean, I was never really in practice or anything, so maybe it’s the iron itself which is making the work so easy. I’m going to keep working with it, maybe let her try it a few times to see the results she gets, and then document everything in some awfully boring record somewhere.

How To Look And Feel Swell And Put Your Best Foot Forward

I’m ba-a-a-a-ack! Yikes! Some of you, who are regular visitors here, might be thinking; this guy’s really lost it. No, I haven’t. In fact, I feel pretty darn good today. And why do I feel so tip-top? I’ll tell you in a moment. I’ve taken my extra-friendly introduction to today’s post from one of my all-time favorite movies, Independence Day. I was still a kid then but I remember this spectacular event as if it was just the other day. Who remembers one of the enduring characters from that show?

Be brave and help yourself

How to look and feel swell and put your best foot forwardRemember Randy Quaid? In the movie, he makes a brave attempt to save the world from the malevolent aliens who have invaded it. And as he veers his nuclear weapon-powered jet up towards one of the hegemonic crafts, he introduces himself. So, now do you remember? Anyway, the older of the Quaid brothers, cuts a forlorn figure in both the movie and in real life. In the movie, Randy Quaid’s character had lost all confidence in his ability to do things properly and live life responsibly, mainly due to the trauma he experiences from the unforgettable experience of being molested by these creatures.

Anyway, some of us have painful memories from our past which makes it difficult for us to get out of bed in the morning and project a confident image of ourselves designed to make us look and feel good and put our best foot forward. If you are one of those folks who are struggling right now, take heart, because, thankfully, there many good life skills coaches operating from Self-help sites like this one who are standing by with good advice and remedies on how to enhance your image and make you feel a little better about yourself and your surroundings.

Shine and be happy

Of course, I’m also available if you need a friendly ear. For now, though, I’m going to leave you with just a bit of motivational advice to enhance your image, give the day all you’ve got and show the world what you’re really made of. I read from the Old Testament in someone’s Bible that when in mourning, don’t wear a sad face along with the traditional mourning sackcloth. Put on your best coat of armor, polish up your shoes and straighten your jacket out before you head out the door.

To do this, and by wearing external and internal figure-hugging garments, you are not being vain. You are projecting an image of self-confidence and pride. You must have heard of these two old sayings before; ‘clothes maketh the man’ and ‘you are what you eat’. Now, this last bit of wise philosophy is as important as image-consciousness. You need to eat healthily too and eliminate all the unhealthy, toxic junk food which invariably contributes towards increased levels of stress and anxiety.

Gosh, time does fly, particularly when you’ve been having as much fun as I’ve had in trying to lift you up. Here’s hoping that I also made you smile.

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