Videoing a Food Seminar…Update

A few weeks back I mentioned that I got to get my feet wet with videoing a food seminar. I’ve been working on these videos and am pretty happy with the result.

The Videos

Seafood Summer Salad

And here’s the longer form of it.

Local Cheeses

There are a few more videos left to do, but these are a great start.

Things I Learned

Make quick cuts.

People have short attention spans. Cut as much as possible from the video. A colleague of mine saw my original cuts and advised me to cut it down…way down. So that’s what I did. I could probably have cut it down even more, but I didn’t want to lose any of the content. After cutting it down, I’m much happier with the work.

Keep it to 2 cameras, max 3.

For most of the seminars I used 3 cameras. One directly in front, one slightly to the side and a GoPro up close on the hands and cutting board. This was plenty. Since I’m only using iMovie for the edits, it can only handle two lines of video at a time. Getting three camera views on only two lines was at times challenging, and certainly tedious.

For a few of the seminars I had a friend bring in an extra camera. I’ve found the 4th camera to be just a bit too much. Perhaps if I had a more advanced software it would be a bit easier, but using only iMovie, it’s just too much.

Capture in the highest quality.

For the first seminar I videoed in HD, but it was the lowest setting of the HD options. I was very disappointed with the quality of the video. This was exasperated by the fact that my other cameras captured a much higher quality video. For the subsequent seminars, I cranked up the quality to the max and that had a serious effect.

Double check the Mics.

Ugh. There’s nothing worse than filming an entire seminar only to find out in the editing room that the mics were messed up. That’s exactly what happened with one of the seminars. The problem was that there were four people speaking and only two microphones. That meant we had to continue rearranging microphones depending on who was speaking. With all the setup and planning that it required, I think it just got too confusing. In the end, I accidentally disabled the microphone of the person speaking and activated the microphone of the “on-deck” person. For the entire video! What a waste.

Have backup equipment

I mentioned in my last post that I bought the ePhoto Pro Studio Video 4500W Digital Photography Studio 3 Softbox Lighting Kit Light Set and Carrying Case H9060S3 off of Amazon. I am very happy with what it did – especially for the price, however two of the head clamps actually stripped out on the second day of shooting. The heads are just too heavy for the clamps. I was able to get them replaced by the company, but I had to scramble to try and get the lights to stay pointed in the right direction. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about this in the future as I think it will just continue stripping out, but at least I have some backup pieces now.

All in all it was a great experience. I’ve already got another photo shoot scheduled. This one isn’t a food seminar, so it’ll be a whole new experience again.

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