Greatest Black Movies

Sunday, November 7, 2010

5 Tips to make your home movies, wedding and crazy youtube moments Better.

We all watch television and enjoy it because of many little know outside of the television world tricks and techniques that are tried and true. Even on a bad show like Jersey Shore or some horribly acted Kathleen Hegel movie there are great professionals behind the scenes who are paid good money to make the show that you are enjoying in your living room, watch-able. This is all I do when I piece together a wedding or event is make it something you may want to watch more than once. Well this blog will teach you some tricks to make your home movies better. My tips won’t make your movies like Spike Lee’s Last Joint or Martin Scorsese “Boardwalk Empire” only film school and 50 million dollar budget and years of experience will make your movies that good. However, I can help you improve your productions so you don’t have to call in someone like me to edit it at 75 dollars an hour and an extra charge for my headache of having to fix it.

1 Get a Tripod: If I see another person free hand I’m gonna beat them. I’m a professional filmmaker who has over six years of experience and I rarely ever free hand because in post it look horrible and is hard to watch because all the up and down dips is distracting. You can buy one at Radio Shack or Best buy for like twenty bucks. However, make sure you pay attention to the weight of the camera and the weight the tripod can handle.

2. Use light: The number two reason why your home movies are not watch-able is because it’s always too dark and no one ever pays attention to this fact. So find a desk lamp or just turn on the lights even if people complain because every camera even a cheap flip cams needs light so that you can get a picture. It’s why a picture camera has a flash so that it get enough light to get your exposure. But be careful not to have a picture which is overblown- which means the persons face becomes pasty and almost white when too much light is generated on one object.

3. Pay attention to sound: The number three reason why your videos suck is that you have an on board microphone which picks up everything. And when I say everything I mean the dog barking outside, the slamming of the door and uncle so and so coughing all while you are trying to get an important wedding proposal, which will only happen once in a life time, because your friend is only getting married once. In order to get the best possibly sound brings the microphone close. Bring the camera about 13inch from the face and if you have a screen just eye it and make sure they are both in the frame. Or get your hands on a sound device like a "Zoom" (Retail 179) or electronic tape recorder with a SD card. You can use it later to mix the sound with the video in some sort of collage.

4. Get Many Angles: There is nothing worse than watching an endless static shot of someone talking or some shaky footage of people laughing and doing silly dancing with the person talking behind the camera. So shut your mouth and tell your friends to stop "Haming" (when someone is acting extra foolish because there is a camera in the room) . Don't have your friends talk directly into the camera unless it's a wedding. And tell your friend to stop asking if you are recording because they are just ruining the shot or waiting to do something stupid which will probably not be worth you recording. The most important thing is to set up your shots and after a while set up another shot from a different angle. Make sure you get wide shots, Medium and close ups to make your home movie interesting. Wide shots are pulled back as far as you can with a person seen from head to toe. A medium shot is a person from chest level to the top of their head leaving an inch of headroom above a person’s head. And don't forget the people, people want to see other people so get faces and try to make sure they fill up the frame. I will have to tell you close ups are not used enough because people are lazy. People rather stand back than get close enough to record a good shot. And don't zoom in and out so much, move your camera closer and then hit record when you set up your shot. When you have a mix of close ups, medium, and wide shots you will have a way more watchable movie. And if you combine them together you have something that will be watched by many.

5. Edit: Most Macs have Imovie which will do a great job even with HD footage and it’s so user friendly my 72 year old mother could edit just by watching the fun tutorial. PC’s have movie making which is a terrible program but even and idiot could use it to put some movies together. You can make fun montages of you video and picture and even add titles, music and fun transitions. This will give your video a pro like look and it will add to the enjoyment.

So with these tips you are on you’re way to becoming the next Tarantino; Yeah right, you will at least impress your friends who will now ask you to edit their videos and you may have to start charging. If so you must give me a cut. (Jokes)


  1. Great Tips!

    My favorite tip of the day is recording the sound. When you are watching something but you can't hear it, That is the worst!!

    I love the Demo Video!!!

    There should be a button with your name on it that says before you upload any videos to Youtube you must agree to, "Watch this Demo Video Before uploading Video footage " LOL!

    This was great!!!

  2. Your blog is thought-provoking for the film novice. Thank you for this brilliant entry and for sharing your secrets with us on ways to improve home videos. In many ways I wish to have known this earlier so I could pay attention to these simple tips that make such a difference. Life happens so quickly and video is such a wonderful way to capture memories and cherish special moments over and over again. I really enjoyed your personal video for many reasons such as solid advice, informative tutorial, and the added visual. Your approach to showing a good “how to” video is a clever way to enhance the learning experience. Do you think maybe a quick beginner tutorial of Final Cut or one of the editing programs you mentioned along with some tips how to make and paste together a better video would be next now that we know how to film? You could use Camtasia to record screen on computer .