SMUG doesn’t have a formal curriculum in Web video (come to think of it, none of our curriculum is really formal in the accreditation sense.) I guess what I should say is SMUG doesn’t have a curriculum series in Web video.
That may change, but for now here is the first post in what might become a series.
I didn’t start with 101 for the course number, because I can think of some lessons that would be more introductory or basic than this one. But this is something you should learn early and take to heart:
Always use a tripod when shooting video with a consumer-grade video camera.
The videos below show the difference a tripod makes. The first is a compilation of highlights from my son Joe and nephew Tom, in their first few games of the high school basketball season. I’m using a WordPress.com blog as the team booster site. I used a Facebook group a couple of years ago to do the same for my daughter’s team. All of the video from these first games was shot using a tripod:
Last night, however, when the Austin boys played John Marshall High School in Rochester, I realized upon arriving at the game that I had left the camera base that connects to my tripod attached to my other camera. So I had to shoot the whole game holding the camera in my hand.
And while I haven’t yet edited the highlight video for the whole game (which Austin won by the palindromic score of 74-47), here’s one snippet that was particularly fun for me as a dad:
I really wish you could tell that was my son, Joe, but because I had a hand-held camera, it’s considerably more blurry than the earlier games. So please just take my word for it.
I think the other factor is that I was a little closer to the court than usual, and therefore had to move the camera more quickly to keep up with the action, which increased blurriness.
So, to summarize the lesson:
- Always bring a tripod.
- If you goof up and forget to bring a tripod and are shooting action footage, get some distance away to avoid introducing extra movement.
- If you are shooting an interview or something at close range, find some other surface (a box, a stack of books, etc.) upon which you can set the camera.
- Don’t mess with the Austin Packers. 😉
Seriously, it was pretty cool to get to see and capture my son’s first dunk in a high school basketball game. And I always try to turn these moments into teaching opportunities.
It’s the life of a Chancellor.