Friday, 22 February 2013

Video killed the Radio Star

I was watching the Graham Norton Show last week. He was interviewing Delia Smith among others, including gorgeous Gemma Arterton (see gratuitous pic below) and Matt Lucas.

Anyway, talking to Delia about her new online cookery courses Norton rather dismissively opined that the phrase 'online video' made it sound like they'd been made on a mobile phone.

The thing is, it's not the equipment (as every man knows) but what you do with it that makes a difference. The 'production values' as Mr Norton called them can be as high as you like and the equipment as expensive as it is possible to purchase, but if the person behind the camera isn't paying attention to the golden rule of video-ing then the result can literally make you queasy.

Now I'm not one to blow my own trumpet (not often, anyway) but I have in the past been complimented on the standard of the video clips I put on this site (and it's sister YouTube page). And they are quite good. For what they are. And what they are - get this - is clips shot on my mobile phone.

Yes, folks - entirely on an iPhone4 using nothing more than a few added extras like a microphone and some free editing software. And as I've been inundated by at least one request to share my secrets I've decided to do so over the next few weeks.

And the most important of them all is that it isn't fancy cameras, sophisticated software or any of the other things you might sometimes think are necessary. No. It's simple, really. Secret number one is this: videos take moving pictures, so you stay still and what you're filming moves. By and large, that's it. True, there are a few more tips and I'll be sharing those in a couple of future posts.

In the meantime, though, let me show you what I mean. Here's one I (*ahem*) made earlier. And if you can make a two minute video of vacuum-cleaning even vaguely entertaining, imagine what you can do for something really interesting!

Now all we need is a 'Best Video' category in the MADs next year and we're away!

More tips next week, but in the meantime - happy filming!


  1. I love the dramatic music. It does add that extra punch, doesn't it?

    1. Absolutely Nessa, how else to make vacuuming exciting?!!

  2. Yes, it's a common mistake when using a video/digi camera, or mobile in your case, to use it as one would use ones' eyes. i.e. scanning or panning, to see where the subject has gone, or trying to find a subject. Two options available: in your case waiting for it to come back into shot, which you knew it would, because somebody was turning the cleaner around, or stop recording. Stop recording, assess the situation and start recording again. Then you won't have to spend time editing out all that backwards and forwards! Well chosen, dramatic music makes a prosaic subject into something rather dramatic, the 'suspense' temporarily halted by your lovely smiling kiddie. Great stuff!


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