On your GoPro... I made non theatrical films long ago, and the trick is you must boost the pace by using cutaways, closeups, inserts to break up those long running shots. This is why you see on professionally done shoots that they build multiples of the project. They use one to shoot closeups of project steps, which are later cut into the long, or master shot. A master shot is a full runthrough of the scene shot from one camera or position. This is very boring to watch. So when you edit, you find a spot where you are doing a particular step, then cut in a closeup you shot of that step. Then you might cut in a very brief shot of your face, concentrating on something. That is called an insert, and it is used to cover any difference or jumps in the action on one scene to the next.
Also, if you can, use lots of light. I found some portable LED lights on Amazon, but the LED worklights at HD or Lowes are very good as well. You see them in use on film sets all the time (CSI in particular). The larger the reflector the softer shadows it will produce. Put a sheet of textured or lightly frosted plastic in front of the light to diffuse it. The LEDs run cool so the diffusers won't melt. If you are shooting in your shop, consider hanging the lights from the ceiling, out of the way and at a 45 degree angle, not straight down. Don't forget to light up the background so it isn't so dark and gloomy in the video.
More lights are better because when the light is low, the camera frame rate drops to compensate, which makes for slightly jerky images. Lighting is critically important, but you are lucky because in the old days of incandescent lighting a decent set of lights would set you back a few thousand bucks, and you needed filters because of the low color temperature (orange) of incandescents. LEDs are about the same color temperature as the sun. If you watch Fox News, their studios are all lit with LEDs now so the inside and outside are the same.
I've seen LED worklights going for $50 each with a short stand. Get at least 4 of the brightest you can find. I would mount them overhead by removing them from the stand and using bolts to hang them overhead.
Get the best video editing software you can because it will make the difference between editing being an awful chore vs an easily managed project. Acceptable software runs from $55 to about $90.
I learned a lot about film making from watching editors at Desi-Lu cut reels of the old "Mission Impossible" series. Start be breaking down all your cutaway, closeups and inserts video into separate shots that are clearly named or numbered, so you can find them. Keep your master shots intact and cut into and around it. If you cut to an action in a closeup, cut that same action out of the master shot, maybe using a closeup of your face to make the jump less obvious.
If you have a jump and no other way to cover it, you can use a short lap dissolve to join the two scenes, or you can just do a large change in camera angle or a long shot to cover the jump.
Don't forget the audio. You can separate your talking from the video and use it like narration, or you can record narration separately and lay it over the image. Machine noise is usually turned way down. Pop for a small lapel microphone that will pick up your voice but not too much of the machine noise. BTW, check online for audio recording freeware, it will make recording narration easier. A microphone may set you back $ 20- 50.
All of this is really not difficult to carry off with a single camera, if you are willing to do the project twice. If you're going to make good videos, particularly to share with or to teach others, it is worth the time and trouble to do it right.
I used to work in 16 mm film, which was really expensive. Editing was done on a Moviola with hundreds of strips of film - each one a separate shot and clearly labeled. It was a very mechanical process. Today, the process is really similar, but all the mess has gone away. But that means you have to make sure you separate the mess of video scenes into separate shots first. Trying to work from 5 or 6 long chunks of video is frustrating and irritating. Breaking down into shots first really makes it to manage the first edit.
All of the above applies to using only one camera to shoot your video. If you can use two cameras, and maybe find a high school that teaches videography and has students you can borrow, the whole process becomes easier. But you'll need to get a couple of rolling tripods with fluid heads. These tripods run about $100 each.
So, as you can see, if you are doing this yourself with one camera, getting good results takes a little thought and attention up front. I recall how frustrated my then partner got when I would shoot nearly as much footage of closeups, cutaways and inserts as of the master scenes.
One more hint. Editors cut on the action. If its a close up, cut just after the person glances in a different direction, smiles or (with woodworking) grimaces. If it is a closeup, say of a piece on the table saw, cut when the piece clears the blade. Same applies to the master shot, cut in on the action. Watch a few series and you'll see they use this cut on the action technique all the time.
Finally, video is the new communications norm and there are many classes on video production in community colleges, and maybe in night schools. Sign up for a class or two. Accumulate the lighting, medium duty fluid head tripod, and editing software as soon as you reasonably can, the sooner you have these basic items, = the less frustrated you'll be about mastering video.
As usual for me, this ran long, but I think it will help you produce the quality of video you seem to want. The GoPro is a great camera so you have a good start.
Last edited by DesertRatTom; 07-04-2015 at 09:43 AM.
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