Saturday, 3 August 2013

What to do with shaky, shitty video

Of course we all shoot perfect video. We use a tripod, check lighting and sound and not often we have to fix something in post. Now imagine a colleague or friend asking us for a favour. They know we can make good videos, not realising it all starts with quality shooting. But OK, we do them a favour, we say yes (but think no). And now the problems really start. Just a bunch of video files, at first glance resembling the latest shootings from a war zone. But no, they are shot while taking part in the new hobby, enthusiastically waving the camera to the other contenders. Really beyond "warp-stabilisation". You get the idea.

In my case it gets a serious undertone, because the boss has started sponsoring the hobby. Nothing wrong with that, but even while it is sponsoring a hobby, a boss does like to have some return on investment. So, I don't want to disappoint nobody and start right away. With questioning for more. No, not for more sponsoring, but for more footage. This is of course hard for the video takes, but since we are now talking about business, we may add business. So I ask for photos. Photos from the office building, a flag, sign, logo, whatever.

By the way, the sponsoring is about mountain biking. No, not the bikes. The shirts. So I ask for photos of the shirts.  I get an image of the design of the shirt and I get several photos of the guys (sorry, no ladies. I would have preferred ladies) wearing a shirt. And this brings me to the clue of how to make something of shaky, shitty video. Of course, it depends on the subject, but

  • Keep it short.
  • Use stills (The advantage of photos is not being shaky. But make them move by zooming in or out slowly).
  • Find fast music to keep up with the pace.
  • Use simple video adjustments to improve the quality. I very often use the "levels-adjustment" enabling the background of a darker picture be better visible. 
  • Make a fast edit, quickly changing from one cut to the other. Of course, you choose the takes that are the least shaky, but by quickly changing between shots and keeping them short, you can hide a bit that they are shaky and shitty.
I am very sorry to have to say that YouTube did not like the audio of my sample video, so I apologize for the following link not working anymore.

So, look here for the result of my - KLS sponsors mountain bike team - video.

Wish you all success with "your" shaky and shitty video.
If you have similar challenges or solutions, let me know.

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