5. Equipment & Location

Next we’ll shift gears and begin to explore how we can actually bring this story to life. We’ll first ask ourselves some questions about our equipment, its limitations, and how we can stylize our content.

4. Telling the Story 6. Collecting the Story

Equipment Limitations

What is the max resolution of our recording device? (i.e. 4k, 2k, 1080p, 720p)

A higher resolution may allow us to crop the video file later, to add some movement or zoom to what could otherwise be a static (and perhaps boring) shot.

What is the max framerate our device can capture? (i.e. 30fps, 60fps, 120fps)

24fps (frames per second) was standard for film, 30fps is standard for video. One of those is probably where your final video will end up. If we set up our camera to shoot at, say 60fps, that will allow us to later convert certain shots to slow motion. Note that in most cases, super slo-mo (120+fps) will not record audio, so let’s only use that setting for very special shots.

How does our audio sound? Do we have an extra device to use as a microphone?

Remember, if we have to focus our attention on trying to make out what the subject is saying, we’ll probably eventually give up. Making sure our audio source is clean is pivotal.

Do we need a tripod?

Think about the content we are portraying: how can it be active and dynamic? In most cases, shots longer than a few seconds on a tripod will lose the audience’s attention. If, however, we will be recording a lot of dialogue to get creative with later, a tripod will be a good idea.

Style & Technique: Your Format

What are our locations like?

These locations, are they visually intriguing? Will these environment be interesting to look at for an audience? If we can’t think of anything, remember that camera movement and character accentuation will come in handy to make up for a lack of visual interest.

How does voice and other audio sound in this location?

For sake of a clean audio recording, for shots of someone speaking try to avoid noisy areas, crowds, locations with unwanted echos, or empty rooms with strong reverb that will make the character’s voice sound tinny. The closer the microphone is to the voice, the better.

Are we going for a certain look, style or genre?

Are we creating a sort of documentary, with interviews of different people? Or is it organic narrative, a day-in-the-life, behind-the-scenes? Artsy? Comedic? Style can help tell a story.