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COURSE OUTLINE FOR VIDEO PRODUCTION
by Dan Philgreen
all rights reserved

PRE-PRODUCTION (The plan)
   Identify the need (client may have done this already)
    Identify the audience
    Concept development
        What kind of story?
        What approach?
        Brainstorming
        Determine resources
            Existing material
            Stories
            People
            Budget
        Format factors
            Different video formats
            Transfers, film to tape, etc.
            Stills, photomation
  
     Script (or Structure) to shoot to
            Typing skills! Mavis Beacon

PRODUCTION (gathering elements)
   Shooting
    Camera work
        Camera types
        Formats
        Quality/cost/applications
        Set-up
            Color balance
            Registration
        Time Code
            pre-roll
        tape numbering
    Support gear
        Fluid heads
        Jimmy Jib
        Steadicam
            Standard, EFP, JR
        Gyrozoom
        Shakeycam
        Dollies
        Baby legs, hi-hat
        Hand holding technique
        Exposure
            Gain up
            Iris locking
        Lenses (to be addressed more fully under
                    visual theory)
        Batteries
            Ni-cad theory
            Chargers
            Rebuilding
    Lighting
        Exposure
        Meters
        Zebra stripes
        Equipment
            Location gear, (Lowell kits)
                Clamps and goodies
            Studio gear
                Lensed spots, fresnels, etc.
                Large lights
                Arcs
                HMIs
                FAYs
        Techniques, basic rigs
            Ratios
            Talking heads
            Large rooms
            Relation to camera type
            Reflectors
            Spectral light
            Contrast
            Light angles
            Gobo for lens
            Electronic shutters
            Kicker lights (hair, rim light)
            Flat lighting
                Soft boxes
                Umbrellas
                Foam core
            Flags and cookies
            Color balance
                Various sources
                Filtering at camera
                Gelling windows
                Gelling lights
            Practical lights (lights in scene)
            Light sources
            Computer monitors
        Basic Electrical Theory
            Circuits
            Signals
            Audio
            Video
            Inputs/Outputs
            Control
            Parallel
            Serial
  
         Power
                AC/DC
                Rules of thumb re: amp loads
                International voltage, relamping
                Russian flicker
                Box tie-ins
                Safety
                3-phase wiring and theory
            Troubleshooting logic
                Isolating the problem
                Swapping components
            Cables
            Boxes
            Boards
            Simple repairs
                Soldering
                Switches
                Audio & video connectors
  
     Audio
            Micing - placement, wind noise, clothing rustle, sibilence
            Setting levels
            Coverage strategies
            Use of multiple channels
            Radio mics
            Tricks to fix problems
                Hum, static
                Impedance matching
            make-shift narration studio
Directing
    Get overall feeling for what is going on
        then verify details
    may have to form and verify a theory
    Getting coverage
         Story angles
        Camera angles
        Cut-aways
    Audio elements
        Interviews
        Narration
        Effects
        Ambience
    People skills
        Push with a smile
        Look for "getter-doners" to help you
Organization
    tape labeling
    marking a script as you shoot
Location work
    Packing gear
    Packing personal things
    Checklists
    International
        Carnets
        Registration with U.S. Customs
Keeping a journal
    Audio cassette for notes
    Notebook computer
Graphics & Animation
    How to deal with graphics house
    Set price for total job up front and work to it
    How to communicate what you need from them
    How to gain from their creativity

POST-PRODUCTION (putting the pieces together)
   Logging and tape database
    Transcription
    Culling down footage
        Best parts of interviews
        Marking "must use" footage
        Matching footage to the script (paper editing)
    Time code (God's gift to video)
        What it is, why it's so important
        Linear/VITC
        Drop/Non-drop frame
        Window dubs
    Off-line/On-line
        List export

EDITING
   Setting up decks
        Remote/local
        TBC settings, reading scopes
        TBC theory, why do we need them?
        Color bars
        Setting audio levels
            Tone
            Slates
    Edit control computer
        List management
        Auto assembly
    Multi-generation considerations
    Switcher
        Crosspoint busses
        Keying
        E-mem
        Graphics
        ADO (digital video effects)
            Keyframe programming
        Setting up monitors
        Routing
            Patch bays
            Routing switchers
    Audio board
            Time code
            Re-striping
A/B roll transitions
Match framing
Covering glitches & cheating
Pre-roll
Character generation
Matching
    Action
    Continuity
Pacing & Rythm
Cutting talking heads
Compressing time, using nuggets of thought
Cutting to music
Tailing in pictures and sound
Slo-mo

AUDIO
Linear/Hi-fi/FM
Multi-tracking (building tracks)
Cloning to gain tracks
Chase-lock decks
Digital Audio Workstations
Mixing
Voice editing
Music editing
Stretching
Compressing
Visual syncing
Outboard gear
    E.Q.
    Reverb
    Gate
    Aphex
    Compressor

VISUAL THEORY
Composition
    Centers of interest
    Rule of thirds
    Head room
    Triangles
    Leading lines                 
    Noses
    Background mergers
    Atmosphere/Aerial perspective
Dynamic Composition (Kinetic literacy)
    Leading space
    Motion within shots
    Smoothness
    Ramping motion
    Soft-edge fx
    Audio segues
    Flow
        Eye position in the frame
        Shapes
        Colors
        Transitions
        Follow focus
        Follow zoom
        Following in close-up
        Instinct

Language of transitions
Time compression/expansion
Focusing attention with close-ups
    Video is a close-up medium
    With motion
Visual depth/perspective
Focal length/perspective
Depth of field control
Angles, ways to get different ones
Action axis (action line, "the line") = Screen Direction
Aerial shooting
    Aircraft
    Benefits and drawbacks of different designs
    Costs
    Gyrozoom
POV's
Lenses
When to use which focal lengths
Specialty lenses
    Snorkle
    Micro cams
    Gyrozoom

DUBBING
   Inputs to outputs
    Signal distribution
    Daisy chaining
    Distribution amplifiers
    Levels
    Pre-roll and black at end
    Dubb houses
        How they work
        Physical plant
        Pricing
        When to send it out

PRESENTATION
   Monitors
    TV sets
    Projectors
        CRT based
            Allignment
        Light Valves
        LCD based
DLP/micro mirror
        Screens
            Front/rear

Presentation software

WRITING
   The Terror of the Blank Page
    "Green light" ideas just to get something on the page, then
        change it, sort it, spin off from it
    Hard work of sculpting the words
    List elements - bullet points
    Organize into a structure
    Think skeleton, keep structure in mind, don't get lost in
    the details yet
    Keep in mind as you write:
        What visuals do you have?
        What visuals can you get?
        How can you use graphics to fill holes or tell the
        story better?
        Write to the strongest, most appealing elements you have.
        Exploit the most interesting slant on the material.
        Flesh out the skeleton with detail

To get detail:
    Take notes during the shoot (keep a journal)
    Use an audio cassette recorder
    Take info. from talking heads that you aren't going
    to cut into the show
    Steal! Use verbage from brochures, etc.
    This utilizes effort already put into concise
    expression of the ideas
    It ties in the video with existing print pieces
    Verbage is basically pre-approved & spelled
    right

Write narration if necessary
    Often just needed to tie things together
    Generally, tell as much of the story as possible with the
        words of the people in the video
Economy of words
Boil the story down to the essence of the information
Cull out anything that is obscure
Cull out anything that takes too long to present
Use the clearest, simplest examples possible
Use graphics or any device that simplifies the telling
Take the nuggets from above and present them with as few
    words as possible
Don't say the same thing twice unless you mean to for emphasis.
Don't be redundant! (knowhatImean?)
Default structure for most stories:
    Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em (intro)
    Tell 'em what you have to say (body)
    Tell 'em what you just told 'em (summary or conclusion)