Create With Purpose

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June 3, 2011

Producing a Video : Things to learn

A Story
Think of each episode of your story and scenes, people and places.
All good stories elements called 5 W's ;


Additionally, there are some general terms called protagonist, antagonist, plot, setting, turning point, dialog, introduction, conclusion, narration, and points of view.

The hero or good guy generally in conflict with the antagonist.

The villain or adversary, generally in conflict with the Protagonist.

There are two main components for laying out your story - a storyboard and the script.

Story board is a sketch of what you will produce. It also help you and the team to understand the intended message what you plan to communicate. Creating the script and the storyboard is your starting act of a production. It accompanies information regarding dialog, setting, and or transitions. The strength of the storyboard lies in it ability to give a visual of what the scene should look like

A storyboard is has  a timeline and shows what the scene will look like.

A script is like a book. Good for dialog intense works. It indicates who is speaking, or what reaction the character should have and descrbes place, time and events in words.

The combines storyboard and script methods allows you to refine story. Once completed turn the storyboard in to a script. The final script will provide the detail required for the actual production. It will also allow rehearse acting.

Lighting can convey emotion and create different moods. It can make a character appear evil or show contrast. 

Using lights
cameras are very similar to our eyes, but they are much better at grasping different color temperatures than eye. Mixing indoor light and natural sunlight will make colors look unnatural. The problem is that your camera can only white balance to one temperature or type of light at a time. To avoid this, close shades or shoot with your back towards the window. It's best to stay away from windows.

Three point lighting
By using three different points of light (key, fill, and back) you can create pleasing results. The key light provides the main lighting on your subject. It is usually placed above and slightly by the side of your subject. The fill light will generally be a smaller light placed adjacent to the key light, and slightly below the subject. The back light is used behind the subject to help create a sense of space and depth.

Single single light can create very hard shadows. Use more than one light source to diffuse the light and to avoid hard shadows. If you get direct light in your subject it can be too bright and may cause the rest of your picture to look dark.

Video Terms

The background sounds present at the location at which you are shooting.

Aspect Ratio
A ratio of height to width of a viewable video screen. The aspect Ratio for a standard TV is 3:4. New standards such as HDTV are being introduced that have an Aspect Ratio of 3:5.

Audio Meter
Measures the intensity of the sound. Usually quantified in decibels (dB). Meters with all lights lit or 'in the red,' are likely to produce distortion and very loud levels.

Back Light
Light used on the background or from behind the foreground subject. It's primary function is to separate the subject from the background, thereby creating a sense of depth.

The color information of a video picture.

Chroma Key
A video effect that replaces a (background) color (usually blue or green) with another video source.

Diffused Light
Produced by bouncing or diffusing light. This allows the light to spread more evenly, reducing hard shadows.

Fill Light
Used to soften shadows and illuminate darker areas. The fill light is usually placed slightly below and to the side of the subject. Typically used in conjunction with a key and back lights as part of three point lighting. For more on lighting see the lighting section.

A complete picture or snapshot of video appearing as a still image. Frames occur approximately 30 times per second. When successive frames are played back at this rate the still images are not seen as still images, but rather blend together creating the illusion of motion.

Incandescent light
Light produced from man made sources such as florescent, or filament based lights. They emit cooler color temperatures than natural light. The lower color temperature causes a greater amounts of red to be present in incandescent light.

Key Light
The principal or primarily light used in illuminating the main subject or scene. The key light is generally placed slightly above the subject to mimic natural light. Typically used in conjunction with a fill and back light as part of three point lighting. For more on lighting see the lighting section.

Electronically removing part of a picture or video and then replacing or filling that section with another picture or video. Most commonly used when adding or keying titles or graphics over video.

Natural light (outdoor light)
Light produced by the sun or other natural sources. Produces a higher color temperature then incandescent light (artificial/indoor light). The higher color temperature causes a greater amount blues to be present in natural light.

Any unwanted video audio such as snow, hiss, or buzz, that generally results from equipment malfunctions, poor production practices, or other environmental factors.

PanningMoving the camera angle on the horizontal axis left or right. It is similar to looking left and right when you turn your head.

Amount of video information on a screen measured in lines and pixels. The more lines and pixel information the sharper the video image will appear.

Rule of Thirds
A guideline for composing or framing shots. The rule suggests that by dividing the screen in thirds vertically and horizontally, and framing the main parts of the subject along those lines will create a sense of depth. To see an example of the Rule of Thirds click here.


A generous term referring to actors or the 'in-front of camera' personnel.

Three-Point Lighting
Basic lighting approach incorporating three lights; key, back, and fill. Proper use of this technique will result in even and natural illumination providing a sense of depth between the subject and the background.

Time Code
A standard of Synchronization created by SMPTE, which records a specific number on to each frame of video. Time code allows for frame accurate edits. To see an example of time code click here.

Narration generally added during post-production. A person speaking dialog that aids in storytelling and or helps to explains the video portion of the program.

White BalanceA camera adjustment which compensates for different light and color temperatures to provide accurate color information during recording. White balance is set automatically by some cameras or manually by aiming at white object and then white balancing. To an see example of video that was not properly white balanced click here.

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