Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Shooting for the Web

Shooting video for presentation over the internet is radically different from standard moviemaking. Thus, you must consider several key dynamics when preparing your shot selections. The factors that determine how your movie will appear over the Web are governed by the video compression software used to squeeze your raw DV signal into downloadable or streaming files. The quality of Web-compressed video depends largely on the movement and luminance of your footage. To dramatically improve movies destined for the Web, consider these shooting tips:

  • Keep the action steady. Reduce the amount of fast and extended motion in your movie because high-speed action sequences result in sluggish playback.
  • Use well-lit scenes. Because dark settings present difficulties in compression, you’ll want to avoid videotaping in low-light conditions.
  • Compose for contrast. When creating compositions for the Web, contrast is more important than color because drastic compression leaves little room for color fidelity.
  • Avoid patterns. Keep details to a minimum because they significantly inhibit the compression software from reducing the final file size of your movie. Make sure you shoot against an unchanging background.
  • Use close-ups and silhouettes. Since long-shot compositions struggle to communicate subtle movement, shoot all vital action in close-ups, or silhouette them until they become clearly distinguishable when displayed inside a small window.
  • Avoid Zooming. Zooming in for close-up shots forces the computer to compress the entire frame rather than just subtle changes in facial features. Instead, have actors move closer to the camera, which doesn’t require as much overall compression.

With so many facilities and mediums to showcase your talent, its has become easier for filmmakers (especially independent filmmakers) to earn their bread and buter. Digital filmmaking is changing lifestyles!


KevinRWright said...

This is a really good little article. I often shoot small commercials, or trailers meant only for online distribution for my larger work, and have struggled to get the best quality in easy to handle file sizes. I particularly am excited about trying out the contrast tip and seeing how that changes things!

Digital Film School said...

Great post! Shooting for the web is much different then film...I am glad you gave some great tips for this. There is too much "clutter" online that makes viewing video hurtful ;)Keep up the great work.

Mitch Nash said...

Very useful article. I shoot for the web all the time and these tips are spot on. Thanks again.

Forward Films said...

Yes I agree.. very good. I think this helps in discussing creative ideas with Clients, they don't always know what they need. Or Want to do too much. This is a great Blog for me to forward to them.

Boxclever Films said...

Shooting for the web is becoming ever more popular and it is important to know how. We need high quality content on Youtube! I've written an article on my blog which explains how to make DV footage look more like film: