Like I said, you will be put under a lot of stress. Once the school year begins, you will already be underway with your 1st quarter projects. But you wold have most likely attended the summer training camp and learned the basics of filmmaking. You will also have to be tackling Inside Scoop Radios and even blogs. Even though it seems like a lot of work...it is...you will be able to do finish it. First tip is to always start as soon as possible and not wait till the last minute. As cheesy as it sounds, it will help you out A LOT. You also might want to get to know some of the other students in the class. Make the class your 2nd family and it will make things a lot more fun. It will also give you the chance to collaborate with others and receive help from classmates. Don't be afraid to talk to the older kids in the class, they are there to help you out. You also want to trust your partners. You were most likely partnered up with a returning student for the 1st semester so take advantage of that and learn everything you can. Just ask every single question that comes up in your mind. Just irritate your partner with questions. I know everyone in the class and they will be glad to answer any questions you have. But at the same time, try and see if you can figure out the problem your self. LEARN BY DOING. Slideshows, tutorial videos, and all of those things are not as effective as learning by actually doing the things in the tutorial videos. Take the camera and just shoot stuff. Get familiar with the camera buttons and watch a whole bunch of videos. Eat, breathe, and sleep filmmaking. The more you do things, the easier it becomes. I have been in the class for 3 years and I can tell you that all of this will surely help you.
Now that you are ready to start learning, time to give you some technical tips. The biggest mistake when someone is filming with a DSLR would be the lighting. Lighting is always the number one problem that new filmmakers will come across. Wether its too bright or its too dark, some of us will usually have a wrong idea of what a good exposure is. Exposure is just a fancy word for how bright or dark a shot is. So before you press the record button, see if the shot is lit correctly and ask your partner for some help on how to make things darker or brighter. And if you want more of a dramatic feeling to your film, then consider filming during sunrise or sunset to give a warmer and softer texture to your lighting, opposed to filming mid day with the sun right above your head. The second thing that you should look out for would be your audio. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR FOOTAGE AND MAKE SURE IT HAS SOUND. As a 3 year student, I have come across many failures in the past. My biggest mistake would be filming a couple hours of footage and interviews and finding out the next day that none of that footage had audio. Turned out that the cable was plugged into the wrong slot. But since that day, I rarely had any problems with audio. So don't be afraid to make mistakes because you will learn from them.
The second thing that I would like to share with you would be ways to make your story better. In the class, story telling is one of the biggest things that you will learn. It will also be one of the most important factor in your video. Your shots may be solid with nice lighting and audio but then the story is just about a guy sitting on a couch eating ice cream. Because the story wasn't so strong, people wouldn't be so interested in your film. Whenever you are making a video, there will always be some type of conflict. Even with news stories, there was always conflict. Even if your story is about accomplishment and success, there was always struggles to get to that point. Without conflict your story will be boring. Your character needs progression and development throughout the story. If your story is a romance genre, then have your characters be complete strangers in the beginning and slowly build their relationship and make them a couple at the end. Or add even more conflict and have them be strangers, then they like each other, then they argue, and then they get back together again in the end. Get it? So watch a whole bunch of videos on story telling.
Well thats about it. I hope you learned some things in this blog and that it will help you out in the media class. I have some videos that I would love for you to check out. They have really helped me out so hopefully it helps you out.
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