Accessories to Make Producing Your Own Videos Easier

Artist Tape
This special type of tape does not leave a reside.  Use it on memory cards to denote which camera or audio recorder footage is on each card and on batteries so you know what’s empty and what’s full.  It’s also acid free so you can use it on art mats and walls to avoid damaging them.



Tough, versatile memory card cases
My favorite memory card case can hold four of any type of popular memory card (CompactFlash, SD, MicroSD, memory stick), is shock resistant, securely closes with a firm latch, and the moulded card slots keep cards in place.  Gepe makes the CardSafe Extreme in several different colors for $20-25.  Pro Tip:  Keep your full and empty memory cards in separate cases. I keep my full cards in a red case and empty cards in a blue case.

Male to Male 1/8 inch audio cable (Aux Cable)
This is a versatile cable that can help you pre-sync your audio when you combine it with a portable recorder like the Zoom H4n or later.

Gaffer Tape
The souped-up version of artist tape, Gaffer tape is a must for any larger filming jobs.  It’s like duct tape, but does not leave a nasty residue.  There are a multitude of uses, but here are just a few for your video shoots:
* floor markings
* rig audio gear in place
* hold down power cables and video cables (so passersby and you do not trip on them)

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Top 10 Mistakes Beginning Filmmakers and Videographers Make

Inadequate Planning

What shots do you need to tell the story with the resources you have?  What gear do you need to get these shots?  Many problems can be avoided by simply having a solid game plan before you arrive on location and before you press ‘record’.

Not Recording Enough Footage

When Hollywood movies are made, they will have hundreds of hours of footage and takes that will be condensed into a two-hour movie.  Make sure you capture enough variety that you have options in the editing room.  You don’t want to be stuck with a bad take or interruption that forces you to use subpar footage.

Poor Sound

Always have your microphones as close as possible to the subject or sound source.  Use lavalier mics on interview subjects or have a boom microphone just out of frame to capture crisp, clean sound.  The microphone built into your camera should never be used!  Avoid using an on-camera shotgun microphone unless your subject is right next to you.  Great quality sound will separate you from amateurs!

Poor Lighting

Don’t simply crank up your ISO (light sensitivity) setting to compensate for poor lighting conditions.  DIY lights are a cheap option to overcome low-light.  On-camera LED lights can help illuminate your subject at night or in a dark room.  LED light panels are one of the best options if you can spend $200-600.  If you are on a shoestring or no-budget project, buy two or three 150-300 watt lights (with metal cans) at your local hardware store.

Wrong Camera Settings

If your Shutter Speed is not a good match to your frame rate you can get choppy-looking footage.  This is great for action sequences, but not what most clients want.  If your Aperture number is too high (too much in focus) you won’t get backgrounds that fall into soft focus and put attention on your subject.  If your ISO speed is too high, your footage will have digital noise and may not be usable at all.


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The Zen of Beauty with Deborah Lee | Bozeman Promotional Video

Deborah Lee wanted to tell her story with a unique video, capturing how she approaches beauty treatments with clients. Her focus on natural health and beauty means avoiding toxic chemicals for hair, face, and body. Currently she is one of the only hair stylists in Bozeman to use organic hair color, shampoo, and conditioning products.

Learn more about Deborah Lee at her website, The Zen of Beauty.

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