Review the following questions and answers to try to improve your field video-shooting skills. Also, take a few moments to tackle my short quiz.



When I do quick interviews in the field using my handheld camera, people always stare in the camera and "act." Is there a way to fix that?


You bet! You need to stop staring?at the viewfinder, that is. Try to frame up your "man on the street" (MOS in TV news parlance) in the viewfinder as casually as possible and then move your head away from the camera. Look your subjects in their eyes and instead of interviewing them, talk to them. They'll return the favor.


How am I supposed to keep my camera steady if I'm doing a trucking shot? What about videotaping something such as whitewater rafting? There's no way to keep it steady then.


Correct! One powerful element of video is that it can transport viewers to someplace besides their living room or office. You keep your shots steady to avoid shattering that illusion. But if that "place" is full of action, then any camera movement simply mirrors what it would be like for the viewer to be there and to experience that excitement. Camera movement in moments of action, especially from a first-person perspective, is tremendously effective.



If you're shooting a formal sit-down interview and the camera is positioned over the left shoulder of the interviewer, where should you place the camera for reverse cutaways?


Place the camera behind the interview subject and shoot over his right shoulder. You can shoot a wide two-shot of the reporter and interviewee and a tight shot of the reporter to use as cutaways. If the reporter is not going to be part of the story (typically the case in corporate productions), then keep the camera in its original location and shoot tight hand shots and wider establishing shots.


What's the principal advantage of digital video over analog video?


Digital video is simply a collection of zeros and ones. There is no signal quality degradation during transmission or generation loss after multiple edits. Analog video suffers from both maladies.


Why should you "stripe" your tapes?


"Striping" your tapes?that is, laying down continuous timecode from beginning to end before doing any videotaping?ensures that there will be no duplicate timecodes on the same tape. That means when Premiere later does an automated video transfer of selected clips, there will be no confusion about selecting between clips with the same timecode.

    Part II: Enhancing Your Video