Crash Course in Web Video

1. Keep your shots steady. Use both hands. Lean against a wall. Use something to prop up your arms.

2. Framing. For the Web, remember the video player is often quite small. Get closer. Think rule of thirds. Keep your composition clean.

3. Avoid pans or zooms. If you use, them use them sparingly.

4. Ask questions that require a sentence to answer. Avoid yes/no questions or two-part questions. Ask questions that evoke feelings, emotions and opinions, not facts.

5. Make sure you are getting good sound. Test it! Shoot a bit then play it back and make sure you are getting quality sound. Get close to your subject when she is talking. Be aware of background noise that might drown out your audio.

6. Make sure you have an opening and closing shot.  Plan ahead and make sure you have a beginning and end to your story.

7. Shoot in sequences to get the building blocks of your story.
(Watch the BBC’s five-shot training video)  And try it yourself:

  • Close-up on hands
  • Close-up on face
  • Wide shot
  • Over the shoulder shot
  • Shot of your choosing (low, high, etc)

8. Gather a variety of shots. See Shot Types Hold each shot for a minimum of 10 seconds.

9. Get more b-roll than you think you will need.

10. Avoid jump cuts. When editing, don’t put together sequences that make your subject jump from one location to another. For example, Jump Cuts!

Three “Video 101″ Tutorials by Vimeo to Get You Started
Shooting Basics
Editing Basics
Editing with iMovie


About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine,, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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2 Responses to Crash Course in Web Video

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