In a previous life, before politics, I was a professional videographer.
My last job was taping Wayne Newton’s star-studded Las Vegas wedding in 1994. But that’s another story for another day.
With the China virus continuing to wreak havoc on in-person campaigning, many candidates have started shooting home-made videos for social media.
Some, like Joe Biden, with disastrous production results. Don’t be like Joe!
Here a few basic tips on doing professional-looking videos…
- If shooting with a cell phone, flip it on its side so you’re shooting horizontally, not vertically. That way your video will fill the screen on laptops and TV monitors.
- Make sure you have good audio. Make sure you’re close enough to get good sound. Don’t shoot in a windstorm.
- Lighting is important. As with photos, make sure the sun/lights are in front of you, not behind you.
- Shoot level. Shooting from a high angle makes you look small. Shooting from a low angle makes you look evil and scary.
- Proper picture framing is important. Make sure there’s a little, not a lot, of headroom above your head.
- Use modest head movement. Don’t keep your head rigid. Watch TV news reporters and how they subtly move their heads around slightly as they speak.
- Unless being interviewed, look directly into the camera. Beware of your eyes darting all over the place.
The quality of sound and video in today’s mobile phones is far superior to what I had with my “professional” equipment 25 years ago.
But shooting basics like these have stayed the same. Follow them.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*
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* Psephology (see-follow-gee): The study of campaigns and elections