Spotting the Difference Between an Amateur and Professional Video
Everybody’s doing it…making videos. But, can you spot the difference between a professional video and an amateur? Maybe you can say one looks better than the other and not exactly know why or maybe you can say “definitely!”
Here are some reasons why choosing a professional makes that difference. Proper equipment can make or break you, such as the right video camera, an external microphone a tripod or gimbal stabilizer and good lighting equipment.
Video Quality – Technology is constantly changing in the field of video cameras so there is plenty to choose from. A professional will choose one that is of high quality. The videos are properly white balanced so the colors are vivid and accurate. He will also use a tri-pod or stabilizer to control the camera movement. The viewer needs to be able to focus on the subject matter and not get motion sick or distracted.
Audio Quality – A professional uses an external microphone instead of the camera’s microphone to prevent distracting ambient and background noises and so the person speaking sounds up close and not distant or hollow.
A professional also pays attention to the audio levels while shooting and especially in post-production. The levels are not too low, too loud or distorted, but like Goldilocks…just right. Not everyone has the ears for this.
The audio levels should also be consistent throughout the video. A professional listens for drastic changes and tries to even them out in post-production. If music is mixed with a voice over, the music levels are low enough to be heard without distracting from the person speaking. And when the speaking ends, the music gradually but quickly comes back up. The background music should fade in and out at the appropriate times.
Lighting – The subject matter is well lighted either naturally by the sun or with lights. This greatly improves the image quality and the color as well. As an example, a professional never shoots a video without paying attention to how bright it is behind the subject matter which makes it dark with the background glowing. Overall, the lighting is balanced and everything is clearly viewed.
Camera Angles & Framing – A professional video will have a variety of camera angles and the framing is right. The video is also shot from different perspectives, different eye levels and with a variety of other shots to keep things interesting. And those shots are pleasing to the eye and creates the visual story alongside the audio. “Viewers need time to take in what you are showing them.” (The 7 Deadly Sins of Amateur Video, Chris Monlux, Feb. 25, 2019.)
As for framing a shot, there’s nothing more unsettling than watching a video with the top of a person’s head cut off or seeing their face at the bottom of the picture. The professional has a comfortable amount of space between the person and the edges of the frame. Also, the frame is balanced. For instance, if the person is walking to the right, then there will be extra space in the right side of the frame, so the subject matter isn’t walking off the edge of the video.
Editing – Most computers and laptops now come with photo and video editing programs. They are user friendly and produce some decent videos. A professional editing program comes at a cost, but provides better results. A more advanced program includes special effects, transitions, titles, graphics and audio libraries to choose from. This allows more creativity as opposed to the cookie cutter type of programs available to the average consumer.
“Post production is equally as important as capturing the footage and quality video editing takes a lot of practice. Years of it.”
Scripting – Natural vs Unnatural. If it’s a professional video, the subject matter sounds like it. If it is not, the result can be embarrassing, and we can ALL tell the difference. A professional video is conversational, not forced. And the content is organized, to the point without endless chatter and discussion which quickly loses the viewer’s interest.
It’s important to NOT settle for lower standards of quality, especially if it is representing your business. Communications Concepts, Inc. in Cape Canaveral, FL is a media, entertainment and technology company with over 40 years of professional video experience on the Space Coast of Florida. Call (321)783-5232 to ask questions or get a quote. You can also see more about what we can create for you here.