Filmmakers have a powerful medium to share story, expressing not only of their own voice but that of all the there artists, writers, production designers and other creatives. A film is a collection of ideas from many minds. However, there’s more to filmmaking than just putting all the pieces together.
New film makers tend to focus on the main elements of the production when starting out, such as scripts, actors, camera angles, locations etc but they can oftern overlook certain elements in the process. Here are some of my top tips to instantly improve the quality of your videos.

Tip #1: Shoot in sequences

Good filmmakers train themselves to think in sequence. Sequences are a variety of shots and sizes of the same action that you cut together to create a finished piece. Learning about coverage is an integral part of the process. Spend some time looking at commercials and learn how the various shots are edited together, this will give you a clear idea of how sequences are formed and what coverage will be important for your video. With good sequencing, you learn to give yourself more flexibility in the editing process. It’s a running quote in the industry, a happy editor make a good video all round!

Tip #2: Don’t forget about the audio!

Videos are irrelevant if you have bad audio quality. Audiences just won’t tolerate bad audio and we all know it. If your looking for a low cost good quality microphone, you can try for an on-camera mic like Rode video mic pro. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get the quality sound, these days there are even microphones that you can plug straight to your mobile phone, like the rode Smartlav+.

Tip #3: Think about the background

Another thing to consider is the background. Make sure that there’s nothing that might compromise your shot. Consider everything you see in the visual background if it makes or breaks your shot. You might not realize it but removing even the smallest things from the background can change everything. So, remove that distracting piece of art hanging on the wall, clear that bench top or even add a house plant or a lamp to add some extra interest.

Tip #4: Stabilise your shots

This is one of the basic and most important skills when operating a camera. Handheld shots are great in acton or horror films, but not for all types of productions. The skill of stabilizing your shots handheld takes a lot of practice! Even when you want movement in your shot, the audience still expect some form of stabilization. There are three main tools that you can use to achieve stabilized shots – a tripod, a monopod, and a gimble. A Tripod is good if you are just starting out. It’s best for individual shots when you have time to move and set the tripod for each shot. A monopod is good when you are moving quickly, out on location, shooting B-roll or you need to manuver in a small space. The next tool is the gimble, it helps in smoothing out the bumpiness of your shots giving the shots a nice, gliding movement. Gimbles have become more and more accessible to us with new technology making them more and more affordable. You can buy gimbles in all shapes and sizes, even for your mobile phone!

Tip #5: Hold your shot for an extra 10 seconds

My last tip is, do not rush your shots, take your time and give it a few more seconds. You might end up editing out portions of the beginning or end so giving yourself that extra flexibility in the edit will be invaluable. Believe me when I say this, when editing those shots, you will want the extra room to wiggle.

There you go, those are the five tips that I hope will help you along your filmmaking journey. Remember, making a film is more than just capturing scenes, it’s more of mastering the basics and polishing what you’ve learned in the process. Check out the video to learn more tips about filmmaking!