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Zero Waste

TVNZ Video Production Hints

Pre Production:

Getting everything on paper and briefing the team is very important. Work out who will be doing each role both on and off camera and that they know exactly what is expected of them.

Story boarding is imperative to any film-making, so you can think through how the completed video will look, make sure you have enough shots to edit, and provide continuity.

Make sure all camera operators are familiar with how the machinery works and your over all capabilities before you begin production. Work out whether the camera operator will use automatic settings, or whether they are comfortable with manual settings. Manual settings can provide interesting, artistic shots so you may like to experiment.

It is important to always use a light indoors, no matter how bright you think the room looks to the naked eye. Lights should be strong, and look as natural as possible so there shouldnt be too many shadows. 

Remember that costuming and the background can help to create a certain tone and feel.


Remember to turn your camera on and push record when you are about to 'take'. Sounds silly but a lot of people forget this! To save on batteries, turn the camera off when youre no using it.

Start each new location with an establishing shot that identifies where you are or when you are taping. This shot can be a wide panorama of the area or a close-up of a sign or landmark. Clapper boards are a great help to begin all scenes, and will make you feel like the pros!

Its always better to have more than one take of a scene. Take a few moments to experiment with different shot angles such as close-ups, half shots and wide shots of the same scene. This makes your video more interesting and easier to watch. By mixing different shots of the same thing, you can keep the viewer's attention. The difference in the look and feel of your two shots may surprise you and it means you have more angles to choose from when editing, which enhances continuity.

Do not overuse the zoom or panning. A camera that is constantly zooming in and out and moving is extremely difficult to watch. Pan in only one direction.

You dont always have to centre your subject. The rule of thirds is essential in film making and photography, where the TV screen is divided into three, vertically and horizontally.  Important objects should be placed on these lines as opposed to right in the middle. Your video will look much better.


Consider putting a header at the beginning and end of each take if you have video editing software available on a computer. To do this shoot about 10 seconds of video with the lens cap on. This will eliminate any noise or problems in the beginning of the tape and leave you with a place for your opening credits when you edit. You should also record about 5 seconds of black between each scene and new days shooting. The 5 seconds of black gives you a margin of error for starting the tape the next day and will help you locate scenes when you edit.

Continuity is key, and often its not until you begin editing you realise you have missed those in between shots that make a scene flow naturally. Its also important to shoot lots of set up shots, for example, people walking into a room before the action begins, or a long shot of you class mates around a worm farm before you launch into a close up of the worms.

Pace is controlled through editing, and will depend on the tone of your video.  For example if you are portraying an emotional scene you wont want lots of fast cuts between people and places. However if you want a fast paced action shot you may like to utilise faster cuts.

A jump cut is when you go from a mid- long shot, to a close up (or vice-versa) of the same subject, without a different shot in between. It is disorientating for the viewer, and is discontinuous. A cutaway shot remedies the distracting jump appearance.


Remember its OK to consult experts, and have fun telling us how you, your class mates and school are learning about and assisting the environment.