How To Shoot Performance Videos Tutorials (Sports, Cooking, Filmmaking…)
Video here are some quick examples of performance videos we’ve created the cinematic movements training in 14 day filmmaker, where i walk through my favorite camera movements and how to do them. The five commercials in five hours, video, where paul and i break down exactly how we shot five commercials for one of our clients, the what’s in my bag, video we posted on youtube is another example and finally, the three point: setup training in 14 day filmmaker as Well, these are all examples of performance videos, because the subject talking is doing more than just sitting at a desk in front of a camera. Talking like i am now in this video we’re, going to start by breaking down the fundamentals of how you should film these videos we’ll, follow that by covering some general tips that will help you create awesome content, no matter what your situation is and throughout the entire Process we’ll break down the real life examples of videos, we’ve filmed in showcase the key points that are worth noting so up. First, when should we film a performance, video versus a talking head video now? This is obviously going to vary a ton, depending on the topic of your course or whatever content that you’re creating. For example, two of our programs earn the deal in one day. Script have practically zero performance based training in them, because the content is all theory on the flip side 14 day. Filmmaker has plenty of performance videos; it all comes down to what needs to be done in order for our viewers to understand the information, usually the more physical.
Your topic is the more performance videos you’ll need, for example, if you were creating tutorial content for lacrosse or cooking, those are both going to need performance videos, because a lot of what needs to be covered is real physical actions. Now, could you teach an entire cooking course by just talking to a camera and laying b roll in after the fact to showcase what you’re talking about absolutely and that just goes to show how much freedom you have in this process? After watching this, video you’ll be able to make a much more educated decision about what type of content you should be filming. So now that we’ve covered what they are and when to create them let’s dive into how we actually film these and we’re going to do this by breaking things down into the absolute simplest fundamentals possible. We really just have two things. First, we have a subject demonstrating the content, while talking about what they’re doing. Second, we have to come up with a way to film that subject doing their demonstration. That’S, really it, but we’ll obviously break this down even more. When it comes to the talking subject, we need to focus on delivering quality information, while also visually demonstrating that content to help our audience understand. What i recommend you do is have a sequential bullet list, loaded up on your phone or print it out on a piece of paper. What i like to do from there is reference my bullet points focusing on just one point.
I then deliver the content associated with that one point to the camera. After that point, i either keep going or i stop reference the next point on my list and continue on with the process. I personally like to reference. The bullet point sequence more often than not simply because it ensures i cover all of the necessary information on the flip side. If you just start talking and keep going, that’s awesome and you’ll finish your video pretty fast, but the odds of you accidentally skipping a bullet point increase when you forget something you’ll be forced to either add that point back in later on, which complicates the editing process Or leave out the point altogether which hurts your students now with that being said, there is also value to just getting in that flow state and continuing to talk. You might even cover more valuable points that you didn’t initially include in your bulleted list. The key is to just be aware of the fact that you need a rough game plan outlined. Otherwise, your delivery will have no discernible beginning middle and ending it’ll. All just feel like a really long monologue, with no structure when it comes to the what’s. In my bag, video, i had a sequence of bullet points outlining the order in which i needed to go through the gear that way, it all made sense sequentially. I also made sure to have the price points down because it’s impossible to remember all of them and any other important notes i needed to talk about with each piece of gear.
After i covered that piece of gear, i referenced the notes and just continued on talking about the next points in the sequence then. Finally, when it comes to the delivery of our talking points, we also want to make sure we focus on actually showing the audience or demonstrating that point to them in some visual fashion. If we didn’t do this, it might as well just be another talking head video. Usually, a solid sequence to follow is to outline the primary point, demonstrate the point in action and then end with any small optimizations or additional notes that wouldn’t have made sense prior to actually showing the demonstration, for example, with the cinematic movement training. What i would do is introduce a movement outline when to use it and what it’s great for from there. I would show the viewer exactly what the movement looked like in action, both on camera, in the form of the footage captured and how i actually accomplished. Creating that movement, i would then add any final pro tips that would also help the viewer. If i were just sitting down in front of a camera talking about the parallax movement, the viewer just wouldn’t understand it to the same degree as if they were actually seeing it in real life. Okay, so now that we’ve covered our first fundamental component, our subject in the presentation of the content, let’s talk about our second fundamental component, how we actually film the subject again let’s think about this in the simplest fashion possible.
All you really need is a tripod with your camera on that tripod capturing the action. In order to make this easier on you, you’re, probably going to want to have a wide angle lens, like 24 millimeters. This will capture a larger scene and give you or whoever the subject is more space to move around and demonstrate the concepts think about a cooking tutorial. All you need to do is set up a tripod and stand in front of that camera, with your associated ingredients and literally walk through the step by step process of assembling those ingredients and cooking whatever it is that you’re teaching about. If you had a tighter focal length like 70 millimeters, it would be much harder for the viewer to grasp everything that you’re doing, because it would be much more focused on just your face, and it would also be harder for you to ensure that you’re staying in The frame and not bouncing in and out looking back, the what’s in my camera bag video easily could have been filmed with a simple tripod as well, because i wasn’t really moving around a ton. I was just picking up gear and then talking about it in front of the camera. A few keys here with this approach is to remember that you should never rely on your on board camera microphone. Audio is really one thing. We never want to cut corners with, as so much of the viewing experience hinges on having good audio.
So, rather than use the on board camera mic, you really want a dedicated recorder that moves with you here’s an example of the on board camera mic. As you can hear, it really doesn’t sound professional, but right now, i’ll switch to the zoom h1n paired with the rode smartlav plus, which is right under my shirt here, and i think that sounds pretty professional. And if i move around it’s still gon na sound great. Not the craziest and most amazing setup in the world, but it gets the job done. You could use really any field recorder paired with any love mic and it will most likely capture solid audio for you now in this case of the what’s in my bag, video. This recorder is essential because i’m constantly moving farther and closer to the camera that on board camera mic, just wouldn’t, be able to keep up with me now. In contrast to that, if we go back to the cooking example where the subject probably isn’t, moving around like crazy, a stationary microphone could work whether that’s a shotgun mic plugged into your camera, a boom mic pointing towards yourself, etc, etc. You could even plug your lav mic directly into your camera and as long as the cord is long enough, you’ll still have some decent freedom to move around the scene without pulling on the cord. The pop voice, pro love mic, which is only 14 on amazon, is about six and a half feet long, which would give you a good amount of room to move around.
If you wanted to now back to the video component. As long as you have a general understanding of where the boundaries of your frame are you’ll be able to make sure you’re always in the frame and your video will be easy to watch and understand now the level up from using a simple tripod to film yourself Is to introduce another person or camera operator to your setup now i know a camera operator sounds intimidating as heck, but it’s not a hard job. In fact, my girlfriend courtney has regularly worked the camera for me in these videos, and courtney is amazing, but she has little to no experience with cameras, no offense courtney, but she has no problem filming these videos for me back to the what’s in my bag, video That was actually courtney filming i put my eos r on a gimbal which was the ronin s made sure the scene was exposed properly. The settings were good and then i just told her to follow me around with a camera, as i walked around the room. Super super simple: not only is the ronin s a really affordable gimbal at just a few hundred dollars, it’s also easy to operate once it’s set up you pretty much just hold it and point it at the subject and the movements will look nice and smooth, but Let’S say you don’t want a gimbal, you can actually take it back down a step and just have somebody behind the tripod, panning and tilting to follow, along with the movements of the subject.
Aside from high energy action sports, there are very few types of content that this wouldn’t work for it’s, really the same exact process as before the simple tripod approach, but now we’ve added just a little bit of movement and energy to the video that we previously didn’t Have this setup with the camera operator is exactly how we film the cinematic movements training with josh behind the camera following me, as i talked the budget lighting training with paul following me around and in the five commercials in five hours, video paul and i were just Switching back and forth as we took, turns explaining exactly what we were doing. Another good example is the sugarloaf mountain biking, commercial, whoever wasn’t, actively filming the commercial was essentially just going around and filming the people who were actively filming the commercial. Whether that was me working the red camera operating a drone or getting one of our other team members doing some filmmaking, hopefully boiling down this process into these fundamental components, is making it all easier to understand. But now that we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s go over a few super helpful tips to maximize your output and efficiency up first, one thing we haven’t really talked about yet is focus and making sure your videos are in focus no matter what type of content We’Re filming now there are different ways we can do this. The easiest solution is to just get a camera with great autofocus.
This is why, for a really long time, i’ve absolutely loved canon cameras as they’re, really well known for great autofocus, but nowadays tons of cameras are developing awesome, autofocus and you’re not limited to just canon. If you place your camera on a tripod to film you, while you move around as long as your face is visible and you aren’t turning your back to the camera, it shouldn’t struggle much tracking your face the whole time, keeping it beautifully sharp and in focus if You’Re doing this all by yourself, though, i do recommend you stop filming every now and again to quickly check the footage and ensure that the videos are in focus before moving on and continuing recording another focus mode that works well is named differently on pretty much every Camera but i’ll just call it zone focus where you have a specific square on your screen, where everything in that square will be in focus. If you have a person filming you, while you deliver the content, it would be easy for them to just keep you in that square in focus while recording and if you ever point to something that needs to be in focus. They just make sure that that object is now in the square and it will shift back and forth smoothly. Now let’s say you: don’t have great auto focus on your camera. Are you screwed, no you’re, absolutely not screwed and for a long time? This is how everyone had to film.
We still have plenty of options up. First, you could manually set the focus for a point in the screen where you know that you’ll be standing from there. You could just stay within that two dimensional plane. You can move right and left while staying perfectly in focus. You just can’t, move back and forth too much as you’ll exit that critical focus point where everything is sharp. You can also set your focus manually and use a wide lens. One thing that’s great about wide lenses is that more of the image will be in focus: the depth of field isn’t, really shallow it’s, actually deep or in other words, more three dimensional space is in that critical focus zone where everything looks sharp up. Next, probably, the simplest strategy is to increase your aperture. As you probably know, by now, a wide aperture, which is a low f, stop number gives you a shallower depth of field which a lot of people will call that beautiful blurred out background. If you increase that number and close the aperture more of your scene will be in focus. So if you film at f11, instead of f 2.8, you can all but guarantee that most of, if not all, of your scene will be in focus. Okay, up after focus don’t feel like you have to be talking every second, that the camera is recording. Remember these videos are going to be edited any dead space in between sentences. Any mistakes that you make they all can easily be removed.
When i first started filming myself, i subconsciously felt like i needed to deliver the entire freaking video without ever missing a beat, and if there was ever a moment of silence, i would quickly blurt out a new line compared to that now, i’m very comfortable with pauses, Because it lets me kind of take a moment, gather my thoughts and attack the next point in a more organized fashion. Now, building off of that tip, i always tell whoever is filming me to just keep filming. I prefer they don’t stop when i pause this way when editing, i only have one long take to go through and cut out the pauses compared to all of these disjointed clips that i need to piece together, kind of like a puzzle and moving on our next Quick tip, if you’re ever talking about something and you can’t physically, demonstrate it right then, and there, while you talk about it, just make a note to film that physical demonstration after the fact and then overlay that b roll while editing. So the viewer can see what you’re talking about. As you deliver the point up. Next, you can combine performance clips in talking head videos to form a hybrid style that i actually really love. For example, i recently shot a commercial for one of my videography clients, which is a big gym. I wanted to make sure i also used it as an opportunity to create content to market our courses and use in a youtube video.
So i paid a friend of mine to just film me filming the commercial. He got tons of awesome footage of me directing a social media commercial, but i didn’t really do any talking to the camera, because i was trying to be respectful of my clients, time and the actors we were working with. I haven’t finished that video just yet, but what i’m going to do is script out a word for word, breakdown of that commercial shoot and then use the performance clips from the day of when we were actually on set to help the viewer visualize. What i’m? Actually talking about as a viewer, i personally love this style of video because i think it’s the best of both worlds. You get the real life visual aspect, but the streamlined and well thought out benefit of a scripted talking head video, alright next tip. If you can use multiple cameras, while you’re filming your educational videos so again not required whatsoever. You don’t need to use two cameras and i regularly don’t but let’s go back to the example of that cooking tutorial. You could have one camera on a tripod, looking directly at you and another camera, looking directly down overhead at the subject’s hands as they assemble the ingredients and whatnot. This adds more depth to your work. Not only does it give the viewer another perspective on the action which will increase their learning, it also just visually adds stimulation to the scene, keeping people more engaged as it switches from one angle to another it’s kind of like movie magic.
On top of that let’s say you have two cameras pointing at your face. While you talk like i have right now, if you want to cover up a mistake, you can easily do so by switching from one camera to another and just deleting the mistake in between those two cuts. No one will actually know that you’re hiding a mistake within that cut and i’ll actually rewind the sequence to show you exactly how i can delete that cough that i had Music. On top of that let’s say you have two cameras pointing at your face. While you talk like i have right now, if you want to cover up a mistake, you can easily do so by switching from one camera to another and just deleting the mistake in between those two cuts now our last tip in this section is really simple. Just be creative, it is insane how creative you can get with this process and the more creative you are, the more fun it will probably be for you and your viewers, one of my favorite tutorials, i’ve, ever created, was actually a youtube. Video titled shoot better videos with this one simple tip and it covers the process. I used to shoot a quick cinematic video of courtney hiking up a few different mountains in order to break down what i was actually doing to film that video. I literally attached my camera to tree branches to get some bts footage just having that little bit of behind the scenes.
Content allowed me to give so much more additional context to the viewer, which in turn made that one of our most popular videos on youtube. It really was just a quick little trip up north for us and i didn’t want to pay anyone to follow us hiking and record bts content. So i just got creative and brought a cheap mount that let me attach my camera to trees, so don’t. Let obstacles stop you from creating awesome content, even if you’re, the only crew member you have the more creative you are the easier it will be for you to create unique and engaging content, and that does it for all of my tips here. The last thing i want to make a note of before finishing this video is a common question. People ask which is what, if all i have is a cell phone? Can i still do this and to that i say totally possible. Don’T stress yourself out, but the other side of that double edged sword is this. Your life will be easier if you can get a dedicated camera for filming your content and that camera you get doesn’t need to be crazy, expensive, it’s, just nice to have something. That’S dedicated for filming these videos, and on top of that, aside from the most recent and updated cell phones, most dedicated cameras will record better. Looking footage that’s easier on you, the creator to capture now. That is not meant to discourage anyone whatsoever, because you can do all this with a cell phone and still capture content that people will want to watch.
I just say it to help manage expectations a little bit with that being said, though, i constantly see cell phone content. That blows my mind. It can be insanely, professional and engaging it. Just takes a little bit more, focusing on the fundamentals to achieve great quality content across the board, really dialing. In that lighting, making sure our composition is solid, smooth movements and so on. The primary thing that we’ll change here is just making sure that you have a tripod mount that works with your cell phone in a smaller gimbal or other device that is directly compatible with your phone and capable of smoothing out the movements, and that does it. You now know everything you need to get started: shooting your own performance style videos, whether that’s for your youtube channel, maybe an online course you’re building it doesn’t really matter now. I do have a quick question for you. Do you want to learn how to use your camera better, or maybe you have a camera that looks like this? It doesn’t really matter. We actually have an online film program called 14 day filmmaker and it is the world’s fastest most streamlined and affordable online film course. That teaches you everything you need to know to get up and running, shooting amazing cinematic content in just 14 days, but it doesn’t stop there. We have over 100 total videos in the program i like to say there is something for everyone: every skill level it doesn’t matter, if you’re a complete beginner or if you’ve been doing this for a few years already we’re just about to hit over 20 000 students In our program and in our private community, so if you’d like to join one of the world’s fastest growing online film communities, i think this program would be great for you not to mention we have student discounts on the entire adobe suite of applications.
So if you want to get 60 off premiere pro after effects, photoshop lightroom all that stuff, anybody who’s in any of our programs gets that discount and it pays for the price of the entire program. So hopefully you can see it’s kind of a no brainer. We also have weekly live q, a calls in that private facebook group. So you can get your questions answered real time by professional filmmakers.