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Avatar of Jack Curtin
Jack Curtin on August 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I’m not entirely sure if this is the right forum for this topic, but I figure it’s on the right end of the spectrum. I can’t help to notice the huge difference between the quality of my own home videos and better experienced independent film makers, like, say Olan Rogers. I’ve been a huge fan of Olan for a while and I would like to know how he (and other indie film makers that are at that quality) get their videos to look like that? Am I doing something wrong or does it just come with experience?

Avatar of Mark DeMaria
Mark DeMaria on August 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Well, it depends on what you mean by “quality.” If you mean something like how grainy the video is, that’s something that can be controlled by:
A) More Light
B) Denoising software

If you mean quality like story-telling, angles, lighting, acting, effects, then that’s just knowing how to do certain things, which is what this website aims to teach. Once you know how to do something, you can get the materials (software, hardware, props, & tools) to accomplish whatever you want to do.

Like Olan does a lot of green screening. He had to buy a green screen, learn to light it properly, learn how to light the subjects separately from the background, and then learn how to key and composite the result.

Could you be more specific by how you mean “quality”?

Avatar of Jack Curtin
Jack Curtin on August 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Thank you, and now that you mention it, light does seem to be the main problem. But I guess I can always improve on every aspect of my film-making. What would be some tips or rules you could give me about angles, lighting, and effects?

Avatar of J.J. Petty
J.J. Petty on August 5, 2012 at 11:09 pm

It entirely depends on what genre of film you’re going for. Every kind of film has need of different angles, lighting, and effects to throw emotion and sometimes parts of the story on to the audience.

Lighting can foreshadow or change the mood of an audience. Dim lighting and lighting from ‘abnormal’ angles is common practice for horror or even noire, portraying characters as dark and mysterious or just plain creepy. Hefty lighting from a practical and ‘real’ angle is common in action and comedy for obvious reasons.

Angles have the ability to control the feelings of the audience. Shooting a scene at a high angle, can both give a sense of creepiness or even make a character seem metaphorically small, while a low angle can also achieve a sense of creepiness or make a character seem metaphorically large. Tilting your camera can also add a sense of suspense to a scene, used commonly in both action and horror.

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