View Full Version : How can I improve this test video?

03-15-2006, 12:37 PM
Me and my cousin are going to be putting together a short documentary about young people who were killed in auto accidents, and how it affected their friends and families. We were playing around the other day with the cameras, and we did something of a test interview. I took the few minutes we recorded, and put together this short test video/trailer, just to learn more about Sony Vegas, what it would look like in B&W, etc... I put together the really basic text, and put an original musical clip over it all.

I'm more focused on the visual aspect of the B&W parts. How do you think I can improve the overall look of this?

When we did these clips, we had the chair pressed right up against the background. I don't know why we did that, to me it would look better with the chair in front of the background a few feet.

Also, note the hum that you can hear from the audio in the clips. Is there a way to reduce that, either in production or in post? Here is mic that we are using, we have two of these:

Audio-Technica ATR 55 Uni-Directional Condenser Shotgun Mic




Joe Kras
03-18-2006, 07:34 PM
You're right. Being right in front of the background is distracting (especially with the shadow falling just to the right of him).

So I would
-pull him away from the backdrop
-hang the backdrop like a curtain (with folds) which will break up the light some)
-use a separate (lower wattage) light for the backdrop, as well as another low wattage light for a backlight on the subject to place him in space more.
-try dropping the exposure down just a bit (personal preference for deep, somber subjects)

As to the audio, there seems to be two main concerns (listening on my cheap computer speakers)
1) echoes-can be greatly reduced by a combination of getting the mic closer to the subject (within two feet of the mouth-closer is better) and treating the room (sound blankets, etc.)
2) the background hiss. The hiss can be lessened in post with noise reducing software like Soundsoap (or the NR plugin for SoundForge). The hiss is accentuated because it comes in and out during the scene. If it was always present (by laying some "room tone" underneath the music without dialogue) it would fade a bit in the listener's mind). Getting the mic closer will also increase the signal : noise ratio.

All in all, a good start.

p.s. Welcome to the board! Many good ideas can be had by looking through examples of what others have done and posted here, and by reading through the audio threads (start with "Everything I know about mics so far").