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I would like to start making some interviews at events and put them on our website. I was first thinking of using my iPhone and Windows Movie Maker, but I like to create professional-looking content.

Could you help out?

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Related for editing software - video.stackexchange.com/questions/3018/… –  AJ Henderson Mar 27 at 15:31
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This question may be too broad as it is currently stated. I'm willing to leave it open and see what the community feels, but you could write several books worth of material on this question. –  AJ Henderson Mar 27 at 15:41
    
The most important tool that you have for video production is knowledge. The equipment that you use simply helps you to make that knowledge work. 90% of quality video production is recording good footage to start with. The remaining 10% of the equation is editing it to make it watchable. It takes skill to cut footage down and arrange it so that it's watchable. So, before you buy any equipment, consider your purpose. Who's going to see the video (audience) and what effect do you want leave your audience with? What's your budget? Can you afford the time necessary to become competent, and afford –  Jordan Nash Apr 15 at 2:07

4 Answers 4

This question is really super broad, possibly too much so, however I will try to offer some general tips for starting out in video.

The most important thing with video is having a stable shot. Whatever you do, you will want to use a tripod when shooting. If you don't have a stable shot, then no amount of equipment, editing or content is going to make up for it.

Next, you need good lighting. If you don't have proper lighting, you can't have good composition. To read up more on lighting, I suggest looking for basic information on three point lighting. It isn't a panacea, but it's a good starting point from which to build.

Next, you need to make sure the shots are well composed. This is a bit of an artistic call and while concepts like the rule of thirds can be helpful guidelines, really, look at what other videos do and try to match the way they pose and position subjects within the frame.

Finally, of pretty much least significance is the gear itself. In a pinch you can use a smartphone camera for shooting video. It has been done and a skilled editor can make use of such footage.

Moving a step up from that, you have low cost, limited functionality but high quality cameras like the GoPro which can capture great video, but are very limited in their range of functionality. Camcorders can also work if you need a little more functionality at a slight cost in image quality.

Another step up from that, if budget allows, is to move in to DSLR cameras to use for video. It's important to be aware that many DSLR options do not support auto-focus while shooting, though some newer ones do offer auto-focus during video. DSLRs have the major advantage of larger sensors than camcorders and smartphones. This means that they can get a much nicer depth of field and allow for background blur to be achieved much more easily.

Editing is an even more complex beast. There is a wide range of editing software options available and the ones that do the best jobs are generally not the easiest to learn. Additionally, editing is more than just understanding the software, it involves understanding the language of video and how video is used to communicate ideas.

This question already addresses video editing software from a beginner's perspective, so rather than elaborate here, I'd suggest checking the existing question that already covers that portion of your question.

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Don't underestimate the importance of sound. Viewers will tolerate visual mistakes much more than auditory ones.
When someone is speaking, background noise needs to be minimized. Remember that background noise sounds much louder on a recording than it does in person. Use a shotgun mic or a lavalier to record dialogue very close to the person speaking.

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Max there are a myriad of camera out there that you can use to get the desired look but it all comes down to budget. Also, getting a 'good' camera doesn't mean that your footage will look 'professional' and if you know how, you can create some good looking video with very little.

I would say that the iphone can actually be a great solution. As far as image quality you can get some stunning footage (post 4 ideally):

http://vimeo.com/83505519 (5s)

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its a simplistic answer but on a budget you can get your iphone video to look 'professional' by:

  • Recording audio separately
  • Do some colour grading on your film (there are a myriad of plugins work like filters that you can put on your video ie. Magic Bullet)
  • consider purchasing a lens adapter for your iphone (http://vimeo.com/13475664)

Hope this helps.

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Magic Bullet Looks : redgiant.com/products/all/magic-bullet-looks –  kaljack Mar 27 at 14:39

The best overall setup for what you are trying to do on a small budget is going to be a DSLR camera. You can get a Canon Rebel T3i for under $500.

If you get a shotgun mic for $60-$100 you can get great quality audio without having to use a dedicated audio recorder. A dedicated audio recorder is the best method, however it can add additional editing time, create syncing problems for new users and be difficult.

Using a better quality mic directly into your video recording is the best compromise since you will have better quality added directly to the footage.

The best video editing program that is easy to learn and can generate professional results at low cost is Adobe Premiere Elements. It will also prepare you to eventually use Adobe Premiere Pro which is the professional grade version of the software.

Elements will let you have multiple video and audio tracks, this means you can do voice overs, add background music and title effects if you want to. Premiere Elements is only $70.

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