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Before You Begin
2 Plan Your Video
4 About Your Video's Audience
46 About Movie Maker Audio
48 Add a Soundtrack to Your Video
52 Add Narration to Your Movie
Rarely is a new video maker concerned with sound. Rarely is a professional video maker un concerned with sound. Good sound often goes unnoticed by the audience, and that's exactly what the professional wants in many cases. The sound is there, especially a background music soundtrack and ambient sound , but the sound is to keep the audience focused on the video. You never want to audience to focus on a sound, but on the action (unless, of course, you're filming a piano recital).
Your camera's built-in microphone is fine for capturing the sound of many events for home movies and family travelogues. Actually, the microphones of most digital video cameras do a better-than-expected job at capturing the proper sound. Having said that, even when filming informal events, you must stay focused not only on your video but also on the sound.
If you shoot in a crowded environment, such as from the bleachers of a sports arena, the audience around you will certainly detract from any sound being made on the field. People talking next to you can drown out action in the game. Often there is little you can do to mask these sounds. It's a shame that you cannot zoom a microphone into the sound you want most, as you can zoom a camera lens into a scene to specifically shoot what you want.
If you're shooting more important video, such as an independent filmmaker would consider himself doing (indies always think they're making important films !), you'll want to put a microphone on your subjects unless you're filming indoors in a controlled environment. These lavaliere microphones (also spelled lavalier ) are unobtrusive , quickly attach to a lapel, and you can easily mix the various sound tracks together using a mixer later.
If shooting a movie or instructional video, you should make preliminary videos at each location in your production before starting the actual filming. Review each of your test videos to see how ambient sound interferes or enhances the picture. You might be surprised at how much of a role, for good and bad, ambient sound will play. For example, when you shoot a beach scene, it would be wonderful to capture the sound of waves hitting the beach while your two subjects speak to each other. The problem you'll find with that, however, is that waves share a similar sound spectrum with human voices. Instead of accenting the moment, the waves will overwhelm (I would say drown, but that would be far too easy of a pun) your speakers ' voices.
When you find that ambient sound detracts, you might have to shoot your film and request that your actors dub their lines over the video later.
Narration is wonderful when shooting travel videos. You'll tell your audience what they are seeing and you can offer background history. You can also tell anecdotal stories about what happened to you when traveling or about local customs and food.
For travel video buffs who love to record their trips for others to watch, the built-in video camera's microphone is great for speaking about the shoot during the shoot. In other words, if you're shooting a bartender making cappuccino in Venice's great plaza , you can talk about the people, the weather, and the excitement of the city as it passes you by while you await your scrumptious drink. Your knowledge of the place from where you're shooting is rarely better than at that moment, so record your thoughts then. Having said that, rarely will that audio be very good. You'll stumble over some words, and even find yourself saying some silly things. After all, you are trying to stay focused on your subject while describing the environment. Use what you record during the shoot as a basis, or draft script, for your final narration. Transcribe what you say and tighten the wording and fix your grammar mistakes, then record your voice once again over the video. You'll retain the same material, but the narration will be more focused and enjoyable.
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