Headway PArkour Blog
Ever wonder how the pros forge their beautiful videos? well wonder no longer! I am here to enlighten you in the ways of video production.
Before you begin you are going to need a few essentials, such as a Camera. Digital cameras are fine for intermediate videos, but DSLR cams are where it’s at if you plan to birth a high quality video. I recommend a Canon DSLR such as the 550d or 600d. They go for around $500, which is very cheap for a DSLR. While you’re at it be sure to get a tripod, there is nothing worse than shaky footage. Those are the requisites for filming, now you need some editing software. Get your hands on some professional software, I use the Adobe Creative Suite for all my video needs. The suite consists of many useful programs, the ones that stand out as crucial go as follows: Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Photoshop. I also use Red Giant’s Color Suit plug in for all of my Adobe programs. A program like Premiere is used to compose your video. It performs the essential task of cutting your clips and putting them into sequence. You can do much more with a program like this but creating a rough draft of your video is it’s main job. After your video is put together After effects comes into play to apply some spice, more on this “Spice” later. A program like the Magic Bullet (part of the Red Giant Color Suite) is used to color grade a video, color grading is what will take your video from the amateur to the professional level. Color grading gives your video that cinematic film look. You may be curious why I included Photoshop on the list of crucial programs for video editing “Isn’t Photoshop for pictures? I thought we were making a video!” Indeed, Photoshop is for pictures; But that doesn’t mean we can’t use it to elevate our video to the next level. We will be taking advantage of this fine program in order to create our video’s thumbnail, this part of the post production process is often overlooked but it plays a huge role in deciding how many views your art piece will draw in.
I will now detail the production process from start to finish; Before you begin you must spend time planning. It is not enough to have a rough idea of your end product, you must know exactly what you want and why you want it. Besides, can you really expect your video to turn out in a professional manner if you manage it in a lackadaisical one? Things to think about: The mood of your video, the filming style, the length, deadline, location, etc. Assuming you are aiming to create a professional quality video you should spend about a week or so on planning. Mill over ideas and review them every day, make sure they are truly high quality. Don't make the mistake of keeping all your thoughts in your mind, have a notepad handy at all times to jot down ideas. We all forget things at times so taking notes can be the difference between making your vision come true, or losing it. After you are done planning you can begin filming. Hopefully you have a team to work with, having others to help you will make filming much easier. It is important that every member of your team shares a vision. If one member is aiming for cinematic and the other is aiming for quirky, the result could be awkward. Regular team meeting will make quick work of conflicting ideas. I won’t bore you with specific film techniques, I recommend you do some research when you are ready. I will also refer you to a simple post I wrote a while back shedding some light on the art of filming Parkour. You have now accumulated a good amount of film, the next step is finding some delicious music; Make sure that the music matches the mood of your movement. Try to find something original that has never been heard in a Parkour video prior to now. Follow up the music search by throwing your clips together in a program like Premiere. It is worth noting that the person who has the vision of the end product (you) should be the person to edit the film, don't outsource. Synchronize the movement with the music: fast movement with fast tempo, jumps with bass drops, Iconic clips during chorus, etc. Here comes the fun part: Special Effects. Find a program similar to After Effects and use it to amp up the flair factor of your video. You can do this by adding some of the aforementioned “Spice”. Some examples of this spice: Flashy intros, film grain, slick transitions, and more. When done properly Special effects can give your video an even more professional look. The final step to making your video look polished is color grading. the term color grading refers to the process of altering the colors in your video to create an atmospheric effect for the viewer. A slight variation in color can drastically affect the viewer’s experience so don’t overdo it. You should also know about color correcting; Color correcting is a simple process which involves playing with the white balance of your video in order to reduce over and underexposure. It is wise to color correct before you color grade. Red Giant's Color Suite is the quintessential collection for both of these tasks. At this point your video should be complete, ready to ship out to the world through social media such as YouTube. But we are still missing one thing: the thumbnail! Find a frame that really portrays what your video is about, open it in a program like Photoshop, and add eye an catcher such as neon font to further entice the viewer to reward their curiosity by clicking your video. The only thing left to do is export, find a format that works for you and upload it when you think the time is right. Making a video isn’t easy, I have been working on the Headway showreel for over half a year and I am still not satisfied (the deadline is New Year’s Day) I obsess over the smallest details and spend many hours slaving over my keyboard in order to get it right. Never settle for less than perfection when it comes to your video. Be persistent in reviewing ideas, sometimes good ideas can go bad overnight and you will find yourself saying “What was I thinking!?” this is a normal part of the creative process! And most of all, make sure that your movement is worth showing off.