Behind the scenes: Fashion shoot in Antwerp

It’s finally here and I’m pretty excited that I can share it at last. My very first behind the scenes video.
This is from a shoot we did a while ago in Antwerp.
 In the video I go a little bit into detail about how the shoot came together.

I’ve been wanting to shoot some behind the scenes videos for a while now. However I had no second camera to film with. I still don’t actually.
Everything I used for this video was borrowed.
The the point and shoot camera we’ve filmed with: from my mom.
The microphone to record the voice-over: from my boyfriend.
The software to montage it all together: the 7-day trial of Premiere Pro.

Working on this video was such fun though. I guess it’s because its something new. It’s different than still images. As far as video goes I’m still in that experimental stage where you just try things and learn as you go along. I’m also quite happy with the end result of this first attempt.

I’ll have to acquire a video camera of my own if I want to going into more video though.
I’ve been looking at the Canon 80D as a video camera option, since it’ll fit with the gear I already have. And it can also serve as a back-up camera for when my main camera decides to give the ghost.

A little self review

Since this was a first attempt, and I pretty much went in without a plan, I’ve noted some points to improve upon next time.

  • Move slowly: I shot some footage where I went for a closeup of the make-up table. And even though I thought I was moving slowly enough, after reviewing the footage I found it too fast and unpleasant to watch.
  • Use a tripod: Not every piece of footage needs to be dynamic, moving in from left to right, circling the scene or whatever. Film from a tripod too. Combine dynamic scenes with more static vantage points to give the viewer a break, and make the video more pleasant.
  • Watch for shake: At this point a gimbal would be too expensive to invest in, so for now we’ll just have to be a bit more mindful of the “bumpiness” of our movements.
  • Know thy gear: Pretty self explanatory. I was probably shooting in the wrong mode on the little point and shoot. I think that some of the out of focus footage is a direct result from that. 
  • Shoot with a (bit of an) assembly plan: I had originally intended to put the footage to some music only. When I had finished assembling the video the end result was confusing though. The footage wasn’t shot with the purpose of making it a fashion video or a show reel. But the way it was put together made it seem like that’s what it was trying, and failing, to be.
    The music only version didn’t work as a behind a scenes video either because there wasn’t any form of information about the shoot to have value as such.
    After a few second opinions I decided I needed to add a voice-over to add more context to the video. However now I found that I was missing some footage to match the topic at hand. Or my text on a specific point was too long and the video had moved on to a different scene already.
  • Sound is important: Honestly, bad sound makes me run away from videos so fast no matter how interested I might be in the content. For the initial voice-over recordings I used my webcam, which has a built in microphone. But since this was a webcam and not a microphone, its primary functionality is not exactly to record great sound. Those recordings turned out unusable. I used my boyfriends gaming microphone instead ( blue snowball iCE microphone)
  • Script what you’re going to say: I tried to just talk about the shoot like it was a casual conversation. But I was falling over my words, I was forgetting what I was going to say…. Writing a script and reading it word for word made it much easier for me. Of course there’s no need to write it down word for word like I did. But do write down which points you want to touch upon at least, otherwise you might forget something.
  • Voice over has its advantages:  You can snip into your recordings as much as you like when you’re recording a voice over. Had a great take except for the very last sentence? Just re-record the last bit and add it to your video assembly seamlessly. Opposed to a video recording, where you’d have to redo the whole take to avoid a jumpy video.

Learning points

Some things that I’d also like to look further into is how to colour grade video. I’m used to ‘selective colour‘ and ‘colour balance‘ for most of my colour work in Photoshop. But I’m not quite sure yet what the equivalent would be in Premiere.
I did some basic colour balance correcting on some snippets with the ‘colour balance effect‘. The ‘Lumetri‘ panel in Premiere ended up overwhelming me however. So I decided to leave creative colour grading for the next video.

During shoots I’d also like to record voices, so the videos can give a better sense of  the interactions and directions during the shoot. I’ll have to do further research into what I’d need for that though.

As I mentioned above, I used the Premiere pro trial and that trial is now expired. At this point the monthly price tag for a very very occasional use of Premiere is just a tad too steep, and I can’t justify the expense. I’ve been trying out some freeware alternatives but none that I’ve tried offer quite everything that I’m looking for. So the search continues.

  

Model & styling: Sharon Boucquez
MUA&H: Cristina Via
Designer (corset): Moriel Corsetry
Designer (dress & skirt): Général Guérisse

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