Fully Utilize Your Video Cameras

by : Jon Caldwell

If you're missing the UK and just want to see what videos people are producing over there, BBC Video Nation has various sections to feed your need and inform you about British society today. In Filming Skills, they give the ground rules for filming with a video cam. When lighting a shot, for example, don't stand against a bright window or turn on the light to minimize shadows. Among the top five tips are not relying on the built-in microphone of your video cam, avoiding the use of zoom, holding shots for at least five seconds for safety, keeping to static shots whenever possible and getting yourself in the shot.

These symbols are used in Creative Commons licenses. It's very helpful to know what they mean. The symbol on the left stands for attribution (BY), which lets other people use and distribute your work for as long as it is credited. The second symbol means noncommercial (NC), which lets other people use your work for noncommercial purposes. The third symbol is no derivative works (ND), meaning others cannot make derivative works and must keep it as is. The last symbol is share alike (SA), which sets the condition that the derivative work can be used only with the same license as the original work. One or a combination of these conditions can be in the same license. For example, you can indicate that your home video is BY-SA or BY-NC-ND. You can also choose which jurisdiction's Copyright Law will apply to your work.

Have you ever given a thought about licensing your videos? Even if you're not particular about how your videos are used by other people, it would be helpful to make it clear what can and cannot be done to your uploaded videos. There are traditionally two extremes in terms of copyrights. On the one hand is all rights reserved (c), giving only the copyright owner the right to use the material as he wishes. On the other hand, there is public domain (pd), where anybody can use the material however way he wants. But this is now changing to accommodate licenses somewhere in the middle, which specify how a material can be used. These are the Creative Commons (cc) licenses.

It seems that everyone creating videos online has tried making spoofs or parodies of pop culture at some point or another. Give your videos a twist by swedeing, a genre seemingly invented for the Michel Gondry film Be Kind, Rewind starring Jack Black. Swedeing takes the film tribute to the next (lower) level using low-tech techniques and stand-ins for effects that are out of the reach of amateur videographers. The result: homemade goodness that is funny and endearing. As a marketing ploy, swedeing was effective on YouTube. All that's left for you to prove now is that it can touch your home audience, who will have to tolerate your use of household items as props and costumes.

The Sony HDR-CX7 is a compact HD camcorder that records directly to Memory Stick Duo. It can record SD video and take good images with a 6.1 MP still camera. The HDR-CX7 has optical image stabilization, 10x optical zoom, and a 2.7″ touch panel LCD. You can play back your video on the PS3. With its Super NightShot mode, it can shoot in total darkness up to 10 feet. It is best for those who want to record high quality videos but need a light video camera without too many trimmings. The HDR-CX7 will set you back between $800-900 at most online retailers.