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How to take better videos

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I went riding with a buddy this weekend and we did some great hill climbs and video'd each other tearin it up.

When we watched the videos later, those nasty hills looks like little kiddie ramps on the screen. No justice to us hill climbing butt kickers!:busted:

Does anyone have a better technique for taking videos that captures the essence of the terrain?

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Helmet cam's make even slower guys seem faster. Could we see the videos? If we could see the location we could maybe point out different places to place the camera.

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Hills are not captured well on video, it frustrates me.

The only way I have found to get any kind of justification is to either stand on the hill and tilt the camera with the hill or from a long way away on another hill, but then you can't see the action.

By the way, if you don't add picture or video, you are in the wrong area.

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One technique is to shoot the trail from the side. As the rider goes past, the camera should be level with the horizon, not the rider, and it will show the grade of the hill.

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Helmet cam's make even slower guys seem faster. Could we see the videos? If we could see the location we could maybe point out different places to place the camera.

My bad. Here are two. One is from the bottom and the other is from the top.

I swear the hills were steep! :busted:

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One technique is to shoot the trail from the side. As the rider goes past, the camera should be level with the horizon, not the rider, and it will show the grade of the hill.

Thanks Ben. I will try that next time. One thing that makes it challenging is the number of trees we have here. I think you would see more bark than rider. :busted:

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My tip would be to not hide behind the tree when your crazy buddy is going up the hill. :busted: I could also use some of these tips, and I have searched the site with no luck.

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Cameras rarely do justice to steep angles imo. (Unless yer filming on a major mountainside somewhere.) The best you can do is provide some sort of reference. A buddy leaning forward & struggling as he walks up the hill, shots from the side, a fallen bike lying on the hill, etc.

Here's a hillclimb vid I made using 3 cameras & various perspectives. In one or two shots you can grasp the steepness of the hill. But most of the time, no. :busted:

http://www.vimeo.com/6074871

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Cameras rarely do justice to steep angles imo. (Unless yer filming on a major mountainside somewhere.) The best you can do is provide some sort of reference. A buddy leaning forward & struggling as he walks up the hill, shots from the side, a fallen bike lying on the hill, etc.

Here's a hillclimb vid I made using 3 cameras & various perspectives. In one or two shots you can grasp the steepness of the hill. But most of the time, no. :busted:

http://www.vimeo.com/6074871

Agreed. One camera, mounted on the bike or rider, usually isn't enough to tell the story very well. Unless something really crazy happens, 10 or 15 minutes of straight-on bike cam is usually just boring. Multiple angles and perspectives help communicate the action better and keep the viewer interested. Here's were it helps to have more than one camera (and it doesn't need to be a camcorder, most point & shoot cameras take fine video). Problem is, once you move beyond one camera, it becomes a much bigger effort. Does every camera need its own operator? And with more than one camera running, it's much harder to be spontaneous. Shots have to be planned ahead, and often repeated or rehearsed (try doing that when you're filming a race). Continuity becomes a bigger issue. The multiple shots need to have a flow to show continuous movement in one direction. Editing then becomes a bigger job, too. Beyond the video, spoken words can also help tell the story. Have someone in the vid say something, like "golly, that hill really looks steep, Jack". But to make that convincing, you need someone who's comfortable being recorded on camera or doing the voiceover, and you find out pretty quickly that you need a script. It becomes very difficult to do all of this by yourself, and you need to get you riding buddies to commit to your project. They may not all share your desire to be a film maker. My buddies have cooperated to varying degrees, and I try not to force this on them. I've used multiple cameras before on staged shots w/little assistance. I had one camera on a tripod, another in my hand, and a third one on my buddy's helmet. It was pretty challenging to manage them all. I have not yet made the jump to scripted dialog. If you're really interested to improve your videos, see if there are any books on the topic at your local library, or take a look at websites like this one where there's a discussion on camera angles:

http://www.videomaker.com/article/10775/

You can see all of my videos here:

And a few are also here:

http://www.vimeo.com/user1852812

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