Matt Peet is the owner of Re-Peet Productions which does event and wedding videos. He also does a podcast called Finding Creative Success where he interviews creatives making money with their camera. Check out this episode of Creative Habits Podcast where Matt gives us some insights into getting creative with video.
The Nifty Fifty and Wide Angle Lens
Matt Peet suggests using a “nifty fifty” camera lens (a cool name for a 50mm lens). For about $125 the lens provides some great cinematic shots. If you search for 50mm lens you will see many other photographers confirming this lens as a go-to for getting consistently good shots. Matt Peet keeps this one handy at all his events.
Matt also suggests using a gimbal (helps stabilize your camera as you move around) and wide angle lens. You get movement in your shot while the wide angle reduces the motion shake from walking. Even if you aren’t doing events like Matt is, movement offers a great way to keep visual interest in your shots. Matt says a lot of beginners once they start using movement will use it in everything they do which reduces the impact. Everything in moderation.
About pages are one of the most visited pages on a website. Video offers a great way for people to connect to you but instead of just setting down a tripod and filming, you want to think other angles and scenes. Artists might have some head shots talking about their craft and then shots of them in production while the voice over continues. Consider either having someone there to talk to or pretend that someone is there and you are explaining what you do. Either of these techniques helps to keep it natural.
Matt mentions to be careful with lighting as there is a tendency for many to get shadows on your face. Consider external lighting and also getting Matt’s free ebook on How to Control Light with Your DSLR.
Podcast Movement Video
Matt Peet did the video for this where the song was already picked out. Matt really liked this song and likes using songs in general to help “story board” his video. Among other things, he uses the song beats to change to other shots. Try this, it’s fun to do with a song you like and footage. Matt suggests putting the song in the editor and marking out all the beats in the song you want to have a cut at.
Matt also suggests using establishing shots to show where you are. In the Podcast Movement video the event was in Chicago so he got some shots of the city to use in the intro. Before going into the event, he knows how many shots he needs to make the video work with the song. Having the song before makes it easier to know what kind of shots you want to get.
Think 360 with Your Subject
Think about your subject matter in 360 degrees. What is the most compelling angle to make it interesting for those watching? Think about different shots such as a tight, medium and wide shot so you have more choices when editing. Thinking 360 also gives you a creative edge, the more you do it, the more creative you get with views of your subject. Matt goes the extra mile and will also use a drone fitted with a camera. You don’t have to go that far but it does give you an idea of the potential when thinking 360.
Listen to the full podcast to get other great tips and ideas!