5 Tips for Better RC Videos

Apr 18, 2011 6 Comments by

When shooting and editing video, it’s best to keep things simple. Fast cuts, crazy transitions, and visual effects can negatively impact your presentation and cause your viewer to move on. It’s far more important to include the necessities rather than the accessories. Here are a few tips to keep your audience tuned in.

1.) Always include an identifier. Just because you know who or what is in your video, your audience may not. For an interview, simply ask your subject to introduce themselves. To reinforce this, add a graphic in the lower portion of your video. This can be as simple as white text over a black bar. If you’re creating an action video, make sure you have a title appear somewhere in the beginning. Once your audience is clear on who or what they’re watching, they can begin identifying with the content being discussed.

2.) Shoot plenty of B-Roll footage. The more you have, the better. You don’t necessarily need to use it all, but the more you have to choose from, the better editing decisions you’ll be able to make.

3.) Overlay video content that correlates with your audio. When your subject is talking about how awesome their Traxxas E-Revo is, make sure you cut to some footage that reinforces that point.

4.) For interviews, get good audio. This one is huge. You can have the world’s most pixelated interview, but if the audio is good you’ll be OK. On the other hand, if you have 1080HD video footage and horrible audio, you’re in trouble. Try to film in a quiet area away from distractions without compromising your background. When possible, use a handheld or clip on mic.

5.) When editing, hold your action clips long enough to register, but not enough to becoming boring. Action clips cut too short can be overwhelming. Give your viewer enough time to understand what they’re looking at and to feel satisfied with it. On the contrary, don’t hold the clip for so long that they get bored. It’s a fine line to walk, but with practice you’ll know when to hold and when to cut the clip. One way to look at this is that if the clip following the one you’re on does not relate to it visually, hold the clip just a little longer to give it a sense of resolution. If the next clip after the one you’re on does relate to it visually, then it’s OK to cut it a little quicker.

Remember…identify your subject, shoot plenty of B-Reel footage, match your content, get good audio, and give your clips a little breathing room.

Feel free to ask me a question in the comments section below!

Featured News, Joe Arthur

About the author

Joe Arthur is Air Age Media's multimedia guru. In addition to the weekly production of The Radio Control Show, his credits also include the Aerobatics Made Easy and Advanced Aerobatics Made Easy DVDs, countless action, how-to, and on-site coverage videos, the Flight Journal podcast with Budd Davisson, and photography for all of Air Age Media's radio control and diecast magazines. Joe also has experience in Flash programming, motion graphics, web design, and advanced photo retouching.

6 Responses to “5 Tips for Better RC Videos”

  1. Brian says:

    Good points. Here’s my additions.

    Shoot for the edit. Ask yourself, what am I trying to say with this video?

    A basic set of four shots tells your story: wide shot (meaning the framing of your video), 2 medium shots, and a detail shot. Start with a wide shot showing the environment or space. Capture two different medium shots revealing the most important aspects of your subject. Then include a detail shot that conveys an important element of your story.

    Example: New Proline tire.
    Wide-shot = Outdoor RC track
    Medium Shot 1 = Short course truck on crest of a jump
    Medium Shot 2 = Short course truck in hard turn
    Detail Shot = close up of the tire bending and gripping the ground

    If you have these four types of shots, you are good to go. Considering most people don’t watch more than 2 minutes of the average online video, long form video on the internet is to some degree pointless. So, get the good stuff, make if fun, and finish strong.

  2. Marco Solorio says:

    FYI, it’s “B-roll” not “B-reel”.

  3. 5 Tips for Better RC Videos | RC For Your Hobby says:

    [...] RC Car Action [...]

  4. hotwheeler69 says:

    Joe, in you last line you said” Remember…identify your subject, shoot plenty of B-Reel footage, match your content, get good audio, and give your .” What did you want us to give? You said ” give your.”

    Thanks, :>

    • Joe Arthur says:

      Thanks for reading and thanks for the heads up! I meant to say, “…and give your clips a little breathing room.”

      Do you shoot video? Send me something at josepha@airage.com and I’ll mention you in the show.

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