For this guide on how to troubleshoot a scene for your YouTube videos in 4 simple steps Clayton (a film student) filmed a short minute and a half long scene from our screenplay "Reegan and Clayton Make A Movie".
For this shoot I used affordable gear that I already owned
- Canon Rebel T6i ($600)
- Monopod ($25)
- RODE SmartLav+ ($80 x2 ) plugged into our phones (the most expensive items on set) and attached with a RODE Invisilav ($18)
- Premiere Pro CC 2018 ($20 monthly)
For this shoot we needed 4 people in total on set while filming.
- Someone to drive my car (Mark)
- A camera operator (Ally)
- And 2 actors (Me and Reegan)
Problems We Solved On Set
A lot of working on set is just solving problems as they come up, and they WILL come up.
- We needed the camera to be moving steadily so we tried using a bike, which didn't work because it was too low, and we tried using a golf cart, which was too loud. We decided on a car even though it did end up causing some issues with sound. We just had Ally get in the open trunk with a monopod to hold the camera with and Mark driving the car.
- Because we were using a car we had to get rid of the red light shining on me and Reegan from the brake lights so we used some sweatshirts from inside my car to cover them up.
- At a certain point during the shot the car had to stop and Mark couldn't hear what we were saying so we had Reegan do a specific gesture that meant "stop".
The 4 Steps On How To Troubleshoot A Scene For Your YouTube Videos.
Some problems, however, you may not see until after the shoot is over. Use these 4 steps to figure out how to make your scene the very best it can be.
Step 1 - Ask Yourself What Went Great
The first step is figuring out what you did right during the shoot so you know what you don't have to work on for next time.
- We only had to do it 5 times because we read through and memorized our lines beforehand which we have never done before, imagine that. It's almost like practicing something makes it better.
- The lighting was pretty even but I should have brought some lights out or shot earlier in the day since my camera doesn't do well in low light conditions.
- The camera is pretty shaky throughout the entire video so it makes it look like someone is just walking with it, which in this case actually helps the viewer feel like they are walking with the talent on screen.
Step 2 - Ask Yourself What Went Terribly
The second step is figuring out what went wrong so you can figure out how to correct it.
- The camera has a bit of a jolt when the car comes to a stop, we didn't notice this until editing. If we would have reviewed the footage after filming, we could have made some changes.
- Example changes: instead of having someone hold a monopod in the back of a car, we could have used a tripod with sandbags to hold it steady. If we had a gimbal or steadicam - those could have helped as well.
- The video quality is pretty low because my camera doesn't do well at high ISO. Given my lens' minimum aperture of 5.6 at this focal length - required a pretty noisy ISO level. I could have brought lights or filmed earlier in the day when there was more light. Next time I am also going to double-check my export settings to make sure I didn't botch anything.
- The audio on me was a bit too loud so I peaked the audio on my mic at the end so I had to use the audio from Reegan's mic instead.
- Throughout the video you can hear Reegan's chain hitting the lav mic when he walks, he shouldn't have been wearing it.
- The audio in the final video is very quiet because you could originally hear the sound of the car's engine in the background, what we should have done was just have us move further away from the camera and zoom it in to get the framing we wanted. This would've also solved the red lights issue.
Step 3 - What Did You Learn From These Things?
Figure out what exactly happened to cause all the things that went wrong so that you can try not to make the same mistakes again next time.
You should always think about EVERYTHING before shooting because if you don’t you will forget something and it could ruin a whole day of filming, if this footage was for a sketch, I would probably have redone it another day.
Step 4 - Figure Out Things To Do Differently Next Time
The final step is to actually fix the bad things about your scene for whenever you shoot next.
- When we actually film the screenplay we will rent better cameras and equipment so that it actually looks decent.
- Bring more lights to get that ISO down and get the look we wanted without so much color correction.
- Test audio more beforehand by reading through lines that are actually in the script so you actually know what it will sound like.
- Figure out ways to set up the camera before the day of shooting.
Hopefully, this article has helped you learn how to troubleshoot a scene for your YouTube videos.
This article was written by Clayton Osterhues – a comedy writer and Youtuber in Somerset Wisconsin – a mentee at Provid Films in Northeast Minneapolis Minnesota. You can find his channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8uGzDbp5zRVta1yHJUmYuw
If you would like to learn more about the basics of video production you can view our Basics Of Video Production Guide For Business here.