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Video Production Suggestions for Wineries

Pre-shooting suggestions
• On paper briefly map out a story board, with bullet points of important ideas that you want to get across.
• Think about the key images that you will need to shoot to get your message across. The natural progression of images required to tell your story.
• You will need to keep this brief story board for post production when you edit the video piece to make it easier and quicker to put it all together.
• As I mentioned in a previous blog, there are some great camcorders available with HD quality imaging.
• Make sure the battery is fully charged on the camcorder.
• Always have a tripod with you just in case.
• If you don't want wind noise you may want to buy a shotgun mic with a wind sock or if you can afford to buy a wireless mic they are well worth it.

Shooting Video 101
• Before shooting think first about how to set up your shot.
• Shoot the same image or sequence from different angles, with varying shots.
Eg. Hand-picking fruit Shots required?
• Establishing shot of the vineyard from different angles with wide shots and medium wide shots using a tripod.
• Practice pans first to get it fluid.
• Do pans from left to right and right to left. Always begin your pan before what you want to shoot and also at the finish of the shot well after the image you are shooting.
• Important while shooting anything is breathing. Regulate your breathing, control your breathing when shooting video as this will affect how relaxed and fluid your video looks.
• When shooting hand held video try not to jerk the camera and keep everything fluid. Move steadily and not too fast.
• Try and keep the shots level unless you want to do funky angle shots deliberately.
• Also try and visualize shots composed next to each other.

Shot Suggestions
• Break up each section of the winery vintage harvesting and winemaking in separate sequences. (See below example of video shots required for harvesting grapes)
• Do close-ups of people picking fruit, tight medium close shots from different angles, high up and low down.
• Shoot the pickers from behind, to the side, shoot the pickers through the vines.
• Close up shots of the fruit.
• Shots of hands snipping of the bunches.
• Shots of the picking bins with fruit going in.
• Close up of peoples feet as they shuffle along the row.
• Shots of the pickers faces.
• Do tracking shots - where you physically move the camera from point A to point B. This type of shot adds dimension and a sense of action. Eg. Position A would be a close up of a bunch of grapes. The camera operator then pulls back and turns to the right to show the view down the row of vines.
• Another form of tracking would be following behind a tractor or a quad bike. Eg. Close-up tracking along side a close up of a tractor wheel as it drives down a row. The tread on the tire.
• Almost never use the zoom. It is much easier and professional looking to deal with this in post-production.
• Very important to shoot a lot of cut-away shots. Eg. A hawk in the sky. A close up of the nets flapping in the breeze. A spade leaning up against a post.
• Shoot as much as you can, the best shots tend to start to come about half way into a shoot. That is why it is always good to start with your establishing shots first.

Lighting requirements
• Lighting is very important - exposure.
• Try not to shoot into the sun. The camera has a sensor square in the middle of the lens which will change the aperture for the camera automatically. Eg. When down low in the vineyard and shooting up towards the skyline, the vineyard row will be very dark.
• Always make sure that what you are shooting is exposed properly.
• When panning from a lighter exposed area to a darker area be aware that the aperture will change.

Sound requirements
• Sound is very important.
• When filming someone talking make sure that the camera is either a medium close up or a close up so that their voice can be picked up optimally.
• Never shoot a video interview near any machinery or loud noises as this will impact on the quality of the audio.
• Always try to avoid wind when shooting video where the audio is important to telling the story.
• Wind is the biggest problem with camcorder microphones so shoot in sheltered areas if you can.
• Be aware that audio sound can be added in post production.

Focus requirements
• Don't bother changing the focus from auto to manual.
• Auto focus is the best for the kind of video for what you are shooting.
• When shooting things up close. Eg. Grapes - use macro zoom to extreme close ups.

Video formats
• Shoot all the video in the highest quality that you can.
• In post production you can re-format video into different formats depending upon which digital channel you need it for.  eg Youtube, iPhone, trade show.

MISC
• Have the video shooting done by no more than two people to keep the same style and feel for the entire video.
• Post Production blog to follow.

Here is a short example of a simple video sequence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T9gDMm5C-I