If you live in the U.S., you may have noticed anticipation building for the upcoming solar eclipse. On August 21, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun, casting a massive shadow across the country and causing a total solar eclipse. The first of its kind to occur in the U.S. in nearly a century, the event will be both historic and visually stunning. The sky will darken as the sun disappears, its atmosphere becoming visible in a luminous haze around the moon. It’s the perfect opportunity to tap into the buzz, witness an amazing event, and capture breathtaking footage to enhance your video offerings. So get out your cameras!
But before you press record, you need to plan ahead to ensure that your footage will be the best it can be. Particularly if you plan to sell your footage or offer it as part of a VOD subscription. The eclipse will move quickly once it begins, so consider these variables in preparation to guarantee great video:
Location. While a partial eclipse is well worth viewing, if you want to capture the complete experience, you’ll need to be in the path of totality—the course the moon’s shadow will travel across the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. Track the trajectory of the eclipse to choose your best viewing spot. Make sure to pick a location with an unobstructed view of the sky and plenty of space for your setup.
Setup. First and foremost, be sure you have a solar filter to avoid damaging your camera lens. It’s also vital that you utilize a sturdy tripod or rig to maintain a steady shot throughout the eclipse. You don’t want your footage to be handheld and shaky, as this will distract from the eclipse itself. Sustaining a still shot of the sky will best capture the variations in light and movement and give the footage more versatility in editing. So prep your equipment and check that your tripod is in good working order. Get ready to practice your shot!
Focus and Framing. Once your location and equipment are ready to go, experiment with your shot. Test the framing to be certain it will capture exactly what you want for your video. Decide whether the eclipse is the focal point of your shot, or just a striking backdrop for the action taking place in the foreground. Once you finalize your frame, it’s time to prep your camera’s focus. Focus can make or break your footage, so be sure to set it carefully beforehand and double-check throughout, especially if you’re planning on adjusting your camera angle to follow the eclipse. You don’t want to review your footage only to find that the focus slipped in the middle of the shot, and you now have a blurry image.
Implement the practices above, and you’ll end up with excellent video! But remember, thousands of other people will be recording footage of the eclipse. So, in addition to getting the perfect shot, you have to determine how to make yours stand out from the rest. In order to successfully sell your video, you’ll need an interesting perspective that’s unique to your business and your brand. For example, if you have a subscription channel for yoga videos, you could film a special yoga or meditation session during the eclipse and offer it as part of your paid subscription. Whether it’s an exercise video, a music lesson, or tutorial, try catching your customers’ attention by using the eclipse as a backdrop, or incorporating it in the narrative of your video.
Take advantage of this rare solar event to capture some incredible footage. We can’t wait to see the results, and don’t forget your protective eyewear. Good luck in your eclipse-chasing adventures!