1. B-Roll Can Be Your Savior :
When interviews go bad, when your piece is boring, when you just need something to spice up an edit, B-roll can almost always save the day when you’ve got nowhere else to turn. Shoot everything you can related to a topic when shooting a documentary style production. If an interview subject talks about something, and you can show that thing in B-roll footage it really adds to the production value of a documentary piece.
2. Don’t Over Mod Your Audio:
You can salvage audio if your levels are too low, you can eliminate pops, clicks, hums and hiss’s. But you cannot fix an over modulated signal. Watch your levels; make sure you’re not peaking. On most external audio devices there are two different volume controls, one will control the output volume or what you hear, one will control the input volume. Make sure you are manipulating the input volume not the output volume. It’s easy to turn down the output volume and think that you have successfully protected yourself from over mod. Watch the levels instead of listening to them It’ll give you a much better picture of what’s going on.
3. Clap it Up:
Syncing audio can be a horrible pain, especially if you are searching for a hard consonant to use as a marker. Remember to clap it up with your external audio and camera reference audio rolling. Best case scenario you use a traditional clapboard (or a clapboard app for iPad, which you can find in the iTunes store) When you take your footage into the editing suite match up the audio first before you start cutting your footage up. Or you may find yourself syncing 50 individual clips (which is an awful nightmare).
Now, start making videos!