It's worthwhile investing in a modest tripod. It might seem easy just to point a camera and shoot but even the slightest movement will make the image shake. Of course, you might want to use shaky, hand-held camera work to give your film a style. That's fine, but if not, use a tripod.
Using the zoom lens on your camera is very appealing. You feel like you're constructing an exciting image, and it's an easy feature to play with. But don't get carried away. Use it sparingly. If in doubt, don't use it at all. The image on the left gives you an idea of what over-use of the zoom looks like. To see it again, just refresh the page.
You want your film to be easy to see. Good lighting is vital so avoid shooting at night and in dark places unless you really know your stuff. Watch out for the sun, too. Take a look at the short clip from our friends at Video Nation to see what we mean.
Links: Video Nation clip Film and Video Lighting for Low Budgets
Framing and Angles
Make sure you keep your subject in the camera frame - letting your actors walk in and out of frame looks messy. Try shooting a scene from different angles and perspectives to give it a sense of style. Practise framing and angles with our Flash game. Links: Calling The Shots