In this article I’ll talk you through how to shoot better video yourself, in 3 easy tips!
Many business owners are adapting to the video-wave of recent years and many are adopting in-house filming to reduce costs and to really engage with video at a cellular level.
If this is you, take on board the following three pointers when shooting your own video – whether on a phone, DSLR camera or pro-level cam, and you’ll be ready for action!
1. SLOW & STEADY
A big mistake a lot of people make when self-shooting videos is that they rush into making a video without any sort of planning. This can be reflected in the quality of the end result, either through poor scripts that don’t get a message across or bad camera placement that films more of the ceiling than your subject. All these problems can be eliminated from the start with good planning.
Now you may be thinking how much time does it take to plan for a video?
Well it all depends on how much time you are willing to commit the creation of this video, but for now let’s just assume you want to get a short 30 second video planned in the space of an hour! Impossible you say? I think not.
The first thing you want to figure out is what is the purpose and message of your video. Are you selling a new product? Bringing out a new service? Or just letting people know who you are? These factors are key to guiding the rest of the planning process. Take 10 minutes to discuss this.
Awesome, now you know the purpose of your video. Time to think about what style of video you want.
- Do you want to talk to camera to explain what you do?
- Do you want to show off a new product working?
- Do you want to be in the video?
There are many different terms in the industry for these types of video but the main ones you should focus on are ‘Talking Heads’ and ‘Product/service demo’ these are the easiest for self-shooters to create. They tend to only need one camera and limited amounts of editing. Spend around 10 thinking about this.
Next you need to think about what you are going to say/do, this part is crucial as this is going to be the content of your video. Take the most time to make your script concise and simple for you but also make sure you are hitting that video purpose. Take the time to plan out the video start to finish, you may have to improvise some parts but always try to stick to your plan/script. Once you know what you want to do in the video get it written down. Remember that you are not the customer, so when coming up with ideas always try and put yourself in your potential customers shoes. Take a good 30 minutes to talk and plan this out, talk with peers or employees find out what people think of your ideas and maybe get some suggestions.
Great, you have a purpose, a style and a script! You are probably thinking let’s start filming now. Not just yet, you still got one last thing to consider. What are you going to use? What equipment do you have available? Where are you going to film? These are super important to consider before you start filming. If you don’t have a dedicated camera, how about using your phone? Phone cameras today are higher quality than some budget cameras available on the market. The trouble with phones is you need to keep it steady, so think about investing in something to hold it steady for you. Spend 10 mins working out the practicality of your project as a whole with the equipment you have available.
Voila! You have planned a video from start to finish in 1 hour, what you have just done is a small-scale version of what a lot of big video companies do when they create their videos. Do this every time and your videos will improve in no time.
2. GET YOUR LIGHTING RIGHT.
The difference between a good and bad video can be down to something as simple as lighting. Light is super important when filming video content, even the world we perceive around us is merely reflected light interpreted by our eyes and brains. A camera works in a similar but less biologically complex way, essentially taking in the reflected light to form an image.
So, what happens when you get lots of bright light in your eye? You can’t see anything! The same goes for a camera, if there is too much bright light going into the lens it’s going to make everything in the shot difficult to see, this also goes for the opposite too. What can you do? Well, most professional studios use studio lighting to light their subject correctly but not all of us have access to such luxuries. So I am going to give you some quick lighting tips.
First pick somewhere indoors with a nice amount of natural light, large windows, skylights etc. This will eliminate the need for artificial lights reducing the cost of the production.
Next you are going to want to make sure the subject has the light facing them, NOT behind them. Going back to the eye analogy, if someone stood in front of a floodlight would you be able to pick out their features? The short answer is no. So, try not to “Backlight” your subject, keep the subject well-lit from the front.
Finally make sure that there are no big shadows entering the frame from either the subject or the camera, this can be distracting for viewers but will also move as you filmmaking any edits very obvious.
3. RECORD GOOD QUALITY AUDIO.
The last tip for you self-shoot starters out there is, make sure your audio is good quality. One of the biggest pitfalls of video content is that most people focus on the visual and forget the audio, when in actual fact the audio is the backbone of video. From choosing the right song to go in the background or the recording of you explaining your product, if its bad people will be less likely to stay engaged.
Make sure that you focus on getting good audio. Without it the video can fall apart. Problem is that good audio does come at a price in most instances. However, I’m going to tell you how to make the most of what you have and give you some hot tips.
Tip one: Always listen to the audio you recorded. Playback is key, no matter how much you hate your own voice! This gives you a chance to listen through and check for any unnecessary noise which could ruin a video. The worst feeling is recording the audio and realising too late that you can hear the printer in the next room.
Tip two: Record your main audio separate to your video audio. What I mean by this is when you record video on your phone it will record both Video and Audio that’s great until you realize that most phone mics are designed to pick up audio from close distances like phone calls. So, a way round this is simply using a separate phone from the one recording the video. Place the secondary phone closer to the subject and use a voice recording app to capture the audio.
Use a loud clap to create a sync point to synchronise the separated audio with the video. Then record away! Your audio will now be clearer.
Tip Three: Pick some good background music. Using some calm music with the right ambience can really help a video to be consistent. When there are moments of silence in your script music helps fill the silence and cover up any quiet background noise. If it’s catchy it might even be the thing that catches people’s attention.
If you’ve got any questions on self-shooting your own video, ping me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks for reading!
Junior Content Creator