Practical Advice on How to Make your First Video

February 11, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Filmmaking can be easy and affordable.

With the exponential growth of video marketing becoming harder to ignore, now’s the time to ditch the fear and embrace video for your business. You needn’t start from scratch; with just a few techniques, a smartphone and some software, you can create great footage with minimal spend. Video marketing is perfect for raising your profile on social media, vlogging and adding value to your website. As I’ve mentioned before, today’s browsers, with their extremely short attention span, are more likely to pause and watch video content than any other kind.

Here are 4 practical tips to help you get your video marketing journey started.

Start with your Smartphone

You’ve already got an excellent piece of kit at hand (or in your pocket), so there’s nothing stopping you from experimenting straight away. Today’s smartphones are light years away from the devices we started out with two decades ago which means you can take complete control of your video marketing from the offset. Isn’t it an exciting prospect, knowing that you’re a film director in the waiting?

Let’s break down video recording into blocks of easy-to-follow advice you can adopt right now for high quality footage.

 

  1. Plan your shoot - lighting, audio and content

Before you grab your phone and press record, sit down and sketch out what you want to film, why you want to film it and how you’ll film it. 

Are you creating video content for social media? If that’s the case, you’ll want to keep your clips short, sweet and engaging. Youtube clips are generally longer and thus will require more planning. Bearing all of these elements in mind, don’t forget to ensure that your phone has enough storage memory.

If you plan on filming a longer clip, make sure your chosen filming location has a good light source. Your smartphone may not react well to very bright light, nor to drastic changes in light, so ensure you have a steady light source for the duration of your shoot. Try to ensure that you (or your subject) is facing a light source during filming, not standing in front of one (backlit).   Finding a room in which you can control the light is a good start.  Close the curtains or blinds and use a ring light to illuminate yourself.

In a similar vein, avoiding noisy areas means fewer external elements to contend with and will result in better sound quality. If you have to film in a crowded environment, an external microphone will block out ambient noise, a good investment is a lavalier microphone which can be plugged into your smartphone as this will cut out external ambient noise, otherwise stand as close as you can to your built-in mic to capture crisp, clear sound. Finally, get to know your smartphone and what it can do. It should already be capable of recording high definition video but there are apps that could both improve the quality of your clips and help you edit them to a professional level. 

Making a plan for your film shoot will not only save you time, it will allow you to gather what you’ll need in advance to make the best possible content.

  1. Choose a format that matches the platform where your video will be hosted

You’re right to feel annoyed at those black vertical stripes that run up either side of a video clip. The filmmaker will have chosen the vertical setting when they should have opted for landscape, for a more visually pleasing viewing experience. Be aware of where you post your video and make sure the format you use to film your clip matches.  For example for Youtube long form content you should film in landscape orientation but for YouTube shorts you will need to film in portrait (vertical) mode.

  1. Ready, steady, go

There’s nothing more amateurish, or vertigo-inducing, than a shaky clip. The irritated viewer will quickly scroll towards something more professional and in one fell swoop you’ll have missed a potential sale. 

You could hold your phone with both hands but that will quickly become tiring, so improvise by placing your phone on a shelf, chair, window sill etc. The trick is to keep the phone as close to the subject as possible for superior image quality and focus. If you don’t have a handy surface to rest your phone upon, consider purchasing a smartphone tripod or stabiliser. Whilst stabilisers can be pricey they will help your filming technique as they often include apps that will give you templates and guidance on how to shoot.  Tripods are a cost effective way to get started and they c double as a hand grip which is useful to give you extra reach.

  1. Shoot first, edit later

This is the time to keep the video running and experiment, experiment, experiment. 

The beauty of smartphone filming is that you can easily edit out footage that doesn’t work. Try filming from different angles, at different times of the day to test the light and have fun!

 

Depending on what kind of phone you have and the kind of footage you wish to produce, you can add fun filters and effects to your clips. This is the time to mess around with apps and your phone’s pre-existing video editing features. Your phone should have an inbuilt editing feature which will allow you to trim footage, add titles etc. If it doesn’t or if it’s not sophisticated enough for your needs, investigate video editing tools like Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Rush, Quik,  Videon or Magisto.

 

___________________

 

I hope this collection of practical video making tips gives you the confidence to grab your phone and create a masterpiece! Remember, the trick is to plan and to not be afraid to experiment.

 

If you need a helping hand with your videography, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to discuss how I can help you create effective video content. 

 


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