By: Kylie Stanley, PR Technician
Videos are one piece of marketing content that is not going anywhere anytime soon. With TikTok and other social media platforms promoting the use of videos, it’s important to understand how to produce the best video. The advances in technology have made it easy to whip out your phone and shoot a video for your own business without relying on professional gear. Obviously, having a clean, professional looking video is great sometimes, but authentic phone videos can help to make the video feel organic. In this blog post, we will cover the five best tips and tricks for shooting videos that you can use for your phone or camera.
- Plan for Your Video
Occasionally, some videos might be filmed on quick notice, but if you know that you’re filming well ahead of time, make sure to plan. When creating a video, you’re not just pressing record, but many other factors come into play like location, script, objectives and video type.
Before filming, ask yourself what the goal of the video is going to be. Are you making an educational video, behind-the-scenes or testimonial? Knowing the type of video you’re making ensures that you know what kind of videos and b-roll you’re shooting, what questions need to be answered and who needs to be filmed. Also, know where this video is primarily going to be used as that will dictate if you’re filming vertically or horizontally.
Lighting is essential for your video quality when producing a high or low budget video. When it comes to lighting, there are two different kinds that you can use.
- Natural lighting
- Professional lighting
Natural lighting is a great cost-effective option for users—but make certain you know the risks. If you don’t have enough natural light, then your video may look dark and grainy, making it hard to see what’s happening in the video. Too much light will lead to harsh lighting on your subject or cause the video to be “blown” out, making the video not usable. When using natural light, work with the sun and overhead lights to make your video look the best.
Professional lighting is something you can invest in to help boost the quality of your video. Using a lighting kit can help to light your subject and make your phone video look like it was taken on a professional camera. When using a lighting kit, ensure you use the three-point lighting system to illuminate the scene. Three-point lighting is when you’re using light sources from three distinct positions. The three types of lights are key light, fill light and backlight.
Key light is the primary and brightest light source in the three-point lighting setup.
Fill light literally fills in the shadows that the key light creates on a subject, bringing out details in the darkness.
Backlight is the third source in this lighting technique; the backlight shines on a subject from behind, completing the light setup.
Audio can make or break your video. If the audio isn’t usable and it’s necessary for the video, then the video is going into the trash. The best and ideal way to capture audio from your subject is to use any microphone other than your camera’s built-in mic. No matter how good your camera’s built-in mic is, it’s still not enough to replace a dedicated external audio recorder. Although, remember to listen to the noise around you before filming to guarantee you get a good quality video. Are you in a loud area? Is there a noisy HVAC system? Are there overhead announcements every five minutes? Take notice the noise around you as that audio, whether you have a microphone or not, will be picked up in the video. If you’re in a loud environment, and it’s possible, move to a quiet or secluded area to film your video.
4. Avoid Shaky Footage
Shaky footage can strain the eyes of your viewership and may cause them to stop watching. We suggest either purchasing a tripod or using the built-in stabilization on your camera to see if you’re holding the phone at an angle. Tripods obviously only work if the subject is still, so looking into external stabilizers might be the best option if you have a shaky hand.
Many video editing software programs also have a built-in feature to stabilize shaky footage, but the results may not be perfect each time.
5. Video Composition
Video composition is how you frame your subject in your video. The ideal way to frame your subject is to follow the “rule of thirds,” which divides the frame into a three-by-three grid, creating intersections that are areas to place your focus.
The rule of thirds is where you mentally divide the frame or screen of your camera/phone into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. This grid overlaying on your screen will help you to place your key subject where the lines intersect. This means that placing your subject into the center of the screen will create a less interesting composition.
One important thing to keep in mind when filming is where the head of your subject is. Make sure they have ample head space, but not too much, as this causes negative space. Also, don’t provide too little head space as you may cut the person’s head out of frame. Framing is an important component of video production that helps tell the story of your video.
Filming videos can sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! By following these tips, you can increase your video production quality and know the basics when it comes to shooting. Remember, whipping your phone out to film is easy and shouldn’t be stressful. So, what are you waiting for? Get out and start filming your videos!