BUY A TRIPOD… And Other DIY Video Tips

Buy a Tripod... And Other DIY Video Tips

BUY A TRIPOD… And Other DIY Video Tips

In a recent client discussion, we talked about all the “new skills” we were blessed (forced) to learn in the early stages of the pandemic. For many, that skill was video production, which lead to the idea of sharing ideas learned along the way to becoming videographers (sort of). First, buy a tripod… and other DIY video tips.

Many of us have been hoping to get back on the road in early 2021. But, traveling for sales meetings, trade shows and other events may be on hold for a while longer.

Unquestionably, one of the best ways to highlight your product or service is by using video to tell your story. Before the pandemic hit, we at Axiom would said the answer to your video production needs is always to hire a professional videographer. Like so many other things, COVID-19 has changed the way we consume video. We’ve gotten used to making it work through ingenuity.  Amateur video is more accepted in business applications now. We’ve even backed it up with a marketing term, calling it more “authentic.”

With video quality getting better and better right on your smartphone, you actually have decent equipment to get the job done. Adding movement and a sense of realism to your presentations and other marketing content is still possible when hiring a pro isn’t. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to DIY video.

Buy a Tripod

  • At the beginning of the pandemic, there may have been a grace period for shaky video. But that time is over. Invest in a good quality tripod that is meant to work with your camera or phone.
  • Place your phone in the horizontal position.
  • Make sure your video is set to its highest megapixel setting.

Hold Your Shot

  • Pick a shot and stick with it. In most cases, you don’t need to zoom, pan or tilt. This is especially true if you’re shooting live or trying not to edit. Unnecessary movement is distracting and makes people lose interest (or even become nauseous!).
  • If you want to come in for a close up, use your feet to move forward, not the zoom function on your camera or phone.
  • If you’re planning to edit your video, make sure you capture a variety of shots. Think wide shot, medium shot and tight shot of each subject or location. Hold each shot a minimum of 15 seconds. This will give you a variety of video to work with in the editing process.

Illuminate with Lighting

  • Lighting is a crucial part of video. Shooting outside can provide the most natural look. Make sure you’re not shooting in blinding sunlight directly overhead. You may have heard of the “Golden Hour” or the “Magic Hour.” This is the period of time just after sunrise and before sunset when the light is much redder and softer than midday. This is a very favorable time to capture video, especially when you’re featuring people.
  • In most cases, you’ll want to keep your subjects facing the sun. Backlighting (with the sun behind the subject) makes the object or person you’re trying to shoot look dark.
  • When shooting inside, make sure you’re not shooting directly facing a window. This has the same effect as backlighting. Adding a light source in front of your subject makes a world of difference. There are several small lights on the market that do a decent job and mount right to your phone or camera.

Interview Like a Pro

  • The key to shooting interviews is to give the subject some room. Make sure the upper half of their body is in the frame, shooting from the waist up. Leave some space around the subject in case they move around when they speak.
  • Use a good quality microphone. Investing in a microphone made to work with your camera or phone gives you better quality sound. Don’t rely on just the microphone that is installed on your device.

Know Your Technology

  • Watching videos on all the bells and whistles that come with your phone or camera is a great way to learn how its technology works. Check on your manufacturers website or search for model specific tips like this article on CNET.

Take Time to Plan

  • Create an outline to map out your video shoot and make the most of your time and that of the people working with you.
  • Planning is essential to getting the shots you need, the sound you want and making sure the story comes together.
  • Planning is also a huge timesaver when shooting and editing. If you can’t hire a video crew, consider working with a producer to streamline the process and make sure your production accomplishes its goal.

Edit Like a Pro (nearly)

  • Editing might seem daunting, but there are some great tools available to help you do some simple edits that look great. Apple bundles iMovie with Mac OS. Microsoft bundles Video Editor with Windows 10. Both are easy to learn and offer enough flexibility to make your efforts look great.

Our experienced team can help you create great video content, even if you’re shooting it yourself. Let’s talk!

For more stories about the value of video, read our recent posts The Fiver: Tips for Successful Videos, and The Zoom-erific Top 7.

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