As I dabble into the world of do-it-yourself videos, I wanted to share my recommendations and lessons learned. My videos aren’t perfect, but after looking back on what I used to make when I first started, I’m pretty damn proud of myself.
How are you going to take video?
If you have a smart phone you’re in good shape. I started with my Canon T5i, but found the set up with tripod and external microphone was way to labor intensive for video quality that was comparable to what I got from my camera.
If you’re using PowerPoint, feel free to use Zoom. It’s a great option to sync your audio and visual in one. Make sure your computer camera and microphone options are good.
How are you going to shoot your video?
You could just use your phone as is, but you’ll also need something to stabilize the shot. I’ve seen Youtube videos where people use books. You want to test that the angle is flattering. Also make sure that you have clear light. The darker it is, the more pixilated you become.
If you don’t want to go the book method, I use a flex tripod that I set up on my desk, on a step stool or on the top of my computer. It’s about $25 bucks on Amazon in a kit that includes a selfie-stick, remote and a couple of lenses. I only use the remote and stand. It definitely does an amazing job for the price. Side note: I had to have the tripod replaced twice after the legs came off – which the company did for free and they let me know the manufacturing error has been resolved.
If you want a clearer sound, you can do a lapel mic for cheap.
I went with an external microphone that plugs into my iPhone. It’s a bit pricey, but I really enjoy the range of pick up I can change and wind reduction option if I’m filming outside.
How are you going to edit your video?
Unless you are a magician at timing and perfectly polished on screen in one take, I highly recommend getting comfortable with editing software. If you have an iPhone or Mac, you’ll have iMovie included. It’s great for quick edits, text overlays, fade in and out. If you have Fred Flintstone thumbs or want more options, I recommend Wondershare Filmora. It’s about $60 to purchase, but well worth it. You can download a free trial before you commit. Make sure you play around with it before purchasing. If you need more instruction, they have tutorials on their website.
Creating your video
Make sure you export it at the highest quality so all of your hard work can shine. If you’re uploading it to Facebook, save your movie to your desktop and then upload it. I’m not sure what happens between your phone and Facebook, but it loves to lower the resolution of your videos.
1) Create a Script Before Starting
2) Break Up Your Talking Points – Piece together as needed in editing
3) Mix Up Your Angles for Visual Interest
4) Design the Space Behind You with Interesting Items or Layers
5) Include Subtitles when Possible – Some people don’t listen to videos with the volume on
6) Be Kind and Patient to Yourself – This will take longer than you think
7) Have Fun! People connect with smiles and an engaging presence.