Being confined to our homes doesn’t mean we should stop making videos. For many of our clients, using video has been an important way to keep in touch with staff and customers and we’ve been making sure they feel confident about filming themselves at home.
You don’t need a kit or a crew to make good videos, you just need to know the right tricks and tools. With a bit more time spent at home, it could be time to experiment and get creative. Here are some of our top tips for making videos from home…
There’s nothing more frustrating than watching a video and realising that no matter how much you adjust your device brightness; the video is still too bright or too dark. Standing with your back against your double door patio on a sunny day might seem like a great idea at the time, but the result will actually be an over exposed video.
Instead, try facing a window and filming at times of the day when there is softer light. Early morning or late afternoon work well. If you have no access to natural light, experiment with different light sources in your house – room lights, lamps or you could even try diffusing the torch from your phone with a piece of paper. There’s plenty of DIY lighting solutions online too, so do your research and find something that suits your home environment.
Keep your background simple and clean. Try not to clutter the scene with lots of accessories as it can distract the viewer from the main subject of the video. If you’re worried a plain wall will look dull, try adding a simple prop to the background. Make sure to refocus the subject after changing the scene too, nobody wants a blurry image!
This may seem like an obvious tip, but if you’re using a phone or tablet, always use the back lens. The built in camera app on your device probably won’t let you adjust things like the aperture or white balance, but it is worth investing in an app which allows you to do that. One in particular that we’ve found to be great is ProMovie. This can unlock settings like shutter speed, autofocus and ISO.
You don’t need a tripod to keep your footage from being shaky! You can just prop your camera/phone up against some books or get help from a family member with a steady hand. This will make your video look ten times more professional.
Do your best to find a quiet space to film in. Avoid next to the radio or TV. Having bad audio can be extremely distracting when you’re watching a video, especially if it’s a tutorial or a demonstration. If you don’t have a professional microphone, try using another phone closer to the subject to capture dialogue. You can match up the second audio with the original later on and you will definitely notice a difference.
Not many of us like being on camera but now the eyes of the office and camera crew are no longer studying you, it’s a great time to perfect your acting (or action technique). Some of the important things to remember when on camera is to smile, pick one spot to look at, accentuate your speech, and have calm and open body language. Do plenty of takes until you are happy with your footage so that when you get into editing you don’t realise that you were speaking at 50 mph.
You can really take your video up a notch by doing some basic editing. There are hundreds of editing software tools available online, but they are often pricey and non-user friendly to beginners. iMovie is a free and easy to use option for mac users and Kapwing is a great online tool for quick and easy editing solutions. Here are a few of our editing do’s and don’ts:
- Do add an appropriate royalty free soundtrack.
- Do add subtitles (this can be done easily on Kapwing).
- Do add simple transitions like fade to black or cross fade.
- Do cut out awkward pauses or parts that you don’t want to include.
- Do resize the video for the platform it will be hosted on.
- Don’t make the volume of the soundtrack louder than the dialogue.
- Don’t add over the top transitions, they may look flash, but have you ever seen them used seriously?
- Don’t ignore out of sync audio.
- Don’t cut the video in the middle of action or dialogue.
Lastly, remember that filming yourself might not be the most effective type of video for you. Think about the purpose of the content and what message you’re trying to send. You might realise that actually another method might work better; such as an animation with a voiceover.
If you need support implementing video into your communications strategy, get in touch with our experienced team who can help with everything from planning out what to say to editing the final video cut.