If you’re one of the millions of people adjusting to “work-at-home” life, but you’re now freaking out because you were about to start using video in your content marketing, it’s OK. If you were counting on a professional videographer to handle the job, you’ll be happy to hear that with some easy, how-to video ideas, you can do it yourself. And you can film a great video without a lot of fancy equipment or techniques.
If your experience with video is nothing more than filming a ball game or a dance recital, you may be a little intimidated by filming something for work. The good news is that you don’t have to know about all the new techniques and jargon. With today’s cameras (even the one on your phone) and equipment, it is easier than it looks.
The fact is, filming a video doesn’t have to be difficult. So don’t get put off by the accessories, the jargon, the complex-sounding techniques and the daunting levels of work that pro videographers and cinematographers have to put into making their films. You can start shooting video at any level, and work as far up the ladder as you want to go.
The difference between nice light and no lighting is quite noticeable. Cameras need much more light to see things than the human eye does, so adding some source of light to your subject will fill in shadows and brighten the overall scene, creating a more pleasing-looking image.
You can add lighting to your scene in multiple ways. One technique is to shoot with a window off to the side for some natural light. You can also use household lighting fixtures to place around your subject, or by placing them underneath overhead lights, like a ceiling fan. If you are at your desk and shooting, try propping up your phone's flashlight and pointing it at your face. Even something as small as that will make a difference.
If you do plan on recording at your home, it's still important to try to keep the shots visually interesting. This can be achieved by staging your video in front of an area with a nice looking background, such as a tidy office or well-organized dining room.
Keeping things interesting is important to hold a viewer's attention, so small details like this make a big difference. And try not to shoot directly in front of windows, as that will create backlighting that turns you into a silhouette.
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Another option to helping produce a high-production-value video is to mix up your shots by adding in some b-roll. Your videos will be more engaging if you are able to show what you are talking about when you are saying it. It also gives some variety to what the viewer is watching, instead of staying on the same shot for long periods of time. And lastly, this allows you to edit together multiple takes if you stumbled a few times while recording.
Even if you don’t own a dedicated camera, you are still capable of recording video with your phone. While the quality isn't going to look as nice as it would with a more expensive camera, you can still make it look professional and get the job done.
Some quick tips for using your phone are to go into the camera settings and switch your recording mode to the highest resolution (4K or 1080p), change your frame rate to 24fps (frames per second), and make sure your subject is in focus by tapping it on your phone screen. If you know your way around camera settings, then I also recommend downloading an iPhone app called Filmic Pro, which unlocks many more features and functions on your camera, like recording speeds and the ability to fine-tune smaller adjustments.
If you do have a budget and want to purchase a camera, a few options could be a DSLR like a Canon Rebel t7 ($465), a mirrorless camera like the Sony a6000 ($568), or a detachable Moment Lens ($96) for your phone.
Stabile footage is one of the keys to a great video. If your video is shaky and all over the place, it's noticeable to the viewer and makes it harder to watch. Investing in a tripod is a smart idea to keep your camera locked down. Depending on where you are shooting, you can either buy a full-sized tripod, like a Manfrotto Element Traveler, or maybe you only need a mini tabletop tripod like this Manfrotto PIXI if you are shooting at your desk. If you have no budget, just find things around your house to prop the camera up, as long as it's safe and secure.
Having clear audio is essential to having a watchable video. If you have amazing footage but bad sound, viewers won't stick around your video for long. While the mic on your phone may work decently if you are close to your camera, it usually sounds hollow, and also picks up all background noise in your immediate area.
To capture higher-quality and direct audio, you will need to purchase a separate microphone. Two options for this are either a small lavalier microphone that you plug right into your phone (provided you have an extra phone to record to if you're using your current one to film yourself or are recording selfie-style) or a dedicated audio recorder that you can clip onto yourself like the Zoom F1. Attaching a lavalier mic right below where you are speaking, it will pick up clear and full sounding audio while focusing on your voice, rather than the air vents and appliance buzzing. All you have to do is sync the audio to the video in your preferred editing software.
We hope these easy, how-to video ideas help you with your next work at home video project. By paying attention to some of these details before you hit “record” you can produce quality videos for your company (from home). Lighting and sound are very important. If you can establish both, you’ll be surprised how good your videos turn out.
If you’re comfortable with filming, but need help editing your video, feel free to contact us. We may be able to answer any questions or even edit the video for you.