We’ve been doing a lot of video work lately, which is always a lot of fun because you get to play with all the gear that comes along with it. Depending on the shoot, we’ll use a DSLR, a couple of LED light banks, a boom or wireless microphone, and Adobe Premiere and After Effects to put it all together. This is a pretty standard setup for anyone to do video, and we think the ones we make come out great.
However, what if you don’t have any of this stuff and still want to get into the video content marketing game? I’m willing to bet we can set you up with a video studio TODAY, with just the stuff you have around the office.
Check your pockets… almost any phone made in the last year will shoot HD video. If you have an iPhone, you have a camera in your pocket capable of shooting 1080p (or 4k video if you have the 6s). The single biggest barrier for getting into video is now something that is in everyone’s pocket, and you are probably already an expert in using it. High def camera? Check!
What separates a great video from a terrible video? The audio. You can shoot 4k video all day, but if the audio is being recorded from across the room, your subject will sound like they floating in space. We use boom microphones or cleverly hidden wireless mics, but you don’t need to do either to improve your audio. Just grab a second phone and place it just off camera to record the audio of your subject. The audio will sound much clearer, and you can match up the audio with the video later in post production.
Unless you work in a cave, you most likely work in a well-lit environment. The one thing you need to remember is that your subject needs to be brighter than the background. This makes your subject pop out, and it also tells your camera what to focus on. Moving your subject near a window (but not in front of one) or use soft lights like these from IKEA to give your subject a nice, even glow.
Now that you have your gear – get creative on how you use it. A handheld video can look shaky and unprofessional — try creating a tripod using binder clips. Use a rolling office chair as a makeshift dolly to add smooth motion to your video. Get creative, just remember you have to put it all together at the end.
Now that you’ve shot your video, you have to put it together. Whether you work on Macs or PCs, you have free options for editing that are incredibly easy to use and understand. Fire up iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, Google a few tutorials and start putting it together. You can purchase single use background music for as little as $5 from sites like Pond5 or AudioJungle. Watch other videos you like and emulate them, because practice makes perfect.
No one is going to become a video expert in a day, but the point is that you no longer have to. Because the gear is so commonplace, you can start working on your videos and get the feel for what works and what doesn’t without spending a penny. If you don’t want to start big, you can dip your toe in the video pool with Instagram or Vine. Whatever you do, don’t use the lack of gear as an excuse for not creating video for your company.
If you have specific questions about gear, shooting or editing, leave them in the comments! We’d love to help.
If video still seems daunting or your video dreams are a little outside what your brand new video studio can produce, get a hold of us and let’s make something awesome.