Supply List for Do-It-Yourself Video
Today in our arts and craft class at Camp Pathfinder we are talking about how to make good video!
Now more than ever, video is an important asset to incorporate into your marketing. BUT just any ‘ole video won’t do the trick. And while everyone may have a camera in their pocket, that’s only a small piece of the puzzle.
You want people to watch. You want them to hear your story, to invest in your mission.
Which is why we’ve put together this simple yet effective Supply List for Do-It-Yourself Video.
Supply List for Do-It-Yourself Video
Best part? All the gear listed below is under $20.
No one can hold their phone steady – it is impossible to do. And if you don’t have someone to hold it for you, a tripod with a phone holder is a great way to get smooth, high-quality video.
Pro Tip: If your footage turns out shaky despite your best efforts, video stabilization software can help to fix it afterwards. Some cameras also have built-in stabilization that you can use while you’re filming.
Dark video is just that, dark and hard to watch. First use the light source that is readily available and free – the sun! Natural lighting looks and works great. Just make sure you aren’t pointing the camera into the sun with your subject matter standing in front of it. You’ll instead want to have your subject facing the light source or in it’s main cast. If you’re indoors, stand near a window with the light shining in – but again, do not stand your subject with their back directly facing the window.
Pro Tip: Do your best to get your footage in the morning or evening, when the light is softer.
No natural light to use indoors? Clamp lights from the hardware store will do the trick. They are very useful and very affordable! What’s great is you can get all kinds of light bulbs to best fit your needs: warm white, cool white, multicolored, and party ones that change color.
Pro Tip: Sometimes the light you are using is too bright or too harsh. Put some wax paper or parchment paper over the light to add some nice diffusion.
Good video is only as good as the sound. While a mic is a great way to get good sound, it’s not a necessity. To ensure good quality sound, pay attention to your surroundings. For example, if you are filming near a busy street with loud distractions, you will want to use a mic. Recording in a quiet room or office gives the best results without a mic.
Okay, great! We’ve taken some quality video. Now what? Time to put it all together and hit that share button! How? Luckily there are a lot of resources available for editing video. Our go to? Adobe Creative Cloud – Rush (also available on mobile) and Premiere. But that’s not all. If you’re using an iPhone already, you can take advantage of Apple’s free editing software – iMovie – right on your phone. And there are plenty of other free (or paid) options to get you on your way to production.
EXTRA! EXTRA! Handheld Phone Stabilizer (over $20)
This gimbal allows us to shoot quality, stable video content wherever we are! It’s quick and easy to use, very portable, and helps create some fun content for ourselves and our clients. While this piece of equipment may be over $20, we strongly recommend adding it to your list. We promise you won’t regret having one on hand!
Patience and Practice
This simple supply list is only the beginning. Trial and error, a lot of bloopers, and a whole lot of patience and practice.
The goal of any video is for your story to be heard. The goal of a good video is to have something meaningful to say. And everyone is passionate about their business when talking to other people about it, but how are you when talking to a camera about your business? Awkward and self-conscious? Duh! Humans aren’t born being able to be eloquent in front of a camera. Be patient with yourself when recording your videos.
Pro Tip: Like running, swimming, or playing basketball, talking in front of a camera gets more comfortable with practice. Record yourself talking about your day or talking about your favorite food. More importantly, watch that video to see what you would like to improve.
Okay, just a few more tips.
You can use your phone to capture professional video footage. But there are a few things in mind if you’re going to use your phone for video creation.
- Use the camera on the back of your phone. The front camera’s quality is not as good on most phones.
- Record in landscape mode (that is, horizontally instead of vertically). This will give you footage that looks good on larger devices, not just phone screens.
- If your phone has a feature that allows you to overlay a grid on your screen, use it. This will help you keep your phone level and avoid tilted footage.
Poor technique isn’t the only thing that can make a video look unprofessional. A lack of planning can also leave viewers underwhelmed with your finished product. By taking the time to plan your video thoroughly before you start production, you can ensure that the quality of your actual content is just as good as the quality of your footage.
And remember, the team at Pathfinder is always here to help you with tips and tricks and bringing your story to life through video.