So You Want to Make a Video – A DIY Guide

Shooting a promotional video is a great idea; as attention spans shorten, many consumers will prefer a video over scrolling through text. Creating a short, informative video is a smart way to grab your customer’s attention and deliver targeted information. In order to keep your customer’s attention, you must make sure that your video is professional and visually appealing.

DIY Video Basics

·       Aspect Ratio: Simply put, aspect ratio is the height and width of your video. Consumers are used to watching videos in a landscape, wide-screen format, and they will expect exactly that. A vertical image will look like you used your smartphone and will not come across as professional.

·       Film Quality: If possible, you should consider purchasing a good video camera with compatible wireless microphones (if you have speaking subjects), as well as a tripod in order to produce a top-notch video. If you must make a video using a smartphone, there are some applications, such as Vidify, that will help you produce good-quality videos. Tripods for smartphones are also available if you would like to avoid shaky footage.

·       Lighting: The key is to make sure that your subjects are clearly visible. The rule of thumb is to use as much light as you can. If possible, shoot outdoors on a cloudy day or in the morning/late afternoon (direct sunlight causes shadows.) If shooting indoors, turn on as many lights as you can (or invest in lighting.) Finally, make sure that your subject’s faces are not shadowed and the footage does not look grainy or dark. Know that what you see with your naked eye is not necessarily what translates on screen, so check your footage often.

·       Noise: Unfortunately, video cameras can pick up a lot of noise that you don’t notice, such as a ding of a distant elevator, traffic, breathing, etc. Putting a microphone (that connects remotely to a compatible camera) is the best solution, and it also blocks out all other noise. If this is not an option, try to find a quiet location where you don’t get a lot of noise pollution.

·       Your Subject: If using a human subject, you will need to decide if they will be looking directly at the camera or not. This is entirely up to you and what kind of tone you’d like to set for your video. A tip is to watch some commercials on TV and decide what style you prefer. Also, make sure that your actor will be relatable to your target audience and relevant to your product.  Appropriate hair, makeup and wardrobe are key details if you want your video to be extremely professional.

·       Continuity: Continuity basically means that your video flows and looks like it was shot in one take, even if it is shot over multiple takes or days. Lighting and film quality should stay consistent, and check to make sure that your subject does not have on a different necktie between two scenes (for example.) If you scrutinize a Hollywood movie, you can actually spot continuity errors all the time. The industry has specially trained staff members whose sole responsibility is to watch out for these types of errors that are easy to overlook.

·       Scenery: Finally, pick scenes that are relevant to your product and target audience, and make sure that nothing in the background is distracting or cluttered. 

If after reading this you would like to hire a professional to shoot your business videos, please contact me and I can send you a referral. 



This post was authored by Maya Reynolds.