It’s never been easier to make videos. We are carrying around high definition cameras in our pockets and bags everywhere we go, and it can be as simple as pointing the camera and press the red Record button. The less easy bit is making the phone videos looks professional and high quality.
TWO. Making videos doesn’t have to take much time.
The cameras are designed to automatically find focus and exposure, so it’s not like the bigger professional cameras, where you have to set these manually. So, once the conditions are right, the videos can look super with just a few minutes set up. These conditions are (a) light and (b) sound. See below.
THREE. Short quality videos can be made inexpensively.
In theory, you can make quality-looking videos on your phone without using any additional equipment or apps.
However, if you do want to make those videos look and sound professional, I recommend you spend around 100 euros on (a) a lavalier microphone, a tripod and mount, and a good editing app.
See our other blog (equipment) for details of our recommended equipment.
FOUR. Planning is essential to save time and battery.
As I said, you can be spontaneous and just point and shoot a video if the mood takes you.
But you can save yourself a lot of time, and frustration (not to mention battery and storage) if you put a bit of time into planning your video first. Planning your shots, your recording space, and your script.
FIVE Scripting is not that difficult.
Ask yourself – what do I want to say in this video? Write that down in a few notes on a sheet of paper.
Now, say that out loud and hear it – does it sound right?
Next, open the selfie camera on your phone and deliver the script – and try not to be too self-conscious!
Most of us detest looking at or hearing ourselves – unless you are one of those digital natives who grew up making selfies from an early age. For the rest of us, it’s a matter of getting over it.
SIX. Practising does help.
The first time you talk to a camera yourself, or make a video, it can be like the first time you tried to drive a car or ride a bike. Not pretty. But practising really does help. Those spare moments in the day – take out the camera and record.
SEVEN Planning the shots and the ‘studio’.
If you are planning to do regular videos about your business, or give presentations to camera it’s well worth putting time into finding a good space where your background is right and you look well. This should also be a space that’s quiet with few distractions. I am not saying you need a full green-screen, professionally lit studio. But it will save you a lot of time if you are doing regular videos to find a recording space that works for you.
EIGHT Talk to a person, not a camera.
Presenting to camera can be difficult. My tip is to look at that (very small!) camera like it is a face of someone you know and like. And then imagine that face in your brain when you are talking to the camera. It takes a bit of practice but this does work.
NINE Lighting really helps.
Natural daylight and the lovely Irish sunshine makes a big difference when making videos on your phone as the camera is optimised for bright daylight. So ensure that daylight is on the subject’s face when recording – this makes a big difference.
In the dull or winter days, you should consider a white light as an addition to your equipment list.
TEN Just do it.
Don’t put it off any longer! Video is really a great way to engage with your audience, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just good – good lighting, good sound and steady.
Aileen O’Meara is a former RTE TV journalist and producer. She provides bespoke training, scheduled workshops and online video training that demystifies video for everyone. www.videotraining.ie