Over the past couple of months you've most probably appeared on more videos than you've ever planned to. You've most probably also had to do it without the benefit of the knowledge of the equipment and skills that makes the video recording process a lot easier.
We have good news ... the worst part is over!
No amount of equipment or training can ever replace the value of the experience you've already gained. However, now that you have the experience, there are a few bits and pieces that could make your journey with video easier and more polished.
To record great video you need 6 things:
A RECORDING DEVICE
These days using a higher end smartphone is more than enough to record videos for communication campaigns. Even some recent full-length films were recorded entirely on smartphones!
One of the reasons for recording video with your phone rather than with your laptop is that it is easier to place the phone at eye level and exactly where you want it. Experiment with making your own smartphone tripod or just buy one.
The other important reason for using your smartphone rather than the webcam integrated into your laptop is resolution - the quality of the image. The resolution of an integrated webcam and the front (selfie) camera is much lower than that of the back camera of most smartphones. The image recorded by the back camera of a smartphone will therefore almost always be crisper with more balanced lighting.
Using the back camera also helps to not be distracted by your own image displaying on the phone screen. If you deliver your message while looking straight into the camera lens you'll establish a great connection with your audience.
If you do use either the front (selfie) camera on your phone, or the integrated webcam of you laptop, be sure to look directly into the camera lens. The same goes for online meetings ... resist the urge to look at someone's face when they're talking. Train your eye to still look into the camera and to pick on on facial cues from your peripheral vision.
If your smartphone doesn't have enough memory to record you can still use you computer to record ... while using your smartphone as a virtual webcam. You can do this by downloading an app on your website and running the corresponding software on your computer. Read more about this nifty workaround.
HIGH QUALITY SOUND
The onboard camera of a smartphone or entry level digital camera often picks up ambient noises and sound reverberations. One way to reduce this is to use an external microphone. Whether you're using the built-in microphone of your recording device or and external camera, try to record your video in a room with lots of soft furnishings. Hard and flat surfaces bounce soundwaves around resulting in an “empty room” sound.
This article is an easy read of the best type of sound dampening materials.
Since photography and videography can be loosely defined as “painting with light”, the lighting source for your video is of utmost importance.
If you're using natural light make sure it's from a window that it relatively in front of you, not at the back. This might mean that you have to play around a bit to find a spot that has both a suitable background AND suitable lighting from the front. Here's why you should do everything you can to avoid backlighting.
The easiest way to get around lighting problems is to invest in a ring light. If you buy one with a smartphone holder and tripod then you've checked two boxes in one! You can also check out this nifty kit that checks even more boxes.
A CAPTIVATING SCRIPT (NO REHEARSAL REQUIRED)
The best videos are quick to the point and show the personality of the person on camera. From personal experience we know how hard it is to strike a balance between being personable and professional, and delivering the message in a natural manner or stiff and rehearsed.
Now you can have the best of both worlds. Simply use your phone as a teleprompter! We use Speechway. Using your phone as a teleprompter might force you to use the front (selfie) camera, but by borrowing a second smartphone, and with a bit of rubberband rigging you can use one phone to record and one phone to display your script.
To look like a pro when you use a teleprompter app be sure to use these tips.
A teleprompter makes it MUCH easier to record your video in one smooth take, which in the end makes it a lot easier to polish the video with editing.
You don’t need expensive software to edit videos for communication campaign. Sometimes the video editing app already installed on your smartphone is more than enough for basic trimming and adding titles and supporting text.
Alternatively there are quite a few beginner friendly online editing suites available at a reasonable fee. If you want to get a bit more serious (without spending any money) try using Hitfilm Express.
SEND LARGE FILES WITH EASE
Once you've recorded your video and polished it with a bit of editing it is time to get it to its intended destination. This often means that you have to send large file sizes. WeTransfer is one of the easiest ways to do this. It even has a smartphone app, but it's sometimes hard to use. Whenever we have to send large files from our phones we upload the file to Google Drive via its mobile app and the share link with the intended recipient.
Let us know how this helped!