It’s nearly indisputable: video content is changing the game on social media, whether in standard posts, Instagram Stories, or Facebook Live. According to Hubspot, 87% of businesses are using video in advertisements as well as in their overall content strategies. This medium is gaining traction in large part because of its effectiveness in generating engagement: in fact, video posts get 48% more views than posts without! Why? Among other reasons, people tend to prefer and engage with video because it can come across as more approachable than a static image.
Not sure where to start when creating video content for your brand? Here are some tried-and-true tips to get you filming like a pro:
5 Videography Tips
Tip #1: Start with a plan.
Before you grab that video camera, head to the drawing board! You’ll want to create a storyboard that includes illustrations of your scenes in sequence. This allows you to visualize your final footage, which in turn will help you determine how to capture it. This storyboard will serve as a guide during shooting as well as in the editing process.
In addition to a storyboard, or your visual plan, you will need a “shot list,” which is a written list of planned videos along with accompanying supplies (and locations, as applicable). A good rule of thumb is to keep each shot at least 10 seconds long: let the action in your shot speak for itself (i.e. each should have a very clear purpose and role) before cutting to the next.
Pro-tip: Keep shot lengths relatively consistent in order to create a more fluid viewing experience.
Tip #2: Stabilization is a must!
There’s nothing worse than watching a video taken on a shaking phone, so don’t subject your audience to that nausea-inducing experience! We recommend investing in a tripod for capturing footage. This applies even if the plan is to use a smartphone to film: there are smartphone-adaptable tripods on the market that are truly game-changers in terms of video quality. Additionally, once you’ve started filming, try not to move the location of the camera—in other words, keep panning and zooming to a minimum. If you need to zoom in or out, reshoot the footage from a closer or farther distance, or zoom in or out prior to hitting “record”.
Tip #3: Capture a variety of shot types - close-up, medium angle, wide angle.
Experiment with different angles. Instead of getting all shots from the same corner, get in the middle of the action! Changing your perspective results in a shot composition that is more visually appealing, and in turn, more engaging. Make sure to get different angles while shooting too, because this enables you to vary the aesthetic when selecting shots for the final product.
Bonus tips for fresh:
- When taking field shots, use the widest angle.
- To capture an apple on a tree or a hand picking corn, shoot a close-up.
- Medium angles are used to capture a range of depths in the frame overall, with a more clear focus on the foreground (think of an interview, for example).
- Be especially sure to keep the above “10-second rule” in mind for shots like these!
Tip #4: Be intentional about your lighting.
Determine the types of lighting needed to achieve the desired aesthetic—leverage natural lighting if you can! Natural lighting can come from shooting outdoors, yes, but you also can get this look by shooting in an indoor space that gets a lot of natural
light through big windows, skylights, etc. Remember that mood and lighting work in tandem, so to convey a serious tone, consider the use of shadows. However, for something more cheerful and airy, take your filming outside whenever possible.
Light ranges on a scale of more red (warm), like candlelight, to blue (cool), like outdoors on a cloudy day. In each different setting, “true white” will appear different to your camera as a result of the light source. There is a feature on your camera that will allow you to manually adjust the white balance in each location. Each time you move to a new location, remember to white-balance your camera.
Pro tip: for soft lighting, shoot outdoors on a cloudy day, either an hour after sunrise or an hour after sunset.
Tip #5: “Is this thing on?” Make sure you’re ready for audio.
If possible, try to avoid using your camera’s microphone. We prefer using an external audio recorder or a mic attachment, which is the most reliable way to capture quality audio to enhance your video. Make sure to place the microphone in an optimal location in relation to the speaking subject—and be sure it stays still!
Pro tip: take a test recording of the audio in the recording space to check for any major audio distractions, which can range anywhere from an AC unit clicking on or off to someone wheeling a chair across the room.
Written by: Audrey Miranda