Once you’ve determined how Video Marketing fits into your overall business Strategy and determined what kind of Storytelling will best engage your target customer, it’s time to shoot your video.
This post will run down what you need to know when it comes to creating a video for your Small Business, whether you’ll be behind or in front of the camera, or both!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Choosing the Right Location for Your Shoot
What Camera Should You Use for DIY Video
Accessorizing for a Smart Phone Shoot
How to Light a Talking Head Shoot
A Bit More on Backgrounds
What to Wear – or not Wear – on Camera
Framing a Talking-Head Shoot
Shooting a Talking-Head Video
There’s a lot of information, but I’ve broken it down into these chunks so you can feel aware and prepared going into your DIY video marketing shoot.
So let’s get started!
1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT LOCATION FOR YOUR SHOOT
Looking for and finding a good spot to shoot can make or break the “quality” look and feel you may want to portray of yourself and your company.
Modeled after the steps that a location scout will go through on a professional video shoot, I’ve created this simplified checklist for finding your DIY video location shoot.
I’ll go deeper into some of the steps below (background, lighting) in this guide, but if you don’t start off with a decent location then you’ll be setting yourself up for a more difficult experience than necessary.
Now that you have all your tools, it’s time to frame your perfect shot.
FRAMING A TALKING-HEAD SHOT
As you choose your frame look out for the following:
Check if the lens of your phone on the same height as your eye line (for details see video below)
Check what is inside the frame: you can cut off the top of your head, but be sure to leave enough space at the bottom for closed captions and graphics (never frame a shot to be right on your chin, go to at least mid-chest)
Put yourself slightly off center in the frame, it’s a more pleasing composition
Make sure the light source is behind the camera. If there is a window in the room, you should be facing it – don’t have it behind you or the background light will make editing a nightmare. It looks even better if you turn on a 30-degree angle and have the light source hit your face halfway from the front and side
Don’t stand under a headlight – it will cause shadows under your eyes and nose
If you’re not comfortable with lots of editing, shoot until you have an entire run-through that’s good and can be used as is
Do not use a cheat sheet – the camera will pick up your eyes shifting back and forth
If you need to, make sure you powder or blot your face between takes
If you’re using a ‘natural’ background make sure there’s nothing weird: like a plant that appears to be growing out of your head or a book shelf with embarrassing book titles, etc.
Find out more about framing by watching this video:
SHOOTING A TALKING-HEAD SHOT
Be patient and follow these tips and you should be all set:
This might sound basic but, don’t forget to hit record! I just recently did a GREAT shoot, only to realize that I never recorded it
Talk slowly and be aware of your filler words. I tend to go nuts on “ahems”… a nightmare to edit and tedious for the listener
Err on the side of authenticity and a longer natural shoot, rather than a fully scripted and prompted one or a stiff-from-memory-delivery
Record a first take and then immediately watch to make sure everything looks and sounds great
Between takes turn the recorder off and back on again it makes finding stuff easier later than having to slosh through a massively long take
If you take notes (and I suggest you take notes!) hold up a post-it with consecutive numbers for each take. Write down which takes are the best and refer to the numbers on the post-its – this will make editing later so much easier
Upload your clips immediately after shooting (I use airdrop – which is much faster than uploading to Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud)
The following video has tips on how to look and sound your best on-camera:
The videos above were all shot with an iPhone 7 using a clip-on microphone and edited on Adobe Premiere. The graphics were prepared in Adobe Photoshop and then imported into Premiere.
Altogether, it took me about 50 minutes to shoot four 2 to 3.5-minute-long videos. That time does not include scripting beforehand and getting ready in terms of wardrobe and makeup – everyone has a different threshold for preparation.
WHEN IT COMES TO B-ROLL
Keep it simple and get lots and lots of coverage
B-roll is the footage or the clips that support the story you are telling, often things like establishing shots of a building or the room you are in. So, if you own a bike shop, your b-roll might be interior shots of the shop, the mechanics at work, customers shopping, a cyclist pulling up to the store with her bike, etc.
You might ask yourself what b-roll is for? Let’s say you give an interview and you’re talking about your bike shop it’s a hundred times more interesting to see images of the bike shop than hearing you talk about it. The principle is: Show don’t tell. If you are a service provider this is – obviously – a bit harder, because you don’t have a physical product to show.
Don’t try to follow the action, let the action unfold in the frame (following action is for pros)
Keep the camera as still as possible (see above)
Get as close to the action as possible
Shoot in short concise spurts
Don’t attempt to “cover” the entire event or happening: Choose key moments and concentrate on those
If you shoot your product (i.e. bicycles) go slow and steady and keep camera movements to a minimum. You can always create movement in editing or jazz the footage up with upbeat music
There are many variables to any shoot. If you’re starting out with DIY video marketing, keep it simple and short. Give yourself time to try out what works for you and what doesn’t.
If there’s anything else you’d like to add to these lists, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments.
Happy Friday the 13th… I know it doesn’t mean anything, nor do I find the combination of a random day of the week paired with an equally as random number scary.
What is however a tad scary, is that I entered into a 30-day video challenge.
My challengers and I are all producing a video a (business) day for the month of October and posting daily to our YouTube channels. So that’s 22 videos in 30 days.
I’ve survived videos one through 10 so far and have made some discoveries for myself. Notably:
Routine makes things easier (duh)
Organizing upfront pays off later (double duh)
Plans to re-invent the wheel (i.e. the video style) every week NOT going to happen if the task is 22 videos in 30 days and not winning a beauty contest.
Finding video content is the easiest part
If you’re sloppy with ANY step of shooting, organzing files, editing, rendering, and uploading to YouTube you’ll pay for it dearly during the following step(s)
Here a link to video #8: Storytelling, Finding Content. Find out how super easy it is to get to content consistently!
And, since you’re at it, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel!
I have another challenge going with my nephew as to who will have more subscribers by the end of the year. And although, currently ahead of the curve, I don’t trust those digital natives. One viral video and I’m toast!
Video Tech Specs:
All videos are shot on my iPhone 7 with a Sennheiser clip-on microphone, edited on Adobe Premiere. The graphics are produced in Adobe Photoshop and then imported into Premiere.
You know that awesome feeling when you teach something and it totally lands? Yeah, like your dog finally sits without getting a treat each time you tell him to, or a swimmer finally puts a stroke together that you’ve been showing her for a while, or a student has that awesome “aha” moment.
That’s how I felt when I watched this video:
I had taught a class at a Bronx high school for an EDsnaps summer program run by Susanne Cappendijk, and her daughter Lisanne, listened to my class and then went off and made this video; from scratch. I love every frame of it. Continue reading →
On a recent workshop I hosted, I learned to my amazement that participants weren’t as much interested in the finer points of video marketing, equipment choices, and video SEO, but they did want to know all about how to look good on camera.
Excellent, my peeps are stepping out from behind the scenes and into the limelight! So, in addition to the showing-off your best self on camera, I wanted to share some wardrobe tips to give you a full picture. Continue reading →
I’ve been playing around with different lighting scenarios at my home office, mostly with available light, but also with a “home depot” DIY light kit I put together. This a screen shot of what an order for 2 lights would look like. The bulbs are “daylight” to complement a window. If you had no window you would be looking for “warmer” light bulbs, so-call tungsten lighting.