Ep 4: What’s in a video?

Sometimes, you’ve got to do it yourself. Tune in this week as we dive into the basics of creating videos yourself and how it can impact your brand.

Chris Figueroa
Video is becoming an increasingly important part of a successful business. More and more companies are developing their online presence through social media, websites, podcasts, and of course videos.

You may assume that the camera’s the most important part of video production.
However, the camera itself is only a small part when compared to the other components of video production. Lights, sound set design, shot composition and editing are all equally as important. You can’t have one without the other.

Large brands that sell products or services like Apple, Nike, or Google pour a lot of time, effort, and money into producing high quality videos that stick in the mind of their audiences. But what if you don’t have a multimillion dollar budget? What if you don’t even have access to a videographer or production company? As someone just starting out, it’s useful to have an understanding of the skills and the processes behind them.
In this episode, I will outline some key aspects that are important to know when getting started in the world of video.

As award winning photographer, Chase Jarvis says “the best. Camera’s the one you already have.” You don’t necessarily have to go out and purchase an expensive camera to produce a great video. If you’re starting out, practicing with what you currently have is a great way to learn what you need and what you don’t need out of a camera. Thanks to the rapid advancement of consumer technology. Most people already have a great camera at their fingertips in the form of their smartphone. Any modern smartphone already shoots high quality video. Sure it’s not quite as professional or advanced as an expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera, but it will definitely get the job done.

It is more important to understand how to compose your subject and crave visually appealing shots. I find it best to use the rule of thirds when developing a basic understanding of the shot composition. Imagine your camera frame divided into thirds vertically and horizontally creating a three by three grid. By placing your focal point at one of the four cross sections of the grid, you can obtain a balance and visually dynamic shot.

Lighting is an often overlooked aspect of video production. You can have the most expensive camera in the world, but it’s useless if you don’t have proper lighting.

Lighting will make or break a video. You can have the best audio quality, best camera, quality, impeccable shot composition and amazing set design, but all of that will fall short if the scene is not properly lit. As with cameras, you don’t necessarily need to purchase expensive lighting to create a clean and professionally looking video. The best source of light that anyone has access to is the sun.

Filming next to an open window is a quick, cheap way to get a large source of light. Make sure that you’re not filming the window directly behind your subject as this will cause your subject to become a silhouette. Instead, place your subject next to the window. Using a thin curtain to soften the light. This will create shadows that are much more flattering on your subject. Another easy lighting tip is to use an adjustable lamp and position it towards the ceiling or the opposite wall rather than directly on the subject.
The redirected light will be softer and be much more visually appealing.

A beautifully lit video with amazing framing and composition is nothing without proper sound. Imagine your favorite film with its amazing visuals and beautifully crafted images sounded like it was recorded on a microphone running through a blender. Bad sound will almost certainly distract a viewer from an otherwise gripping experience. As with lighting and cameras, you don’t necessarily need an expensive microphone or sound set up. There are decent, inexpensive microphones out there that can be purchased for less than $50 that plugged directly into your smartphone or camera. You probably wouldn’t record a blockbuster film with it, but they’re great for starting out.

If you don’t have the capital for an external microphone, the 100 phone will work fine in a pinch. Regardless of what kind of mic you choose an expensive microphone and a cheap microphone. We’ll both sound terrible. Then not close enough to the subject for best results you should pray for best results. You should position your microphone as close to the subject as possible. Without it being seen, you can hide it within the shirt pocket or coat lapel behind an object in the foreground above the frame under the frame. The possibilities are endless.

We’ve touched on this earlier when talking about composition, but set design is also very important on its own. Turn on a lamp or two in the background to liven up a shot, turn on a lamp or two in the background to liven up a shot, add some decorations, such as potted plants or books. This will help give the shot depth and make for a better visual. When composing this shot when composing a shot sometimes featuring the natural background is distracting or uninteresting. People might be walking around if you’re not in the office or your family could wander into the shot If you’re at home or the background simply isn’t as interesting. That’s when backdrops come in handy. Simple way to set up a backdrop is to get a clean curtain or a bedsheet and simply hang it behind you.
Simple way to set up a backdrop is to get a curtain or a clean bed sheet, and simply hang it behind you. Hang it on some, uh, hanging on some hooks on the wall, or even from the door. If your budget allows you can also purchase a backdrop kit. If your budget allows, you can also, if your budget allows, you can also purchase a backdrop kit that features a large roll of paper or fabric that can be hung off of its provided stands.

Learning how to create effective videos for your business might seem like a daunting task, but learning these simple concepts can help you better understand how to present your brand. Can use these skills to help influence how people perceive and think about you and your company at a certain point.
Things like obtaining high quality equipment and mastering these skills becomes trivial. At the end of the day, the content you’re presenting to your audience is the most important at the end of the day. The most important aspect is the content you are presenting to your office.

Vince, thank you for listening.