Create A Professional Looking Video - It's Easier Than You Think!
Digital marketing is one of the best ways for small businesses to advertise. Moreover, people are relying more on audio/visual information than they are on text/print.
The world of video production has advanced dramatically throughout the past decades. High-quality video footage – which was once essentially unattainable without the assistance of a professional film crew – is now widely and readily available to anyone willing to learn the basics of video production and invest in the right equipment.
So, what do you need to get started? Generally speaking, there are two areas to focus on: equipment and technical knowledge.
Ultimately your budget will determine what equipment you will end up purchasing, however, there are three things you will need to focus on in general: lighting, sound, and a camera.
The Importance of Lighting and Perspective
It is crucial that you consider the perspective and the angle of your shot. Do you want to look straight into the camera, or do you want to speak slightly angled away from the camera (as with an interview)? Different perspectives carry different implicit tones, so be sure to understand how you will appear on camera and if this matches your overall message. You might be thinking to yourself “this room has enough light for a video” – the artificial lighting above your head will typically not cut it when attempting to create a visually appealing video. Of course, different tones can be conveyed depending on your lighting, however, most business/professional videos are going to rely on a well-lit environment to convey a professional message.
“Best shots can be filmed at either dusk or dawn”
Even a common household lamp will be preferable to standard overhead lights, but to take your videos to the next level, you may want to consider purchasing some dedicated lights for your videos -we here at the SBDC use Interfit F5 Studio Lights, for example. You can also film outside – typically, the best shots can be filmed at either dusk or dawn. Too much sunlight can wash out your footage, making it look dull and uninteresting. Always be sure to test which lighting configuration works best with your camera – which brings me to my next point. You will need a camera.
Getting the Right Camera for You.
Most of us have some type of smartphone with a high-quality camera which is a great way for you to enter the world of video production. If you wish to create a shorter or free-form style video for social media, your phone might even be the best tool. There are plenty of accessories on the market today designed specifically for creating videos with your phone; accessories such as tripods, handheld stands, lighting attachments, at more.
If you want to stand out and make some high-quality productions you should eventually invest in a higher-end camera. Depending on your needs, a Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) or mirrorless camera may be sufficient. While these cameras are designed for photography, they certainly can be used to record high-quality video footage. Camcorders are designed for shooting video, but the higher-end options tend to be much more expensive compared to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
Don’t Neglect the Audio!
Arguably the most important element in video production is good sound. People are more likely to tolerate lower visual quality if there is good audio. Conversely, people are more likely to disengage from a video – even a high visual quality video – if the audio is poor. The best way to ensure that you will have good audio is to purchase some type of microphone. Even if you are just plugging a microphone directly into your smartphone, the audio quality will be better than if you were to simply rely on the camera’s built-in microphone.
The other side of video production involves technical knowledge – everything from how to properly operate the equipment you have for filming, to editing all of the footage that you have captured. Video editing is challenging but anyone can learn to do it with the right time investment and vision. There are many editing software options available, from Apple’s iMovie to Adobe Premiere Pro, to my personal go-to, Davinci Resolve.
“Start small and build your skills from there”
As with most things in life, the more you practice, the better you will get. I would not advise you to go on a shopping spree and buy all of the latest and greatest equipment/software. Start small and build your skills from there. Before you know it, you will be creating videos that will be sure to add value to your business.
We have assisted businesses just like yours in understanding the ins and outs of small business video production. Be sure to reach out to us here at the SBDC with your questions as you get started! Call us at 412-396-1633 or email email@example.com.