We are in a culture of using videos to connect to people all over the world. The idea of creating a video used to be technically difficult, and expensive! However, these days with the development of smart phones our collective knowledge on shooting videos has increased enormously, whilst the technical difficulty has gone down. Videos are no longer a “one size fits all”.
When it comes to the technology required, bigger is not always better and modern smartphones are the device of choice for many users.
A simple trick to get you started is to remember byte, flight, bright:
Byte – check that you have enough storage on your device. You don’t want the video cutting off in the middle of filming because you’ve run out of storage!
Flight – Put your phone on flight mode. The sound of a notification will probably be heard on the video and it can also be distracting. You don’t want to get a phone call in the middle of your recording as your video will stop filming as soon as the call comes through.
Bright – Turn your brightness all the way up, this way you can clearly see what you’re filming.
Consider your environment and choose a suitable space to film. A quiet location where you won’t be interrupted is ideal. Pick a location that offers a plain backdrop e.g. a wall behind you with a picture, a plant or a bookshelf in shot to provide a little interest and ensure you are facing a window or the light source, as you don’t want this bright light behind you.
Position your phone in a landscape orientation so that the camera is at your eye level – nobody needs to see half of your head or up your nose! You may need to get creative to ensure the camera is at just the right height and fixed so that your shot isn’t shaky. We’ve seen Blu Tack, bulldog clips and even coffee cups used effectively to get the phone into the right position!
Lastly, you want your main point of interest to be in focus. Put your finger on the main point of interest on the screen of your device and hold for a second. This locks the point of focus and avoids something further into the background becoming the focus of the shot. Ensure you look straight at the camera lens. It sometimes helps to cover your screen with a sticky note if you need to be tricked into looking at the camera lens.
As you are recording think about how you are connecting with your audience. Our advice is to simply be yourself, try and have fun with it and smile!
As a parting thought – consider where your video will end up as you may need to crop the final version to fit the correct aspect ratio. For example, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn all use different aspect ratios.