Creating great video content, making sure it’s polished, and that it looks professional to impress your audience may seem tiring and require a lot of time and effort. Well, with the right techniques, it’s easier than you might think. Your company doesn’t need to spend a fortune on costly equipment in order to create a great video. Instead, focus on a few key aspects to create outstanding video content that connects you with your audience and achieves measurable results. We’ve put together 13 creative video content hacks that will make the filming and post-production processes much easier and save you a tremendous amount of time.
Hack #1 Plan Ahead: Create a script and storyboard for your video content
You always know in your head what you want to say and convey, but when you start filming, you might miss an important part of your message just because you were nervous about looking and sounding good. Always plan ahead and write a script. You can also include images and b-roll that will help tell your story on paper.
Whether you are editing the videos yourself, or especially if you are collaborating with an editor, do this every time. You will thank us later for this advice, as it will save the editor a lot of time since your speech will be more organized, and there won’t be much to cut out.
Hack #2 Practice, practice, practice
When it comes to creating video content, oftentimes actors have to practice their lines. Having said that, you don’t have to do a full-blown dress rehearsal. But at least practice your script a few times in front of the mirror, at a minimum, so that way you’ll be prepared for a filming day. Practicing will prevent on-camera mistakes while you’re filming, which will mean less time editing, and saving you on your budget.
Here’s an expert tip, practice with someone else. They can help pick up on things you might not realize you are doing, such as too many ‘ummm’s, and will make you feel more confident on the filming day.
Hack #3 Always film more video content. One take isn’t enough!
This will give you more footage to choose from in post-production (editing). Consider moving the camera to different positions for each take, or try saying the line differently.
Don’t take too many takes, 2-3 should be good enough. Trying to get something perfect or trying too many different angles will become confusing and make choosing the video and editing process harder. Make sure you’re authentic, and the message comes across clearly. That’s the most important thing, not being perfect.
Hack #4 Spot-check your footage and sound during filming
If only we could tell you how many times we had everything set up, the shoot was perfect, and the talent hit every line. And then – it turns out, the microphone wasn’t recording! It is the most frustrating thing that can happen in the world of video production.
You have to check the first two to three takes religiously, or you’re going to end up with video content that you can’t use. And definitely take a review after you’ve wrapped up filming with the team to make sure that everything is captured correctly, that the sound is on point and that the lighting looks good.
Hack #5 Lighting is key to making you look good
Whether you’re working with a professional film crew or filming with your cell phone, everyone looks best with good light. If needed, grab some shop lights to shine on the object or person you’re filming. When filming yourself, you have to have a selfie light. You can find a lot of inexpensive ones that will make you look amazing and will help you in creating great video content.
If you’re gonna work with a professional team, ask them what type of equipment they have and make sure you have a good discussion about the location that you’re filming in, and also the lighting requirements for that location.
Hack #6 Invest in an external microphone or wireless lavalier
Mics should be a few feet from the sound source or speaker’s mouth; anything further results in lousy audio with more ambient background noise.
Wireless lavaliers are a must, and they’re quite affordable. You can find one that will hook into almost any phone. Even if you’re working with a professional crew, you can use what’s called a boom mic, but lavaliers tend to pick up the voice better. Again, this is a discussion to have with your film crew, depending on the location and what you’re trying to film.
Hack #7 Move as close to the sound source as possible
You especially need this hack if you rely on the camera’s inbuilt mic.
You can have the best shots in a video, but if the audio is poor, it will come across as unprofessional. Worst of all, no one can hear what you’re saying, and the videos will go to total waste.
Consider a backup recording device
Our team once forgot the wireless lavaliers for a shooting. So, what we did was we shot with the phone camera and then took another phone and put it next to the talent, using the voice recorder. This is a great solution to capturing the voice, and still being able to have been able to place the camera at a good distance to capture the talent speaking.
You should clap before every take.
This is an expert tip that people in Hollywood have relied on for decades. That way the editors have their spot where they can edit the voice and the video footage together seamlessly.
Hack #8 Make sure your wireless mic is placed correctly
Make sure the lavalier mic is as close to the subject’s mouth as possible. Also, the talent should wear something with a collar that you can easily clip the microphone to – a shirt with a collar, jacket, etc. It’s recommended to stay away from turtle necks and avoid fashion with high necklines.
Also, make sure hair, jewelry, and objects are away from the mic, as covering the mic will cause a rustling sound and could potentially ruin the video content overall. Remember, not everything can be fixed in post-production!
Hack #9 Roll for five
Wait five seconds after pressing the ‘record’ button before you start any action. In the same way, stop recording five seconds after the action has finished. This small hack means a lot to the editor. Sometimes when you hit record and start speaking immediately, your first few words get lost. Also, take a thumbnail picture for every video that you are posting.
This is especially important if you’re going to post your video on YouTube or social, as you don’t want your thumbnail to be the one where your mouth is open and you look ridiculous.
Expert tip, capture a fun static image that represents what you’re talking about in the video. For example, if you’re talking about three points hold up your hand with three fingers. Or the editor can find something useful from that extra five seconds you filmed and add text as needed.
Hack #10 Use a film crew clapper
Clapper will help you to find the needed spots in the video if you have a continuously rolling video. You should need to use it every time, so your post-production team synchronizes the sound and video perfectly.
Hack #11 Upload your videos to Vimeo and use the review feature to manage edits with your editor
This is a good habit to get into because your files will be safely stored, and your phone’s storage won’t be glugged up with lots of video files.
The Vimeo review function is a lifesaver. You can timestamp where you want your edits, and write your suggested revisions.
Hack #12 Rename all of your video files
When uploading your videos to Vimeo or an online storage location, change the file names from digits to words that make sense to you. This will make them easier to find later, saving you hours of searching.
Hack #13 Consider a teleprompter
Remembering your lines can be intense when you are also trying to be comfortable on camera, make sure the lighting is right, and film multiple topics at one time. Teleprompters are a great way to help you keep on point and remember what you want to say, and how to say it. Especially if you are filming an educational video or technical video where certain pieces of content need to be included for the value of the video.
Using a teleprompter is a lifesaver for all the videos we film, and for our clients. It’s a simple box with a reflective glass that allows the copy to be visible to the talent while the camera films behind it. All you need is an iPad or a phone with a teleprompter app to show the copy.
Use these simple video hacks, and you’ll thank us later. Your video quality will be awesome, your production and post-production processes will become more efficient, and you will be creating great video content in no time!