Are you putting off filming video because you’re not sure how to do it right?

I get it. You don’t want to invest a bunch of time trying to get this done and then have to scrap the project because the video sucks.

It happens. I’ve seen it.

What’s worse is when you’ve paid someone else (maybe even a lot of money) to come film and you still weren’t happy with how the video came out.

I’ve had a lot of people tell me they paid a decent chunk of change for videos they were not happy with.

I’ve been shocked by what some people have told me they’ve paid for bad video.

And I hope that hasn’t happened to you.

While I can’t change the past, I can help set you up for success for your next video shoot.

Here are three simple steps to keep in mind that will set you up success on film day.

This is the exact same process we follow for our own video shoots whether I’m on camera or we’re filming someone else.

Basically there are just a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Have a script ready
  • Check your lighting
  • Do an audio test

Let’s go over these one at a time.

Your script

If you don’t know what you’re going to say, filming is not going to go well.

There are a couple of things you can do here.

One is if you are talking about stuff that is second nature to you, then you may not need a script.

Here’s the thing.

Once you get in front of the camera, you might get nervous and forget.

If you aren’t prepared, film day will be frustrating for everyone involved.

It will also take a lot longer to film or you may run out of time and need to reschedule altogether.

I’ve been on film shoots like that and it’s no fun.

Here’s how you prevent that.

  • Have a full script prepared and use a teleprompter if you need it.
  • Or you can have bullet points handy to refer to. If a particular segment is really long, it’s ok to take breaks and refer back to your bullet points and let the editor fix everything later.
  • Another option is to have someone hold up the bullet points for you to glance at occasionally.

You don’t have to memorize everything like you’re onstage at your local community theater.

But you do want to be as natural as possible on camera and having a script or bullet points is definitely going to help.

And if you really want a head start, practice in front of someone else first.

You really want to come across like you are just talking to one person.

Think of your favorite client and act like you are just having a conversation with them.

Practice may not make perfect but it will give you an advantage.


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Your Lighting

If you have poor lighting, the quality of your videos is going to suffer.

Here are the issues you’re going to have with poor lighting:

  • The dark side – you video may be impossible to watch because no one can really see what’s going on.
  • The shadows – If there are shadows on your face, you may end up looking like one of those TV interviews where the person doesn’t want to be seen. Additionally, shadows can be cast behind you which is very distracting.
  • Too bright – If your lighting is too bright, you are going to be washed out. You don’t want harsh lighting, trust me.

The good news is you can have some lighting adjusted in the editing process.

It boils down to who is editing your video and how much can really be adjusted.

The best way to prevent issues is, if someone else is coming to film you, invite them out ahead of time so they can get a feel for the environment.

Lighting is different everywhere we film and I’m sure it’s no exception where you’ll be filming.

Let me share a secret with you.

Good lighting can make your videos look a lot better.

You know all those Hollywood actors are always fussing about “their light” right? That’s because they know how much better they look with the proper lighting.

I’m not saying you’re going to look like your favorite movie star with proper lighting but you’ll be happier with your final video if you have the proper lighting.

For outside filming – This is another animal altogether.

If you don’t have experience filming, this is best left to a professional videographer if you want quality videos.

Your Audio

Have you ever watched a video that had really poor audio quality? It’s hard to listen to right?

You likely clicked off and went on to something else that wasn’t so bad.

Here’s the thing, if you don’t use an external mic, you’re not going to have good audio quality.

You’ll end up experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Too hard to hear your voice
  • Too much other noise
  • You’ll sound like you’re in a tunnel

It’s an easy fix though.

Honestly, it’s the easiest of all three points we are covering.

All you need to do is get an external mic.

Lapel mics are not very expensive.

Plus there are options for cameras and smartphones so no excuse if you are filming with your phone ok.

There’s two parts to this section though.

Let me warn you.

External mics use those little round lithium batteries.

And they don’t last forever.

You want to be sure you have a spare battery on hand in case your mic goes out.

And one last point.

Most external mics have an on and off switch.

Make sure your mic is turned on.

Sounds silly I know but trust me, it happens.

You’ll film a segment and then realize later you have no sound.

Do yourself a favor and do a mic check before you actually start filming.

I know I said I only had three tips for you but I do want to give you one extra bonus tip.

When you are speaking you have natural pauses when you talk.

When you are on camera, some people tend to talk too fast, especially if they normally speak at a quicker pace.

You want to slow down your speech for your video so you are not racing through it.

In addition to that, it’s ok to have pauses.

If you make a mistake it’s easier for an editor to make cuts when editing if there is enough of a pause.

Otherwise it may sound like a sentence has an awkward end.

And there you have your prep list for your video shoot.

To recap:

  • Have a script ready
  • Check your lighting
  • Do an audio test
  • Don’t speak too fast

If you need assistance with your next video project, schedule a call with Six Degrees Digital Media today and we’ll make sure your video is a hit.