Simple steps to creating video content
Throughout March and April we delivered our free taster session to a number of small charities. In the three hour session the participants were taught how simple it is to plan, film and edit their own video content. We have been so pleased to see the charities beginning to use their new skills to promote their messages online proving that you don’t need huge budgets to produce informative video.
We have also been approached by the business sector needing advice on how staff can shoot their own content for events and presentations. We responded by popping down a few guidelines that staff could follow to ensure their content would be board-room-worthy.
We believe that if more people knew how easy it was to produce in-house video content then everybody would be at it! There are no secrets – just a few simple guidelines that can be easily followed.
We have collated some responses to questions that we received post taster sessions and from the information that we delivered to the business that needed our help. Here are out five top tips to getting started on your first film:
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Take the time to plan your film carefully. Ask yourself who your film is targeted at? and what is the purpose of it? Be very clear on what message you would like to give your audience. For short, sharable content I would suggest making no more than one, clear point. Think about creative, visual ways to share your message.
2. Landscape NOT Portrait
This is a point we discussed in an earlier blog entry but it is still so often forgotten. If you are filming with a mobile device hold it so that the screen is landscape. This will mean that your film plays back in the correct dimensions for the majority of screening platforms.
3. Record Good Quality Sound
Bad visuals can sometimes be saved. You can use cutaways creatively, add effects or even use simple animation. Bad audio can become a nighmare – fixing it is likely to cost you a lot of time and money! Prioritize getting good audio on your shoot. Consider the location that you want to film. Make sure that it is not to echoey and that there is no distracting background noise. If possible use a microphone and headphones and monitor the sound throughout.
4. Don’t Film Too Much
Everything you film will need to be imported and reviewed. This will take up time and space on your computer. If you have planned your film well you should ensure that you shoot everything you need and not much more. There is nothing wrong with being spontaneous and getting extra footage that will enhance your final film but be careful not to go crazy and film absolutely everything that you see.
5. Editing doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive
There are great free editing programmes that are simple to use. iMovie for Mac users or Windows Movie Maker for PC users allow you to complete a basic edit and add titles, music and effects as needed. If you have planned your film well and taken the time to film it carefully you will not need an expensive editing programme to make it look good – your message should do the talking for you.
“Excellent training. Learnt so much and am excited to put it into practice”
Sharon McLeod, World Vision
“I’ve just watched the video that the guys did and I’m hugely impressed! I also wanted to share the team’s excitement– they had a great session and were very complimentary about the training and the way it was delivered.”
Chris Duncan, Lead, Global Brand and Digital, Marie Stopes International
If you are working for a non profit and are interested in video production training book one of our courses.