With all that’s going on in the world today, people are turning to alternate avenues to communicate. Between Zoom calls with clients, virtual interviews and get-togethers with friends over Skype, Chat, Google Hangouts and more; video has a huge part to play in keeping all of us connected through these times.
Even though these tools have all been available to us for years, we’ve taken their use to a whole new level in the past months; replacing many and some face-to-face interactions with video calls and updates to social media. But when everyone has the same tools at their disposal, how do you stand out?
There are so many simple do’s and don’ts to creating your own content from home. By implementing just a few changes, you can dramatically improve the quality of content you’re putting out while helping maintain your professional image.
Here are 10 ways to improve your videos at home that will help you to look and sound your best while working remotely:
#1. Plan Ahead
Writing out a script, or at least some notes on the points you want to hit in your video, is very useful in keeping you on track and making sure your video turns out the way you’d originally envisioned. Knowing what you’re going to say in advance doesn’t have to mean reading off a script though, especially since looking like you’re just reading to camera can make your delivery seem less natural.
Another aspect of planning ahead is knowing when you need the final video for and scheduling your time accordingly. Will your video need any editing? Is it time-sensitive? Do you only have access to your shooting location on a certain day? — being aware of your time & how long it will take to shoot and edit your footage will help you to release a final product that you’re proud of.
Framing your video correctly is one of the simplest ways to improve the overall look of your footage, with zero extra cost. Proper framing means leaving adequate head-room for any subjects that appear in your video.
Using the Rule of Thirds is another great way to make sure subjects are comfortably framed in a way that’s visually flattering and clear to viewers. To follow the rule of thirds, simply imagine your frame cut evenly into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and place your subject on one of the intersections of the lines.
#3. Proper Sound
There is arguably nothing more important with video than clean sound. Even if your video quality isn’t as sharp as it could be or you don’t have access to the best video equipment, people will still watch your videos and be engaged if what you’re saying is compelling and audibly clear. Getting decent sound quality can be done by using an external microphone; such as a lavaliere mic, an on-camera shotgun microphone or a USB microphone. The style of mic you go with differs depending on the type of shooting you’re doing. For example, if sitting at a desk and talking to camera, the best mic would be a lavaliere for the most direct sound. If you’re outdoors, a hand-held or boom mic would be best. Creating a video pod-cast? A USB mic may be ideal. If investing in a microphone isn’t possible, then be extra sure to record in a quiet space that won’t have an echo or other distracting sounds in the background while you film (a good idea whether you have proper sound equipment or not!).
The most economical way to light your videos is by using natural light. When using natural lighting, try to record your video in the morning or in the evening when the light is less harsh. This avoids unflattering shadowing and will light your video softer and more evenly.
If you’re creating your own lighting set-up, there are countless ways to light a subject or scene depending on what look you’re going for. For a professional, outward-facing video, make sure to use plenty of light and avoid harsh shadows. Try placing a light on either side of your camera along with a third light to reflect on your background to create some depth.
Though your background can reflect the kind of video you’re creating, in many cases it’s good to keep it simple, clean and uncluttered. Using a wall or a bedsheet can give you a solid-colour as your backdrop. Alternatively, a clean, uncluttered practical background is also ideal. If you want more than a plain, solid backdrop, try placing yourself within an environment that is logical to what you’re talking about; such as a home-office or your place of work.
#6. Shoot from Multiple Angles
Shooting from multiple angles is a great way to make your video more dynamic and engaging while simultaneously saving you from having to make jump-cuts on your clips to remove any pauses or mistakes. Instead of chopping out the sections you want to eliminate, you can simply cut back and forth from your second angle, creating a more palatable and flowing video. Using multiple camera’s also increases the production value of your videos; making them look more professional and higher quality.
#7. Avoid Shaky Video
If possible, avoid using your camera in a hand-held ‘vlogger-style’ way when creating videos at home. Use a tripod, or even a sturdy pile of books/table/desk— get creative! Having shaky footage can make you look less professional and can be difficult for your viewers to watch.
#8. Look the Part
Dress appropriately for the message you want to send. This means something different for each company and each video. How you present yourself; what you wear, your demeanour, tone of voice; all impact how your message is received and reflect your brand. Remember, even if you’re recording at home, dress for the top and bottom. A wide shot may reveal more than what you originally intended to show! We’ve all seen Broadcasters in suit jackets and ties, only to have bare legs revealed below!
#9. Use Simple Video editing Techniques
Don’t go too crazy with adding effects or fancy transitions to your videos. Simple cuts, cleaning up any pauses or mistakes,
and maybe adding some basic titles and background music to complete the final product. A simpler editing style will go a long way to helping you look professional.
#10. Collaborate with 5Gear Studios!
For years, 5Gear Studios has helped conference organizers, managers, professionals, content creators and small business owners harness the power of direct video messaging. Creating an impression involves more than just the tools needed to communicate. Especially now, while everyone is creating content from their homes, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. There’s really no substitute for quality; at 5Gear Studios we can help you stay connected while remaining distant. Filming content while remaining socially distant, creating animations, utilizing stock footage and narration, text-graphic videos; we do it all.
Contact 5Gear Studios today to find out more about how we can help you create professional and engaging videos, no matter your budget. We can’t wait to hear from you!