Many people we talk to think that creating engaging video content is difficult and expensive – but neither of these things have to be true. Your mobile phone is often all you need to shoot great videos, and you might be surprised at the quality of the camera that you walk around with in your pocket.

For high production value, TV commercials and when using paid talent, hiring a professional videographer like our friends at Missing Bits Productions is your best option. However if you’re hoping to make a two-minute video that is about a topic/event that is live right now or want to show behind the scenes of your business, with your staff as the talent, your mobile can be very handy.

So, what do you need to know if you want to make your own videos? We’ve got you covered with all the tips and advice you need.

What is the goal I am trying to achieve?

Are you trying to promote an upcoming event, educate your customers, showcase your product range, or maybe even just share some footage from a recent day out of the office with the team?

If you don’t understand the purpose of your video, then you have to ask yourself why are you making it? Without a clear vision of the message you want to express, it can be difficult to work out the direction to take during the filming and editing process. Before you get the camera out, sit down with everyone involved and work out what you’re hoping to achieve, the tone you want to take, the pace you have in mind for shots/edits, and how best to piece this together.

This discussion can often lead to inspiration, and after talking through your ideas with the team, you might find that there is a completely different and more effective way to communicate your message.

Before the shoot:

No matter how short your video is, you should not start filming without a brief! A good brief is supplied to everyone involved and should at a minimum include:

  1. Overview: What you are hoping to achieve, who your audience is and where the video will be seen when it’s done. Having everyone go into the shoot on the same page saves precious filming time.
  2. Pre-Production Needs: Outline any props and equipment that need to be organised and scripts or interview questions that need to be developed and supplied to talent.
  3. Run Sheet: All the specific details of the video shoot – think dates, times, locations, talent, and any other notes that could be useful such as lighting and sound requirements.
  4. Post-Production Plan: Who is editing your video and how many rounds of editing will there be? What needs to be added in terms of soundtrack, graphics, voiceovers? 
  5. Output: List your intended output, for example ‘We want to create six 45 second videos – two at each of our three locations. Videos will be posted to our Facebook and uploaded to YouTube to embed on our website’.
  6. Must Haves: This is where you include any necessities, for example you might want everyone in the video to be wearing branded clothing.
  7. Timings: Production deadlines so everyone knows when the finished product will be ready.

Creating your brief will give you a roadmap to follow that will help you achieve your goals, and it will ensure the whole process run smoothly and efficiently.

How do I do my own post-production?

The next step will be editing. These days you can find decent editing apps on your mobile with a quick google, but we still prefer to use a PC. Software like Adobe Premiere Pro has everything you need to piece together a video, and they make it easy for beginners to pick up the basics.

You might want to watch some online tutorials to grasp the basics of continuity editing and learn how to add in some graphics, but with enough footage you should be able to make engaging video content without any problems.

Our final tip?

Take more B-roll footage than you expect you’ll need. You’ll find that a lot of shots can’t be used due to mistakes, lighting, or sound issues, so you will want plenty of extra footage to hide rough edits.

If this still sounds like a bit much to organise yourself, you can get in touch with the Threesides team and we can help you work out your goals and make sure you get the great video content you envision.

If you want to hear our tips for managing video shoots with children and dealing with consent, you can find out more in October’s The Wrap.