The importance of good quality video content can never be underestimated, and with the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in place, many more of us have had to have a go at filming our own material. So if you can’t get the experts in to help you, how do you make sure you’re creating the very best content possible, armed with just an iPhone? We’ve come up with our Top 8 Tips on how to film quality videos at home.
1. Clean your lens – This is our first and most fundamental rule of filming: clean your lens. Before you shoot anything, take the time to wipe your lens with some cotton material (even a t-shirt works wonders) until the image is clear and there are no smudges. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your video.
2. Landscape over portrait – Filming in landscape, especially on an iPhone, is a far better choice. It eliminates the odd blurred outer lines that come with portrait mode and broadcasters always want your videos in landscape, to best fit the shape of a TV screen.
3. Keep it steady – When trying to film with an iPhone, if you can, use a tripod! It’s always tricky to keep your hands from wobbling and an unsteady shot can ruin the finished piece. If you don’t have a tripod to hand, try to find something to rest your hands or arms on, such as a wall or a piece of furniture, depending on where you are. This will help you to steady yourself and keep the shots as smooth as possible.
4. Consider background noises – Anyone can watch a video with poor image quality but people soon give up if the audio is poor.
Wind is the worst culprit and can ruin an edit as it can sound much louder on the recording than when you’re actually filming. One easy trick is to pop a sock over the microphone of your phone, to try to limit the effect of the wind noise. (There are fur microphone windshields available to buy online, but a sock is both a cheap and quick option!) Be careful not to cover the lens though!
Another simple tip is to simply change your position; a large brick wall beside you can offer protection from the wind as you film. However, if the wind noise is persistent, sometimes the best thing to do is reschedule for when the weather is on your side. Mother Nature doesn’t often care for filming schedules!
5. Interviewing angles – If your video is going to include an interview, make sure you give the interviewee enough head room when framing the shot and get them to angle themselves towards the person asking the questions, rather than into the camera itself. This allows your interviewee to look more natural and less intimidating. If you have them looking to the left of the frame, then seat them nearer the right of the shot and vice-versa.
6. Keep it tight and bright – Lighting can be a tricky one to master if you don’t have the specialised equipment to make your job easier, especially when it comes to filming people. The best place to stand is next to a window (with the window left or right of the interviewee). Make sure there is no direct sunlight coming in and hitting their face as you want to keep the light as soft as possible.
The best times to film and make the most of the natural light available is the hour before sunset or the hour after sunrise. The natural quality of light at these times will help make your task much easier.
7. Limit the number of takes – Yes, you can invest in some editing software and there are some simple options available online, however, the easiest option is to shoot your video in one take. This eliminates the time needed to edit and has your video looking smooth and effortless.
In order to film in one take, you need to be prepared. Make sure you know exactly what you are going to say, where you are going to stand and don’t be afraid to run a couple of test shots in order to get things just right first.
8. Choose the right platform to upload – Most video platforms make it easy to upload your finished video, especially when uploading from your mobile, so your only real decision is to pick the platform that best suits your audience.
Facebook and YouTube tend to be the most popular and easiest to navigate, but you may want to branch out into other social media formats such as Instagram or TikTok. Be aware though, these latter platforms have a time restriction on their videos, which may limit you.
We hope these tips help you to create better quality video content and we look forward to seeing your work. These tips, whilst helpful for short and immediate video content, cannot replace the knowledge and skill which comes from hiring a professional video producer, so please give us a call if you want to discuss your project.
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