HOW TO SHOOT A SHORT PROMOTIONAL VIDEO FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS ON A TIGHT BUDGET
Everyone knows it is so important to have video content. However, you might be just starting out or building your client or customer base and you might not be able to afford to hire a third party company to make a promotional video.
It is completely possible to make a video yourself to a reasonable standard, but so often low budget video is executed badly and it ends up reflecting a badly rather than directing more business traffic as intended.
Here are a few tips to help
It might seem like an unnecessary step and you are probably keen to just get started. You will save so much time in the long run if you carefully think before you start filming about what it is you are hoping to achieve.
1. Think about who your target market is
You could even ask your customers what type of video makes them spend or gravitate towards their spending choice.
Look at other companies that have the same business model as you, look at what they are doing for video promotion. Look at products, packaging and shop fronts. Try and recognise fonts and colours you might like to use and designs you admire.
3. Try and tell a story with your video
The most memorable adverts use this technique. If you can make the viewer identify with your story then you are already communicating with your target audience.
4. Draw a storyboard
It doesn't matter if you can't draw perfectly. The storyboard helps you to organise your ideas and refer back to them. You can use the storyboard as a checklist when filming.
5. Make a shot list
List out the shots you want to achieve. If you don’t have a shot list you are likely to forget a shot or section. You want to avoid having to shoot again on a different day to get the shots you miss as the weather or lighting may be different and this can have an impact on the finished look.
Camera and capture
A decent Android or iPhone model will take perfect quality video for online content. If you have a little bit of money you can buy a HD camcorder or buy a low on middle range DSLR.
N.B IF YOU ARE SHOOTING ON A SMART PHONE MAKE SURE YOU SHOOT WITH THE CAMERA HELD HORIZONTALLY ORIENTED (LANDSCAPE). IF YOU WANT YOUR FOOTAGE TO FILL THE SCREEN YOU SHOULD AVOID HOLDING YOUR CAMERA PHONE VERTICALLY (PORTRAIT), THIS WILL RESULT IN BLANK SPACE OR BLACK BARS ON THE SCREEN TO THE LEFT AND RIGHT OF THE IMAGE.
THE OTHER THING PEOPLE RARELY CHECK IS IF THEIR LENS IS CLEAN. IT CAN MAKE A MASSIVE DIFFERENCE IF YOU WANT A NICE SHOT. IF YOU ARE UNSURE, CLEAN IT ANYWAY WITH A SOFT DRY CLOTH, FAILING THAT THE CORNER OF YOUR T-SHIRT WILL WORK.
Tripod or steady hand
Depending on what you are shooting and the style you are going for you may or may not need a tripod. A handheld style can look more personal, but if you want to show a product and the functionality of it you might be better off keeping the camera steady. For a regular camera you can use any tripod but if you are using a smart phone, there are various solutions either specifically for a smart phone or that can be attached to a normal tripod.
IF YOU DO WANT TO SPEND A LITTLE MONEY ON SOMETHING THAT WILL ADD A COOL LOOK TO YOUR MOVING SHOTS YOU CAN BUY A STEADY CAM ATTACHMENT (OR GIMBAL) LIKE THIS ONE:
YOU CAN LITERALLY RUN ALONG WITH YOUR CAMERA AND THE SHOT WILL STAY SMOOTH.
Lighting can get expensive, so where you can, try to shoot outside. Footage can look lovely and punchy in the right light.
Try to avoid shooting in rooms with strip lighting and normal household bulbs. These types of lights can tend to make your shot look very yellow.
If your image doesn't look how you wanted it to, then the colour balance can always be changed in post production. There are lots of tutorials online to show you how.
The biggest mistake when shooting footage for your company with a smaller budget is not paying attention to the sound. If you are capturing everything with a smart phone try not to record important spoken sound in loud environments. Only capture 'spoken to camera' shots inside in a quiet outside spot or inside room as a rule. If you really want outside shots and spoken word over the top, maybe consider shooting your footage and audio separately. Record just your voice at a later or earlier stage inside and collect the two elements together in the edit at the end.
Use your smart phone like a dictaphone and record your voiceover in a quiet inside spot. If your phone doesn't already have a OS app with that functionality there are plenty of free and low cost ones to purchase.
N.B ALWAYS LISTEN BACK TO THE AUDIO CAPTURE WITH HEADPHONES, THIS WAY YOU CAN REALLY HEAR WHETHER THE AUDIO IS GOOD ENOUGH. LISTEN OUT FOR INTERFERENCE SUCH AS WIND SOUND AGAINST THE MICROPHONE OR AIRPLANE NOISE (IF YOU ARE SHOOTING OUTSIDE) AS YOU MAY NEED TO RE-RECORD THE AUDIO.
IF YOU ARE CAPTURING LIVE SOUND WITH THE FOOTAGE MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE SHOT AND AUDIO BEFOR EYOU MOVE ONTO THE NEXT SHOT.
This blog doesn't cover editing but there are lots of free and easy to use software packages available and tons of other people writing tutorials on them.