So, you’ve decided for whatever reason whether practicality or budget restraints to film your own video piece to camera.
Here are a few brief basic tips to remember when filming your own video either on your phone or handycam that will enable you to achieve more professional results.
It is good practice to run a few tests with regards the filming both with your camera and your subject to see what works and what doesn’t.
*You need a location that is quiet and that allows you time to prepare and film your subject without disruptions every 30 seconds.
*An indoor location with a reasonable level of light (wall/ceiling lights AND/OR windows) is preferable.
*Put a large ‘FILMING – PLEASE KEEP QUIET’ sign on the door and give office staff prior notice of what you will be doing.
*Filming outdoors – unless the job calls for it, I would advise to keep filming indoors to avoid potential lighting and sound problems.
All you are really looking for here is a good overall level of light on the subjects face so that we can see them as they are talking to camera – you can get as creative as you want but essentially you will be using ‘available light’.
*Windows are a good source of light but you do need to bear in mind that the weather/time of day when filming will play apart in how useful/reliable they can be – I would favour keeping your subject away from windows and direct outdoor light as this can’t be fully controlled and you may end up with poor results (but have a go/test run if you feel it could work)
*Turn on the indoor lights to get the room as well lit as possible and check that the subject is clear and visible on screen in the centre of the frame
* try to get as even a light as possible on the subject – i.e., don’t’ have one side of their face lit the other side dark.
Most modern cameras will have an auto exposure setting which will really help you when you are dealing with available light set ups – ipads and smart phones are perfect devices to use.
*ALWAYS film your subject in landscape NEVER portrait
*choose a neutral backdrop for your subject – you don’t want any distractions going on behind them when they are talking
*Keep the camera as steady as possible – this is key to adding a professional look to video – where possible place the camera on a solid object or tripod to give maximum stability.
*Have a dry run through the questions before going for a proper ‘take’ (you could also film this to test everything is working for you)
Crystal clear, professional sound quality is only achievable with proper microphones and recording equipment so, as with the lighting, you are just really looking to get the best out of what you’ve got.
* Get as close to your subject as you can (without sitting in their lap) The onboard mic on your phone or camera will pick up reasonable sound as along as you are not over the other side of the room when you are filming.
*keep the noise down when filming your own video! Turn off phones/printers/air conditioners/ticking clocks/fridges – ANYTHING in or around the room that generates unnecessary noise should be turned off for the duration of the filming – just remember to turn it all on again after.
If you do have access to a microphone or recording device, then go for it! Sound is the main area in video that people overlook, and it’s the first thing the viewer will notice if it’s of very poor/ inadequate quality
Most mobile devices come equipped with an HD camera which allows you to film very sharp/crisp video – 720/1080 mp4 or QuickTime movs are both fine as a standard video outputs and your device will probably default to either one of these.
Simply take the file(s) off your devices after filming and back them up onto your PC/MAC ready to send off through an online transfer – name them appropriately so that the receiver knows what the contents of the files are.
BEST OF LUCK and GOOD FILMING!