There are a number of components and elements to consider before venturing into creating a video. As always, the more prepared you are before you begin filming, the better your filming day will be and the more successful your video will turn out. To ensure the highest quality of video we always recommend hiring professional videographers, audio recordists and editors, in other words, a professional video production company. For those projects where budget is restricted and you have to go it alone, we hope that the following 8 Components will help you create an effective video.
COMPONENT # 1 - VIDEO LENGTH
We all live busy lives and have so much information coming at us that it's sometimes hard to find the time to read and watch everything we want to. And when we are on certain social media sites, we expect videos to be of a certain length and when they are longer, we tend to not watch them, at least not all the way through. It's important to keep the length of your video within the recommended time for the genre of video being created. Below is the recommended video lengths for various types of videos:
COMPONENT #2- KEEP THE MESSAGES CLEAR AND CONCISE
It's clear that you don't have a lot of time to get your message across so it's important to keep your message clear and concise. That is why it's imperative, before you start filming, that you have developed a SCRIPT that outlines what you want to convey to your AUDIENCE. Everything else in your video will be driven by your script, notably duration, visual-content and call to action. The time and therefore money you will save both during filming and in post production (editing) will be correlated to the amount of time and energy went into your script. So be prepared before you begin filming.
COMPONENT #3- SUPPORT YOUR SCRIPT WITH VIDEO
A picture says a thousand words, and a moving pictures says 10 thousand! When creating your script think about the accompanying graphic imagery that will enhance the themes, keywords and actions in your script.
Humans respond to other humans, therefore incorporating people in your videos is a wonderful way to grab and keep the viewers attention, as long as they compliment the script.
COMPONENT #4- VIDEO DIMENSIONS
Make sure the dimensions or your layout of the video adhere to the platforms you would like to upload your video to. Most professional editing software offer the different dimensions required for all social media platforms. It is something to be thinking about when filming your video. The dimensions will dictate the camera you chose, or which way you hold your smart phone when filming. And do remember to consider any captions or titles you want to add to your video and make sure you have room when filming around your subjects to add those in post. Below are some general dimension guidelines to follow:
COMPONENT #5- VIDEO AUDIO
We have gone into more detail in another blog about audio, but it's so important that it requires repeating. Viewers will more likely abandon a video due to poor audio before they abandon it due to poor visual quality. Therefore make sure the narration and any background music are as clear as possible and of equal volume. There is nothing more frustrating than having to constantly be fiddling with the volume of a video when watching it because some things are too soft and others are too loud! Two important things to keep in mind regarding the audio quality of your video: quality of the mic you are using and the ambient sound. It is worth spending money on a good mic- it will save you money and aggravation in post- because remember many audio issues CAN NOT be fixed in post.
COMPONENT #6- LIGHTING IN VIDEO
As with audio, we have gone into video lighting in detail in our other blog, but it also bears repeating. The lighting requirements differ depending on the type of video you are filming and which platform you intend to post to. In general it's important to keep your subject well lit, and the more natural looking the better - especially for TikTok, and Reels. When creating explainer videos or training videos, using the 3 Point Lighting method is the best approach.
COMPONENT #7 - EDITING THE VIDEO
As anyone can tell you editing is where all the magic takes place and where your vision comes to fruition. Editing programs have made it easier to actually do the editing, but it takes skill and know how to do it well. Our suggestion is always to hire a professional editor- they will make magic out of your footage. And we understand that it's not always feasible to do so, therefore we hope the tips below will help you when you are editing your videos.
Remember the aim is to explain your narrative in an engaging and entertaining fashion in the allowed time.
For the most part, editing should be smooth, allowing the viewer to absorb the thoughts without recognising that the scenes altered in any manner. Remember, rules were made to be broken and so your vision, content and script will dictate how you want your editing to look.
COMPONENT #8- USE CAPTIONS
Well over four-fifths of videos watched on Facebook are consumed without sound. This is why it's important to add captions to your videos. Moreover, captions allow videos to be accessible for a diverse audience.
We at Moxie Productions can and will do everything in this article and more to produce the best videos for you and your audience.
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The best way to create professional videos that look and sound great is to hire professional videographers and sound recordists. As you can see from the images below, they come prepared with the various tools of the trade. Their talent, experience and equipment does come with a price tag that is sometimes more than your budget allows or your project requires. If you are creating videos that are scenario based, with more than two people talking, I would always recommend hiring a professional video production company to film and edit the videos. The extra cost will pay off in the end with videos you can be proud of and will stand the test of time.
In this blog we will be discussing video projects where there is one to two people speaking directly into camera. We call these 'talking head' videos: an interview-style video that features an instructor or subject matter expert who talks directly into the camera as though they are addressing the learner directly. This is the style used to great effect on Tiktok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.
The best and least expense way to begin filming your talking head videos is to film them using whichever smart phone you have. (We will be discussing DSLR and Mirrorless cameras in another blog). The cameras on the phones are great for these types of videos and for where the videos will ultimately live. There is no need to shoot them on 4K cameras as the sites where you will be posting them don't support 4K videos.
The two important things to consider when filming your videos are the audio quality and lighting quality. Let's talk lighting first.
LIGHTING FOR TALKING HEAD VIDEOS
Lighting can make anyone look good or bad! The most tried and true method to lighting for a talking head video is the 3 POINT LIGHTING METHOD. The three points are:
KEY LIGHT: The key light is primary source of the scene. It is the most intense and direct light source which is used to illuminate the subject. The key light is most often placed in front of your subject, at an angle, and thus illuminates one section of your subject.
Methods to Manipulate a Key Light:
FILL LIGHT: The fill light does exactly what it sounds like it does-it fills in gaps in light created by the key light. It eliminates shadows created by the key light and doesn't create any of it's own. It's less powerful than the key light and is placed opposite from it. The fill light determines the feel and style of the shot.
What does fill light do?
BACKLIGHT/HAIR LIGHT: The backlight lights the subject from behind to help separate them from the background. It's generally placed higher than the subjec that it's lighting. When a backlight hits a subject at an angle it is referred to as a kicker or rim light.
What is backlight used for?
Resourced image from https://www.videoschool.com/three-point-lighting/
Now that we know where to place the lights, the question is what type of lights should we be using?
METHOD 1 - NATURAL LIGHTING
This is exactly what it sounds like- the use of natural light for the KEY LIGHT. Perhaps your home, office or home office has a nice big window- perfect. You set up facing the window with the camera in front of you and use the natural light from the window as your key light. You can then use a reflector from the natural light as your FILL LIGHT and another reflector as your BACKLIGHT
METHOD 2- LED LIGHTING KITS
LED lights are lighter and cooler than other types of video lighting and can be plugged into any household outlet. LED’s are extremely efficient. You can use batteries to power them. That makes them portable and sleek - no messy cabled needed.
Some suggested lighting kits:
Neewer 660 LED Light Kit at Amazon
GVM LED Video Lighting Kit at Amazon
VILTROX VL-200 Kit at Amazon
AUDIO FOR TALKING HEAD VIDEOS
The sound of your video is crucial. We can forgive a wobbly camera or lighting that isn't perfect, but we can't forgive bad sound. People will turn off any video that has bad sound. The mic on most smart phones are good in perfect conditions ie; in a quiet room with no outside noise (street sounds, people in other parts of the office/house), or no inside noise (air conditioners, fluorescent lights, running refrigerators) and with a single subject. When another subject is added, or the conditions for filming are not perfect, the smart phone mics are not adequate. An external mic source is required.
AUDIO FOR TALKING HEAD VIDEOS
The first thing to consider in terms of audio is location. There are two locations to consider: INSIDE and OUTSIDE
INSIDE: Inside is the easiest place to shoot as there tends to be less noise to interfere with your video. Some things to consider when choosing an indoor location:
1- How busy is the location? The busier the location the longer it will take you to film and the more heartache you will have in post when you realise you can't use the footage due to noise issues. Unless you can lock down the whole building while you are filming, it's best to chose a location that is as isolated as possible.
2- How loud is the room? Yes, empty rooms can be louder than other empty rooms. Stand in the room you are planning on filming and listen for sounds like: air conditioners, fluorescent lights, fridges, elevator sounds, sounds emanating from outside like trucks. If the room is noisy, try to find another room. If you have to use a noisy room- at the end of your filming record 30 seconds of the room tone so that it can be used in post when cuts are made from one take to another. A good note to be on the safe side:if you can hear it, your phone can hear it, so stop and wait for the noise to end.
OUTSIDE: Outside has many challenges when it comes to audio. Not only do you have to think about how busy your location is for the same reason as you do for when shooting indoor, you also have to take into consideration the weather, especially the wind. If you do not have a way to block the wind from your phone mic, your audio, and therefore your video, will be unusable. It is why, when filming outside, it is imperative to use an external mic with a wind sock.
Some suggested External Mics
Maono 2.4 GHz Dual Lapel Mics
Sabine Tek Official SmartMike
Saramonic Blink 500
Is a playwright and screenwriter and founder of Moxie Productions