How to Produce a Successful Video Shoot

Geek!This is Keegan Blackshear’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Whether it is a live video stream, or a video that you are going to put on YouTube, there are many things that you have to keep in mind. Through my trial and errors in making videos, I have found many important items that need to be addressed to make an all-around decent video. I have arranged them according to what I think is the most important first, to the tip that affects you the least.

  • Video Quality – Good video quality is a must for almost every type of video that you may plan to shoot. In the case of showing small items, you need to make sure that the audience can see what you are holding or showcasing. If you appear as a blur on the screen, you should adjust the video quality. This can be achieved by adjusting the focus. Good video quality is a goal that you need to work towards each and every time you shoot video. Try finding out what quality your device has, and attempt to use it to its fullest. If you can use a video camera or photography camera that can record video, then try to use that. If possible, stay away from webcams as they can have a lower quality picture than that of a video camera. If you must use a web camera, purchase one that is of higher quality instead of one that is less expensive.
  • Lighting – Lighting, along with video quality, is important. If you do not have good lighting for your video, then your audience will not be able to see what you are trying to show them. Placement of lighting is important so the viewer can see what you are showcasing. For example, if you place a lamp to the side of you with the shade taken off, then the viewer will typically be able to see only half of your face. If you can move the lamp in front of you as much as possible, it should cut down on the shadowing of your face. Another example of this is if you are standing in front of a window that is open. The light coming in from a window can darken the things in front of and around it. A simple solution would be to close it, or put a sheet, towel, or a curtain over it. If it is necessary for the window to remain open, then you can brighten the area in front of the window with some artificial light from a lamp or ceiling lights. If there is a brighter window behind the camera, then you could let light in from that window to combat the light in front of the camera. Remember, too much light can be a bad thing. The video can become washed out, where it is hard to see what is on the screen.
  • Sound – Sound is another key item that you need to take into consideration when you are setting up, recording, or streaming video. The placement and surroundings can effect your decision greatly. If you have a microphone on the device that you are using to record or stream video, then you may want to think about getting another microphone. The most convenient spot to place your microphone may not always be the place that you should put it. If the easiest place to put the microphone is behind you, you should automatically think about a different place. If you can not find another spot for the microphone, then you can attempt to make the best of the original microphone on your video recording or streaming device.
  • Information – The information that you give in the recorded or live video is an important factor, because it will help you express your message to the audience. You have to be able to convey what you’re saying to your audience properly, or they may not be able to understand what you are trying to get across to them. You will want to take some time to plan out what you will say ahead of time to prevent the need to redo the shot. Before you stream live video, take some time to look at the material that you will present… rehearse it, then shoot it.
  • Editing – Editing is important mainly to recorded video, as it is difficult to edit a live feed. However, you can record the live video that you streamed, to edit later. Some people prefer to upload raw footage and do nothing with it. That is understandable, because it can be a hassle to edit video. However, it is a good idea to edit video in the event that you made mistakes. Editing may also come in handy if you are unable to get the same camera angle again, because of the time of day, position, or equipment change.

These are the five tips I find most important for beginners to have a successful video shoot. It is easy to incorporate these tips into your video-making routine. If you have any other suggestions that you find helpful, you can find me on Geeks, or leave a comment here.

8 thoughts on “How to Produce a Successful Video Shoot”

  1. Great stuff for beginners, and even those who need a reminder or two about paying attention to surroundings and sound from time to time! Article flows well and is thought out well.

    I’ll certainly recommend it for my sons teen friends who are starting out, as well as my mom who just getting into the digital arena. I know they will benefit greatly from it.

    Thanks for posting.

  2. This is a well written and informative article. I have had trouble making my own videos in the past; maybe I should pay attention to these tips!

  3. Good information for those out there considering making videos to share with family and friends, and especially helpful at this time of year, as Christmas videos might be the closest folks get to “being with” family.

    Thanks for posting!

  4. Thank you for this informative article. It is a reminder to me that my cousin (who lives in another state) would like us to take as many videos of the family as possible and send them to her. She would like for her children to “know” the rest of the family even though they don’t live near us.

    Thank you for some great tips as I get ready to begin videotaping family events to send to her.

  5. Great article. How old are you?? Well written and nice flow. I’m not good at this stuff; yet as i read it i thought, I bet i could do this. Keep up the great work!

  6. A very informative article and very well written.
    I believe I could follow your instructions and
    make a video myself!
    You would make a good teacher!

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