Remote collaborations and shooting from home has become an important part of the new norm. Here we present tips for small businesses, brands, agencies, and creators to shoot videos from home professionally.
With more and more small businesses moving online, along with their products, their video content and video campaigns are also competing with the bigger brands. While small businesses may not have the same resources or production value, they can still shoot videos professionally.
‘From home’ remains the dominant theme across campaigns and content, as most people continue to stay put and it is encouraged to do so. While several have adopted this practice, the quality of the content and campaigns shouldn’t drop.
On that account, we offer a few tips that may help produce videos professionally with minimal requirements and production value.
The tips that also include inputs from LinkedIn and YouTube blogs, can be used by small businesses, brands, agencies, and creators for creating content, producing campaigns, hosting virtual events, or even while participating in virtual panel discussions and shoot videos professionally.
Most smartphones have a higher grade of cameras with adequate quality, with Apple products being the best. Enabling the ‘HDR’ feature improves the quality too.
Phones have usually sufficed for video productions. You can gradually shift to video equipment if you do not wish to jump into buying expensive equipment. The only prop you might need is a mobile stand.
The backdrop is the most important part of the video. Choose a background with minimal objects or distractions. Miniature objects relevant to the theme of the video (if available) can fill up enough space to make the video look more natural.
Avoid messy backgrounds (unless that’s what you’re going for), which might also require cleaning up the room. If you want all of the attention to be only on the subject or need an empty background, a blank wall is the most convenient option, the other is tying up a bedsheet.
You can choose lighter shades such as sky blue to give the backdrop more depth or darker shades such as coffee brown to make the subject more enhanced.
Natural Light is the best lighting you can get. In an interview with Film Companion, R Varman, a top cinematographer from the Hindi & South Indian film industry mentioned the location shouldn’t kill the natural light.
Choose a part of your house that receives the maximum sunlight. If sunlight is not giving you the colors wanted, or you are shooting after sunset. House lights such as bulbs, LED lights, tube lights will do.
Some cheap LED or solar-powered bulbs are also available online if the house lights do not serve the purpose. Killing shadows is the most important part of lighting. The placement of the light matters a lot.
A ring light is the best option that doesn’t throw any shade, one ring light is enough for a subject. A ring light can cost anywhere between ₹500 to ₹5000 or even more.
LED lights give a softer glow, whereas bulbs give a stronger, more intense light. You can also cut the light as desired by holding a sheet of butter paper. The color you see with the naked eye will not be the same as what the camera catches. To experiment with the color palette, you can also replace the butter paper with colored cellophane papers.
Avoid choosing a room with disturbances, humming sounds, a noisy fan, air conditioner, or anything similar. The key to recording quality to sound is keeping the microphone as close as possible to the subject, and out of the frame.
If you have a microphone, well & good but if the phone you’re recording with doesn’t capture that quality of sound, try dangling a second smartphone above the subject’s head.
If you do not have access to a second smartphone, try convincing a housemate to practice distancing from theirs for a bit. Or record sound later, and while producing the final edit, overlap the sound recorded from the second phone with the video shot.
Horizontal is best suited for YouTube, Square for Facebook & Instagram, and Vertical for Snapchat & IGTV. Orientation should be decided on the basis of which platform it is going to be uploaded on. You might also want to consider where your audience is most active.
Most social media platforms suggest that a substantial chunk of videos, or at least their initial few seconds are watched with the sound turned off. Subtitles are significant for the silent viewing experience, but you can include a CTA to turn the sound on if that’s best suited for your video.
While there are several editing software, tools, and apps available on both desktop and mobile, the best way to skip editing is shooting as required, most easily applicable for videos that have a single shot. Multiple shots can be stitched together.
There are also several beginner-level editing tools that require minimal knowledge or expertise, there may be several in your phone’s camera too. If you wish to go all-in, you can enhance the video with overlayed graphics, text, fade-outs, fade-ins, and transitions.
Essentially, storyboarding is a series of illustrations or graphic representation of the shots your video will consist, and what your video will look like.
The artists can go all out on this one, but given that most of us would lack drawing skills, you can write down dialogues, frames of the shots, the sequence of scenes, and also the props you will need.
Setting a storyboard beforehand will block everything needed to shoot the video, then the only thing left would be to shoot the video.
You can take things up a notch with a mood board. You can collect images, text, and sample objects to describe and fix the color palette, and the look and feel of the video. You can also include any inspiration you find on the web to portray how the video would look like.