So you want to make a video for your social media?
Maybe you want to make more than one video; maybe you want to make a series of videos?
But where do you start? Glad you asked.
I know making videos can seem a bit daunting. But, hopefully, I’ll help take some of the anxiety away and get you on the road to making your own videos. Like anything, it’s always easier to start at the beginning and break it into bite-sized chunks.
So here we go…
- First, choose the subject of your video.
I know this seems a bit obvious, but it really is the first thing any video/TV/film maker has to do. Video is a story telling medium and we have to know what story we are telling – at the beginning.
So, if you are a small business who wants to get more followers or show your current followers what you do/make/etc, your best bet is to create a ‘story’ for them to watch.
Which leads me to ask you to jot down what your video subject is.
In the tea video below, I wanted to feature my gorgeous little teapot in a video because; well it’s just so cute. So my video subject was the teapot.
- Secondly - choose an action naturally associated with your video subject
What does your video subject naturally associate itself with?
In my video example, the teapot is used for making tea. Seems obvious right? But have a think about it. The action - the thing that I have used to drive my story forward - is the process of making the tea, using the teapot (the video subject). This is the action.
So what’s the action associated with your video subject? And if your business is not a product driven business, no problem. What is the service you provide? What is the action that is connected with, or makes up that service?
No matter what business you’re in, there will always be an action that can drive a story forward.
- Next, write down, in point form, each step of the action.
In my case, I wrote down each step of the tea making process. This then gave me my shot list i.e. each of the shots I need to capture to tell my story.
Making a shot list and knowing your story is the key to making your shoot waaaaay less stressful. In the biz, it’s all part of the ‘pre-production’ phase.
Now you know what you need to do and you have a list of what you need to capture – the rest is easy!!
- Ok, now choose a location and check out the lighting.
Choose a location that is a natural setting for your video subject. Then, take a few still photos so you can see your location in a frame.
In my example video I chose my kitchen counter, which is usually where I make tea. But I could have also chosen my kitchen table, my dining table, the coffee table, my outdoor table. Or I could have chosen to make tea over a campfire or some other location.
So think beyond the obvious, there may be another location even better than your first inspiration.
All righty then - this is where you should look at your lighting. I like to use natural light, as it is so beautiful. But it can be hard to control the continuity of shots if the sun is going in & out of clouds. So think about this when choosing your location.
You might want the light behind the subject, in front of the subject or to the left or right of it. Play around with what light you’ve got and what angles you can shoot from and you will find your shot.
- So now it’s time to setup and shoot. Wow, did you think we’d ever get there??
You can approach the shoot what-ever way you’d like, and you don’t have to shoot in the order the action happens.
But when you’re just starting out, it sometimes helps to keep things simple and do exactly that, shoot the action in the order it happens.
You will see in my example video that I have a number of scenes which, for this exercise, I shot in order of action. But again, that’s up to you.
Also, it always helps to have all your props ready, on hand, so it makes the setup easier.
Put your video subject and props into frame, then take a couple of photos and see if you like the way the light falls on the subject. If you don’t, either move the subject/props or move the camera.
And finally shoot. Don’t be scared of pushing that little red button. If the first few takes aren’t what you want, keep trying until you get it. You can always delete want you don’t like. The more you shoot, the better you will get at it…just like everything else in this world.
You get out of something what you put in.
- Lastly, it’s time for the edit.
Now here is where I suggest you get in touch with your feelings. Because editing is all about feeling and timing. The edit is where the emotion of the story can really be controlled.
At this point I’d choose some music that suits your story, and the emotion you want people to feel. Make sure you have permission to use the music on all platforms you want to place it. A good place to buy less ‘stock sounding’ music with easy to understand Licensing and reasonable rates is http://www.premiumbeat.com/ (and no I am not affiliated).
Once your song & footage is in your software, select your best sections of footage and place in the timeline. Make sure you have it in order of action.
Then choose the part of the song you want to use. Be choosy. Make sure it’s the section of music you really want as the music is going to set the mood for your video.
And remember, when it comes to video on social media – less is more.
So you have your music and your footage – now listen and watch for natural beats, rhythms and change of action – these are your edit points.
In my example video you will see that I have chosen not to include the entirety of each action. Here are some of my edit decisions to a. keep the action moving and b. keep the video to a 15 second timeframe.
- I put a quick dissolve in between the first 2 shots to create a somewhat seamless transition – cutting out the time it took my to put the teapot lid down, pick up the spoon & fill it with tealeaves.
- I cut into the pouring of the boiling water halfway through
- I cut out the empty frames when I was putting the kettle down and picking up the teapot lid
- I didn’t include the most important step of tea making – the brewing…there was no action it & I made a decision that my audience would understand the tea would have to sit for a few minutes to brew
- I cut into the shot of the tea being poured half way through the pour
- I cut out of this shot before I put down the teapot
- Then, I changed the camera angle and cut out the action of me picking up the spoon & putting the sugar in
If you look at the video edit points and listen to the music, you will also see that I made edit decisions in line with beats, pauses and the flow of the music.
So go forth, start making videos. The sooner you start, the sooner your videos will be online and amazing!!
Here's another example of story telling...