Written by Daisy Bees on 26th August 2015

(Last updated 9th February 2016)

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5 Top Tips - Filming

It has never been easier to add digital content to your website and share some powerful marketing directly to your clients.

  • 1/3 of all online activity is spent watching video
  • 50% of people are more likely to absorb information through video than through text
  • 75% more people are likely to watch video than read print (Forbes Insight)

Story boarding

It really does depend on your subject matter but whatever you need to shoot, whatever your footage is... make it worth watching.

  • Make sure you're scripting and storyboarding your piece to be interesting and watchable.
  • It's really important to know what you want to film. This way you can stay focused. Make it engaging, if it isn't great on paper then it won't be great on film. Be creative. Make the most of this opportunity.
  • Think client! What do they want to see? what do you want them to take from this? Think motivation, subliminal messaging; make it animated and engaging.
  • How much space is on your memory cards? Use this wisely, they are not infinite and it will be easier to edit if you shoot to script.
  • Run your storyboard past a few clients and staff and friends. Get some other eyes to look over it for you to make sure it makes sense and is really what they want, not just what you want.

Location

Where you are filming (location) is so important. If you can't find somewhere good, make it look good! Props can help hugely with this. Filming techniques can change the atmosphere and inference of a shot, by pulling the foreground into focus you can totally change the attention of the viewer and if your location isn't up to much, blurring the background can cover up all manner of sins:

  • Focus pull
  • Depth of field
  • Angle
  • Tracking

It is easy to film a basic piece and make it look good. Use a different angle, bring a plant or person into the foreground, move around the room. Get down on your knees and look up stand on a chair and look down, create the scene you want using the whole space you have been given.

Think of your audience. They will be making a snap judgement on your company with the quality and content of your video and that includes what's in the foreground and the background. Look around and move things, go to other rooms and buildings, swap desks and chairs and files. Make it work for you and be pleasing to the eye.

Camera

Lets get this straight - you can film on a webcam, you can use a small good quality handycam, you can even use a phone camera. Cameras are such good quality today, it's blown your semi-professional videographer out of the water.

It's what you film that is crucial, it's how you light it and making sure the content is appropriate and captivating. Use a tripod, film sensibly, and if you do use a camera that films in a very high resolution because you need it for other purposes, ensure you have the space to store this and the space to edit it. I have a got snap happy and had to buy more space to edit and store footage!

Budget to Professional Camera choices

These high-quality budget cameras are still a good mid-range beginner camera but an SLR with video capabilities will often sometimes only film for 10-30 minutes straight, so beware, and be mindful of your project. Always focus on what you need it for.

Canon EOS 700D Digital SLR Camera

‘Create detailed, low-noise 18 megapixel images that can be printed at high resolution and cropped without losing quality. Capture Full-HD movies with creative control and Hybrid CMOS AF that focuses continuously as you shoot. Explore new shooting angles and control the camera with a 7.7cm Vari-angle Clear View LCD II Touch screen.Get shooting quickly and easily with Scene Intelligent Auto, and expand your horizons with Creative shooting modes. Shoot low-noise images in poor light using ISO 100-12800 sensitivity (extends to ISO 25600)’

New 4K cameras add a whole new dimension but are not always needed for web video and will definitely need more storage to edit and save down to the size and format. They include more pixels and make watching back your video a joy, and hopefully will be a joy to watch for longer.

A couple of good high quality recently released cameras are:

Canon EOS 700D 

‘Creative and versatile the XC10 captures stunning 4K video and high quality stills in one compact, lightweight and easy to use camera with 10x zoom lens, optical image stabilisation and Wi-Fi remote control.’

A great use for a camera such as this is that it can be used for attaching to a drone. Its light enough and good enough quality for filming superb ariel footage.

GoPro HERO4 BLACK

Black is the most advanced GoPro ever. Featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates.’ Incredible high-­resolution 4K30 and 1080p120 high frame-rate video enable stunning, immersive footage of you and your world. New Protune™ settings for both photos and video unlock manual control of colour, ISO Limit, Exposure and more. Waterproof to 40 metres (131 feet) with 12MP photos at a blistering 30 frames per second and improved audio, the GoPro HERO is the ultimate in Action Cams. 

Obviously the GoPro is a cheaper, high quality option on a limited budget, but you will be able to film in different situations. It is more durable and portable, but the GoPro is fantastic for sports and water video or high speed situations.

Whatever camera you choose, immerse yourself in the quality of production, lighting and scripting. Make sure you have the quality of content and don’t lose the message you are trying to convey, by spending all your time on in-camera functions menus!

Creating a good quality piece means it can be used in many mediums. It also means that you can use your footage for other projects like:

  • Trade shows
  • Meetings
  • Websites
  • Lobby/Building Entrance
  • Promotional events

Starting out with a good quality camera means that the end product will be impressive, what ever size you choose to show it. If you spend money on a short promo make sure you can use it on all of your chosen platforms. 

Canon XC10 4K Compact Camcorder

‘Creative and versatile the XC10 captures stunning 4K video and high quality stills in one compact, lightweight and easy to use camera with 10x zoom lens, optical image stabilisation and Wi-Fi remote control.’

Great for documentary and on the move filming, where it may prove difficult to have bulky lenses to change. A really good use for a camera such as this is that ist is good quality and lightweight so could be used on a UAV (drone) like a hexa-rotor. The camera features a hot shoe that supports Canon speed lights or works as a standard cold shoe for LEDs, microphones, or other third-party on-camera accessories. Still photos, user settings, and video up to and including 1080p are recorded to SDHC/SDXC memory cards. To handle the up to 305 Mbps bitrate of 4K video there is also a CFast card slot.

Lighting

Never underestimate good lighting. You want fantastic footage that looks beautiful and screams quality, being able to have good lighting means colours are richer and contrast is much improved. You can hire sets of lights very easily.

Lighting is so important and can make a piece look really good or show up all the imperfections. If you need to hire a separate lighting engineer, they are worth their weight in gold and will really make a difference to your piece. A useful bit of kit is a reflector which is used in all broadcasting situations to bounce natural or artificial light back onto its subject for softer effect with less harsh lines. For a standard interview you need:

  • Large soft Key Light to light the subject.
  • A reflector or fill light to bounce light onto the other side of the face so the shadows aren't too harsh.
  • A backlight to light the background and bring your subject forward, separating them from the background.

Editing

A good edit makes all the difference, just like good punctuation can enhance a good story, and it's not as hard as it sounds, there's new software that's super intuitive and really easy to find. Just hold off on too many slides, fades and strange edits and you will be fine.

Alternatively you can hand your precious footage over to a professional and have it done for you. If you are really going for it Final Cut Pro and Premiere make for good tools but you will need a chunky external hard drive to absorb all the memory, which is why being specific when filming and having as little on the cutting room floor will make all the difference!

There are some even easier packages that will literally do all the editing for you and will only give you space to put in words to come up on screen. They may be simple but these have their place and are not to be scoffed at.

Conclusion

Video will: 

  • Encourage people to your website.
  • Help people to stay within your site.
  • Educate them more about your company.
  • Increase sales. 

All in a very personal way

Having an amazing video can even make you go viral and say everything you need to say in just a few short minutes.

It's worth spending the extra time making sure it's right, sending the right message to the right people has huge power and making the most of this superbly easy tool on your website will set you apart from everyone else.

This article was posted in Quick Tips by Daisy Bees

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