maanantai 30. tammikuuta 2017

How to make your video look more pro - tips and tricks

These blogs are supposed to contain what you have learnt during the week. I really enjoyed the guest lecture about marketing research and what people buy. That was not much related to digital marketing than it was to basic marketing. Other than that I have to sadly say that this week I didn’t learn anything new about the other subject; video. So, instead of going through what I learnt maybe I can teach others couple things more about video making. 

Last week we had our first task as a group. It was shooting and editing and introduction video about ourselves. Before the assignment a fellow student gave us a presentation about video. That was what inspired me to write this blogpost, since I wanted to point out some thing that she didn’t talk about. Honestly, it has been a while since my last video production. My thesis from vocational school in 2015 was a video production. 

Anyways, important things to keep in mind when planning, shooting and editing videos.


Every video production starts with synopsis. A short story, summary, what is the basic going for your video. What happens, and in what direction. Is the video going to be chronological, does it include music, what is the storyline in short?

Next, you will do the script. Write down what, where and how dialogue is said. What happens in between? Write down the sounds and movements. Using a script does not mean that you cannot improvise, it is just guideline to tell you what happens in your video and helps you keep track on what you did already. Trust me, it is not very nice to find out you forgot to shoot important scene when you start editing.

Then the most important tool, if you want your video to look professional, is storyboard. There is apps and websites to dedicated to help you with this but basic stick figures on the paper work just fine. The point of storyboard is plan ahead your camera angles and camera movement. 

Visualising your script into a storyboard is first of all, -well planned, half done, second that makes the set up for shooting much easier and faster since you already know where to set up the camera and what to shoot.

Other preparations consider;

How long does it take?
Longer than you think. Let’s put it this way. You have to make 1-minute video. And you have six 10 second clips to shoot in different places. The reality is that you wont make it at the first try. Depending on the clip, is there people, is there a dialogue, is something suppose to happen in corresponding actions, it might take average 5-25 tries. Add when you add all what happens behind the camera, all preparations for the next try, watching the material, etc. you can easily spend 10 minutes shooting one 10 second clip. If you want your video to look professional, take your time. Don’t rush.

When it comes to the locations, there is really not a limit. Use your imagination. Make a note that it is legal to shoot in public places (where anyone could have access and you don’t have to pay anything) without asking permissions. Of course it is polite to ask, but for example a store cannot make you delete to footage once they spot you and say you cannot shoot. They can ban you from the store though.


Only time you can shoot vertically is Snapchat. For example, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram still prefers horizontal. Seriously. I couldn't be more serious about this. 

Good lighting is the most important thing. I would recommend a natural light. Reason behind this the colour of the light. Specially if you shoot with smart phone, because even they can shoot 4k, quality of the picture is not very good in dark situations. Aka inside and in yellow lightning.  
Avoid mixed lights. Different colour light sources can make the image look blurry and very unprofessional. If there is not quite enough light for both sides, you can also use reflectors for example: big white paper or even a mirror. White reflector also makes the shadow side of the picture look less harsh. Avoid light right above of behind the target when shooting people. Best option is light source from above in 45-degree angle or from straight forward.

I could do a whole another post about camera angles and how they effect on the quality of the image, but lets just summary it here. Always keep the camera angle at 90.
There are lots of exceptions but this is a basic rule. Don’t tilt the camera down like you tilt your head just to fit the subject in to the picture. Step back and lower the camera if needed.

Why? Because the horizon and perspective. That’s why. And it looks silly.
As Viveka told us, good audio is the key. Using headphones to record audio is what I have also done in past and it works very well. One tip though, when recording external audio; Clap three times loudly when you start shooting and recording, so when you have to match the audio to video in video editor, you can overlay the audio tracks more easily.


Less is more. There is so much you can fit in to one second. 24 frames to be exact. Good example is already dead app called Vine, which allowed you to do only 6 second videos. And still you can fit whole story in 6 seconds. Keep what counts to make video informative.

Good editing makes the video interesting. Change angles when shooting or cut out the pauses and “um”s, so you don’t have somebody talking straight to the camera for 2 minutes. That just gets boring. You can also overlay audio track with other clips and make the video more interesting.

Tip for shooting somebody speaking is to use more than one camera at the same time so you have different angles to choose from when editing.

The internet is full of tutorials how to edit video. And if you want to learn some specific software, I recommend Youtube. I started with Windows movie maker also and then evolved to Magix Movie Edit Pro, which was fairly easy to use. Nowadays I use Adobe Premiere Pro, but I am still learning it, as it is a huuuuge program. They all work with the same timeline concept, which is in my opinion more useful than the "trailer" tool, it you have any interest in editing at all. Timeline makes it easier to understand the structure of the video and makes applying music and other audio easier.

This one is very good tutorial about how ted talks are cut.

And one thing, If you want to look professional don’t use those video transform things that Movie Maker and IMovie has.  

For free editing software other than listed above, check out these listings:

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