This is a guest post from Brian, my talented other half, about how to make great looking videos – he is the driving force behind all the videos here, no matter how much he makes it seem like it’s all my idea…
I was not very enthusiastic when Jami first asked me if we could do a video for AOC four years ago. Today, if you go look at our YouTube channel you’ll see that we have 30 videos, so something must have changed my mind.
When she first asked me, all I could think of was the huge amount of time and effort it takes to make a decent video. As an advertising copywriter I’ve had the chance to write and help produce dozens of videos for big clients. For a business video you get months to work on the script and plan every detail of the production. You get to hire a director and his crew. You get to bring in experienced actors who show up with their lines memorized. You get several shooting days followed by weeks of post-production. Oh, and you get paid.
So when Jami asked about doing one for the blog, all could think of were the days and days it was going to take us to produce one of these things.
It turns out I was wrong.
There is a way to make good blog videos with no script, no crew, and very limited time. I just hadn’t figured it out yet.
Now more than 50 videos later (I’ve used this method for clients as well) we sort of have the system down.
Jami and I can completely produce a 5 minute video–“writing,” shooting, and editing in less than 4 hours. I say “writing” because aside from a few notes, we don’t write a script. And to my surprise these videos kind of make sense from beginning to end and don’t look like they were shot on a baby monitor cam. We’re getting close to 700,000 views on our YouTube channel, so other people seem to like them too.
I created a short how-to video with some of my tips to easily make great looking videos for blogs without a lot of fancy gear or a script that I posted on my own website, Making Me Write This (a blog where I post tips and tutorials for people who need help with various marketing writing projects–from press releases to websites to white papers). Since it’s basically the same method Jami and I use for the AOC videos, I asked if I could share it here.
I shot it entirely on my iPhone, using a $5 mic and a cheapo tripod standing on paint cans. But because the iPhone 5s has an incredible resolution for outdoor shooting, the footage looks great. Except maybe I was squinting too much because I was coming down with a cold.
Anyway, if we can make videos this way, anybody can.
Watch the video and then leave any questions you have in the comments.
A Note About Equipment Set-Up
Over the past 4 years we’ve used 5 different cameras for shooting the videos for AOC: 2 different camcorders, 2 still cameras that also shoot video, and an iPhone. Right now we mostly use a Nikon D3200 DSLR (which Jami also uses for all her blog photos) or an iPhone 5s. In both cases we use a wired lapel mic for sound. I know from my experience that it is EXTREMELY important that you properly mic yourself–even more important than fancy lighting.
Here are Amazon links to what we used in this video that we’ve found to be the most cost effective way to get great results:
Rockit Headphone/Microphone Splitter
(iPhone mic adapter)
Neewer® Two-way Spring Lock Smartphone Tripod Holder Mount – this is not the exact iPhone tripod mount I use, but very similar
Neewer® 3.5mm Hands Free Computer Clip on Mini Lapel Microphone – great little mic for the price
Basic 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod – similar to the one used in the video (if yours is a 60-inch, you may need to use the high-tech paint cans like I did to get a bit more height…)
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and by clicking on them you help support AOC at no extra cost to you – thanks so much! (Oh, and you can always read our entire disclosure page here.)
Sharing at Weekend re-Treat Party.
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