5 basic steps to get started with making videos from your home or office.
In this resource kit,
we will follow:
1. A little bit of space
2. DSLR or smart phone
3. External mic for camera
4. Different types of lighting
5. PC or MAC to edit video
1. Create your Set-up
When choosing an area to record your videos, look for a space that isn’t cluttered with miscellaneous items and has room to walk around in. Good depth and a natural source of lighting such as a window or skylight is also ideal. The depth is required to make the video look more flattering and the natural light will be required to allow enough light into the lens to expose your shot correctly.
A common mistake first time video-makers do is film the subject with their back against the wall. Not only is this boring for the viewer, you miss out on the opportunity to create an engaging frame for your viewer.
Aim to have your subject as far back from the wall as possible.
Keeping the focus on the subject whilst softening the background
You want to ensure your main source of lighting (window, skylight or lamp) is in front of the subject and not behind. If you have multiple lights, prioritise your front light (Key light) than add in a background light (Hair light or Fill light)
In your environment, ensure you have power outlets available if required to power any devices. Rooms with average temperatures are preferred for comfort during long periods of filming.
Also ensure you have some level of noise control in your environment. You want to avoid any noisy areas as this can become ingrained into the filming and potentially ruin your audio in your final product. Bad audio = Bad video.
2. Choose between DSLR or Smart Phone quickly.
DSLR vs Phone
Whether you’re filming on a DSLR camera or your Smart Phone, the laws of video still apply. Though the process or steps you take to achieving the end result will be slightly different. DSLR cameras are more professional and yield a better image though Smart Phones are ideal when using your videos for social media posting as the workflow can be faster at times. I personally prefer the DSLR camera as I’ve always been able to create better imagery and have better control of my camera settings throughout the shooting process. For the purpose of this resource kit, I will explain it in my preferred method using a DSLR camera.
Ensure your DSLR camera has SD Cards ready to go, I recommend Sandisk Extreme SD cards, a 32gb-64gb size should do the trick for your video.
Having a video tripod for your camera is essential for keeping your frame stabilised. You can spend $30 AUD an entry level tripod which is ideal if you’re on a budget. Though if you’re after something which will last you years, you may need to invest into a tripod such as the Manfrotto MK290XT which is around $250 AUD.
No-low budget vs small budget tripods
When choosing the right camera settings for filming, leaving your camera in Auto should work for your basic set-up. The camera technology will balance the lighting in a way where it is evenly distributed across your frame. Unless your trying to achieve stylised lighting, than perhaps explore other lighting options in M (manual) mode.
No-low budget vs small budget tripods
3. Ideally record with an External Mic
Poor sound quality can often ruin a good video. To avoid this, use an external microphone kit (lapel kit) to capture clean audio. Not only are they simple to use, the difference between not having an external mic and using one is quite significant. There are plenty of options available today and they are easy to set-up and install. You’ll thank yourself later.
Most companies and brands offer online tutorials on how to use their products via their website to help you out if you’re a first timer.
I recommend Rode Wireless as a good cost effective entry level or Sennheiser EW112PG4 if you’re looking for something to last years. These are wireless setups which instantly eliminates any tripping hazards and keeps your setup clean.
Worth the investment! I’ve had my Sennheisser’s for over 10 years now and they still perform @ 100%.
A cost effective alternative to these would be a directional on-camera mic such as Rode VideoMic which is approximately $140. This microphone is great at short distance range though will struggle if there is significant distance between the camera and the talking subject.
The best part about these external microphones is that they record directly on to your footage which means you don’t need to sync up any dialogue with visuals later on (like the good ol’ days!).
4. Different sources of lighting
Filming with a window as your main source of lighting has it’s benefits. It’s simple, you don’t need to set anything up and you get to save on power. The downside is, you can’t control it & natural sources of light can often be inconsistent resulting in various lighting results in your footage.
Window as main source of lighting on a good day.
I often recommend to my clients to invest in at least 1 LED light such as the Glanz LED to help keep their lighting consistent throughout the filming day. Purchasing a second light is a great idea, though I recommend using 1 to start off with and master the basics. We’re not creating a Hollywood blockbuster here so we don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on lights unless you really want to!
Often when lighting for a mood, we say less is more. As long as your main subject is clearly exposed and separated from the background, you’re likely to produce a pleasing visual image.
5. Editing your footage
Once you’ve successfully shot all your footage and hi-5’d your team (or yourself) – you will need to edit your footage. This process involves adding music, overlaying text, cutting out unnecessary footage, colour grading, adding logos and exporting.
This is done on your PC or MAC via editing software. At Expansion Media, we have been using Adobe products such as Premiere Pro to cut all of our footage for internal & broadcast use since our first day. It is simple to use and very effective
I personally recommend using Premiere Pro even if you’re completely new to the video production realm. It may seem intimidating at first, though once you get the hang of it (it won’t take long), you’ll be glad you’re using it. There is endless hours of tutorials via YouTube for you to learn and up skill from.
There is a small monthly fee with this software. To use Premiere Pro, you can simply subscribe, download and begin using it right away. Plans start from $30.incl GST per/month.
I hope this kick starts your journey to video production from home or office the right way. Feel free to reach out over Facebook Messenger if you have any further questions.
Stay safe and peaceful!
Oh, also check out our video editing services where you provide the video and we’ll make them look amazing!
I’ve produced 100’s of videos for social media, TV, websites, video brochures & presentations for businesses across Australia.
Over this time, I’ve learned how to effectively create high quality video that viewers will not only engage with, but do so in a timely and cost-effective manner.