Making Your Own Videos

It's easier than ever to produce video these days. However, the quality is very variable. How can you make yours stand out? Here are ten tips that may help, whether you use a camera or your phone.
  1. Plan, plan, plan Prepare a storyboard and a shooting script. Depending on the story, you may script it tightly, or leave it until the shoot. Never start filming until you have the end result in mind.
  2. Keep it Steady Camera movement is very difficult to control using a hand-held video camera. Use a tripod, or brace yourself against a tree, post or doorframe. Go down on one knee if there is nothing to lean against.
  3. Keep it Short Long sequences can very quickly become boring. Aim for shots of five to ten seconds in length.
  4. Use the Zoom very rarely Although your camera may have a powerful zoom, try to avoid using it. If you do need to use it, zoom slowly, and only use the optical zoom function, never the digital one. The quality drop-off is alarming
  5. Show us where you are Always try to include a landmark or location shot to position your video. TV shows do this all the time, with an exterior shot before an internal (studio) scene
  6. Make use of the light When outdoors, always shoot with the light source (hopefully the sun) behind you. Indoors, if you camera has a "backlight" feature, make use of it.
  7. Shoot for the edit Make sure you have set-up shots, closing shots and detailed shots that will fit together to tell the story
  8. Change your perspective Use different camera angles, panning shots and (slow) zooms to provide variety
  9. Conserve the battery Turn the camera off when not in use. Carry a spare battery as well (or a charger)
  10. Learn from Films When you watch a film, think "how did they film that?" and learn some new techniques
"This information was written by Alan Stevens, and originally appeared in "The MediaCoach", his free weekly ezine, available at"

The Power of Video

“The leverage they have with audiences is something we’ve never seen before. It’s a medium we’ve never seen before, in terms of quality, how it extracts response from its audience, and the power that the individual creator wields.”

How to leverage online video and YouTube is being figured out quite quickly by several startups in Los Angeles. Several multi-channel networks (MCNs) have gained large followings in the last two years.

Sources: The MediaCoach - PHMC GPE LLC - Forbes -





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