Depending on your marketing budget and brand standards, you may not need a professional crew to shoot and edit all the video your company produces.
To capture customer testimonials, internal events or other types of "real person" content for your company's social pages, you can use your smart phone or tablet to shoot good quality video. But, for the best results, consider these tips I've compiled with input from MadAveGroup Videographer Rob Heath.
1) Always shoot horizontally unless you'll post the video on TikTok. Two reasons: A) when viewed on a desktop, laptop or tablet, vertical videos leave large black borders on the right and left sides, and B) when the camera is held vertically, composing shots in a logical and pleasing way can be difficult. The audience will see a lot of floor and ceiling (or ground and sky) and relatively little of what's important - the people. Your subjects - and an attractive background - will often appear before you horizontally, so it's important to shoot video of them the same way.
2) Tighten up. Move physically closer to your subjects. Merely zooming in will lower the quality of the video, but shooting within a few feet or yards of your main subject will allow you to fill the screen with action and/or emotion. Remember, your audience wants to see the faces of your subjects, not their knees and shoes.
3) Move in closer for better quality sound, too. The mics on most phones will not produce the best quality audio. When shooting an interview or talking head segment, take the subject to a quiet space with no wind or background noise. Then, shoot within two or three feet of the person's face. Rob reminds you to know where your phone's microphone is. "If you're not aware of its position, you're more likely to bump or even cover it, which will lead to muffled or scratchy audio."
4) Plan your camera movement. Let's say you're shooting a long line of people. Don't start shooting in the middle of that line, then pan all the way right, then pan all the way left. That makes for redundant coverage. An option: Start at the far left and pan right or vice versa - one motion in one direction. Choreograph your movement so it makes for a thoughtful, elegant shot that still captures the visual information you want.
5) Look for the best angle. Don't shoot backs when you can shoot faces. Stoop down and shoot upward or climb a ladder to get an overhead shot in order to change the perspective. The same shot over and over makes for a dull, predictable video. Rob adds, "Think of the end result before you start shooting. You'll be asking your customers to watch your video, so make it enjoyable for them."
6) You don't need to move the camera. If your shots are composed interestingly enough, your subjects will provide the motion and energy. Also, don't zoom in or out while shooting. It's very difficult to zoom smoothly with a phone or tablet and the jerky motion makes the video look unprofessional. If you want to move the camera using pans and tilts, again, plan the movement first. Make sure you have room to execute the motion smoothly. Rob says, "Moving shots can be very cinematic and cool, and phone camera image stabilization has improved over the years, but you're still likely to get better results by locking down the camera on a tripod or using slow movements."
7) Think about cutting before shooting. If you’ll be editing the footage, Rob suggests knowing your phone's frame rate. "There are some phones that can shoot 4k/60fpsm, but once you import all that video, your computer may not be able to handle it easily. When you plan to edit, consider shooting in HD or 1080p/24fps."
If your project is more involved, let us know. The MadAveGroup video team works with our strategists, writers and voice talent to create work that you'll be proud to have representing your brand.