Creator gear and setup: master the basics
A few tips will make a big difference to your video. Suggestions on lights, cameras, mics, tripods - and your setup.
Making your videos look and sound dope is key to create compelling content where users listen and watch a video in its entirety and engage with the subject matter. But you don't need a Hollywood crew and budget to do so.
Here are the fundamentals (in order):
- Quality audio is the most underrated components of a video and you will see an immediate improvement. Record quality audio with a directional, desk or lavalier microphone. Don't use the default computer/webcam mic if you can help it.
- Minimize background noise. Record away from noisy streets and ACs. Silence phones (incl. vibrations which can also create noise). Ask others to be quiet for 15 minutes.
- I use and highly recommend the Yeti Blue which is a desk mic but with directional and gain settings.
- The mic should be placed in front of you and try to speak into it from a comfortable distance. You may want to test at the beginning of every shoot to make sure it recording and not on mute. (Ugh the number of times I had an awesome delivery only to find out later that the mic was muted.)
- A steady shot is critical, this ain't an action scene. Put your camera in a fixed location, like on a tripod, where it will not shake.
- Good, cheap recommendation for a tripod: AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Mount Tripod Stand With Bag - 16.5 - 50 Inches and if you are recording with your smartphone, use this adaptor. You can also search for smaller desk tripods too.
- Some simple clean white lights will make a world of a difference.
- Try this LED light ring or use your own bright LED lights and position them in front of you, out of the way of the camera (so it doesn't create shadows). Get ones that have a power supply so you don't have to worry about charging batteries.
- I put cameras last for a reason: people often think it is the most important but in 2020 it is the least important as even the camera on your iPhone is good enough.
- Use a smartphone in landscape (horizontally positioned, not vertically). While the back cameras tend to be better quality, you will want to make sure you line up so use the front cameras.
- A webcam will also be fine to get started with.
- The camera should be at eye level: not below your face making it look like a horror film (how many video calls have you been on where a laptop looks right up into the person's nostrils?). Not above your face making you look meek. Direct at eye level is best to start. Master the basics, then get creative.
Example: A nicely framed shot:
Specifically the face is centered, at eye level with the camera, and a good size in proportion to the rest of the shot. (Don't worry about the cinematic blurred background for now!)
Feel free to reach out if you have questions.
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