The preferred way to share information has increasingly become video. It can be made accessible and doesn't depend on the literacy level of the person viewing.
Here are some of our top tips for getting started even as a beginner!
Plan! Plan! Plan!
Even for short pieces, creating a rough storyboard (even if you're terrible at drawing!) will help you visualise what you need to do and if people are helping you, help to share your vision.
It can help you determine things like what lighting you might need and will help you pre-visualise what your final product will be, and what shots you might need to get there.
One of the biggest secrets to achieving professional-level videos is to use lighting. One of the other best-kept secrets is to be intentional with your lighting. Determine what you need and where you need to put them to achieve the effect you want. Remember, sometimes creating shadows in certain places can add a bit of drama, so also consider where lighting should not be.
Backgrounds and Backdrops
Keep the backgrounds and backdrops simple. Remove as much clutter as you can. If you are able to, try to use solid coloured backgrounds and then place the thing you are filming at least a metre away to avoid casting a shadow. The aim is to remove anything that will take away attention from the thing you are filming. So unless the clutter is part of the shot, get rid of it.
Framing and composition is key to looking professional. Arrange your visual elements to tell your story, and then frame your scene to look aesthetically pleasing. One of the biggest tips we can give you here is to remember the Rule of Thirds. If you are filming a person, put their head a little higher, not at the centre, of the frame and if they are facing the sides, give them a bit of breathing room. Another trick can be to remain on the same side of two people when taking over-the-shoulder shots, as well as adding foreground and background to create depth.
Proper Camera Placement
It's always better to zoom in with the lens rather than moving physically closer. This can mean that you can crop later on but your footage is better. Remember though, if you only have a camera phone or something that only has digital zoom, then moving closer might be your only option, digital zoom will degrade your video quality.
Set your white balance
Especially if you are using several cameras and plan to use all the footage in one product, you must set the white balance on all the cameras so that your footage will be consistent. Remember a correct white balance depends on what you want to output, you can intentionally make it look cold or warmer by tweaking this.