5 Secrets to Producing a Great Video Under $50
Can you keep a secret?
Just because a video is high quality, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily expensive to produce. Every aspiring producer starts out with the question: “How can I make a great video without breaking the bank?” Well, it’s actually very doable. Not every high quality video is synonymous with the big bucks.
These are our secrets for how to produce a great, cheap video:
It’s right at your fingertips! Your smartphone is a great asset for video production, especially if you have a somewhat recent iPhone update. Take the iPhone 7 for example. It has, “a 12-megapixel camera with a 23mm lens with 1.7 aperture. There’s also a 56mm lens on the iPhone 7 Plus.” It is great at reproducing color and operating in low light. Obviously, more recent updates are even more impressive.
If you film on your phone, you can upload the footage to your computer and find an editing program that’s either cheap or free, like iMovie or Adobe Premiere Clip. These work perfectly well for post-production and you can create a great video using them.
And don’t forget – record horizontally, not vertically! This utilizes the full camera screen and will result in a much better final product.
Shoot locally! Treat your neighborhood like your very own set. Obviously, this is dependant on the content of your video. For example, if you need the ocean but live several hours from the beach, you may be out of luck. However, in most circumstances, everything you need is in your own backyard.
Saving money on a set will be a game changer. Improvise! Use your home or your neighbor’s. Look for spots in your community that will suffice for the setting you envisioned. More often than not, you will find something.
You might ask, “Well what if I need a professional background for say, a recruitment video, but I don’t have access to a studio?” There is a cheap solution for that. A clean, white background always looks professional. All you have to do is find a large white cloth or wall to put behind the subject and use some post-production magic. If you simply increase the exposure on the white background and perhaps add a small, white vignette, you’re in business!
This is explained and exemplified in the video below:
One sure way to make a low quality video is to have poor sound. Bad audio is unforgivable and will quickly turn away your viewer. So if you invest in anything, it should be a decent microphone.
Most microphones, however, are affordable. You can even find some in the $20 range. For example, a boya BY-M1 mic is small, will clip onto a shirt and also works on smartphones. These are inexpensive and will make a huge difference in your video’s sound and by extension, the overall video quality. Hanging blankets around your set up will help dampen the echo as well.
The video above gives recommendations for cheap microphones to purchase and shows how well they work.
Ultimately, a high quality video needs to be made up of high quality content. Make sure you are telling a story and your shots have been carefully thought out, even if they’re not scripted. Storyboarding is free and will help you envision your final product before you even begin. You will go into the shoot knowing exactly what you need to get.
Capture as much footage as possible, and if it’s scripted, in a variety of different styles. This way, there will be plenty of material to work with when it comes time to edit.
Lastly, make sure your message, whatever it may be, is strong, clear and easy to understand!
These 5 secrets will lead you on the path towards producing a great video. However, these alone won’t result in a masterpiece. That is up to you!
Alanna Goodman is the marketing and communications intern at Green Buzz Agency.