In videography, it is not necessary to know what you want but know what you don’t want!
We are living in an age of visual media. Videos and pictures are a major form of communication, whether for conveying emotions, ideas, or sharing something as simple as everyday routines. But sometimes a certain video requires a little bit more attention than just point and shoot. For example, if you are required to shoot a professional-looking video for work or a friend or just for fun, you don’t have to hire a professional videographer or enlist high-end equipment or attend a workshop. The trick is to strike that right balance of planning and execution and you will be equipped to share what you’ve got with more clarity and vibrance.
We have mentioned some of the timeless tips and techniques to make professional-looking videos and these tips can even be your beginner’s guide to cinematography or filmmaking.
Now, all you have got to do to make a quality professional-looking video is to just follow the pointers below and start shooting.
1. Use proper lighting
The most important thing while making a video is the usage of correct lighting. It doesn’t matter whether your video is shot on a phone or camera, lighting is the differentiator that sets apart a good video from a bad one. If you are shooting inside make sure to use fluorescent lights and reflectors, even if the shoot is during the day. As for shooting outside, the perfect time to shoot is in the early hours of the morning and the late golden hours of the evening. Lighting makes a huge difference when it comes to the quality of videos, so if you want to make a professional-looking video, make sure to focus on the lighting.
2. Pick the right background
You can film anywhere but shooting a great video is more just pointing the camera or phone to the subject. It is so much more than that. The important thing to remember is the purpose of the video and its targeted audience. Clean and clear backgrounds always work wonders for videos but they are not feasible for every video. You can choose between a real background and a fake background, but it is advisable to use a real background for beginners since setting up a fake background can be tasking. You can create a background using screens, walls, bedsheets, etc. Tip: If you choose to set up a background, make sure the subject is away from the background to avoid casting shadows on it.
You can’t expect to make a professional-looking video without some commitments. Don’t worry, there is no need for high-end equipment, just some basic shooting equipment like a tripod for steady videos, an external microphone for better audio, and a gimbal stabilizer for quality shots. Many editing software can stabilize a shaky video but it is better to have the original video stabilized using a tripod. If you are using your phone to record the videos always use the back camera and make sure you are using an external mic.
4. Planning is the key
There are so many amazing videos that we capture every day accidentally or randomly that are hilarious and sometimes they serve as the best memory. But while shooting a professional-looking video, planning is the key. Mapping out the entire shoot like angles, lightings, locations, and proper equipment always makes a difference. If you were to shoot a music video or a short film, creating a storyboard will save time, executing the scenes in sequence will make things less cluttered and will save time in the edit. Planning will give you an upper hand because it creates pre-visualization and you can make changes to your shoot accordingly.
5. Use cinematic techniques
Quality shots are boring without mixing them up with a few camera movements. While it is necessary to avoid too much camera movement, it is important to shoot from different angles and mix up the speed of the videos. You can always do the edits using software but zooming in and zooming out at the right moment, panning the right angle, and tilting the camera in the right direction can all result in making the video look very professional. But don’t overdo it and make sure that all the camera movements are essential to the story you are telling.
6. Shoot multiple takes
When we take a selfie or any picture, we click multiple pictures so that we can upload the one where everyone is looking nice or where we are looking nice. The same rule applies to video. Even if you feel like the shot is perfect, make sure you have a couple more of the same shot so that while editing the video, you always have a backup in case there is some issue with the shot. In other words, while shooting footage, shoot like an editor and think of ways that will make the editing less hectic and what will give you more freedom during the editing process.