Let us share our video success filming tips and tricks!

The Dash Kitten Crew have some great advice to get you working movie magic fast. Video is a fresh and exciting direction for bloggers of all genres. You can create everything from a teaser trailer to a movie How-To with our video production tips!

You can make good video, you can use anything from your mobile cellphone to a fancy video camera like a GoPro. The rage for video is hitting social media in a big way and, with a bit of preparation, you can walk the video walk with total confidence. 

There is no steep learning curve – just common sense preparation and a dash of planning. So, don’t be intimidated by the high production values of professional outfits – your aim is quality video values for you and your audience.  Let’s get started!

The Crew’s Top Tips for Video Success

film strip graphic

Camera know-how

How long does it take to turn on and start working? How much light do you need? Can you use it? Know your camera’s capacity and capabilities. Read the manual!

The art of editing your video

Polish comes with editing. No, it’s not hard. Learn to trim video footage and, if you need one, add a simple soundtrack. For music, we recommend Incompetech for a wide variety of styles, royalty free under a Creative Commons licence, or a licensed piece of music from Envato.com – audiojungle.

Know what kind of video you are shooting

Our top video filming tip – know what your goals are!

Is it a homestyle vignette, a cat’s adventures, a puppy falling over its paws, a product review, or a sophisticated travelogue? 

Harvey from UHARS from Marjorie Dawson on Vimeo.

Make it a quickie!

Check out our sample movie. Harvey’s simple video was shot and uploaded complete with music in 10 minutes. Top flight video production this might not be, but it captured a very precious moment.

The upside is that the immediacy of a video shot and editing quickly on a a smartphone gets your idea in front of an audience quickly. Harvey didn’t go viral, but this video gained him a lot of friends after his ear surgery.

Plan ahead for impact 

For your brand or blog, you may review a product. Where to start?  Here’s an example – a pet garment review. Think of one of those gorgeous cat couture creations, or a practical pups’ winter garment.  Take a couple of long shots, garment in motion, several close-ups of details, and finish with a full length shot. Done in 5 minutes, trim (edit) using an app like Vee, and upload to social media. Immediate, fun and exciting for your followers and friends.

Can we hear you?

Whether you use the camera’s audio, or a special microphone make sure the sound is clear.

Don’t Wobble Too Much

Even professional GoPro users know there is only so much exciting ‘wobble’ a viewer will tolerate before clicking elsewhere.

Cheat like a pro for video success!

If you have access to iMovie you can use their ‘trailer’ format to create a dynamic instant mini movie. (If you are a Windows user, we would welcome your beginner recommendations.) Our “Arthur’s Movie” video was shot on an iPhone 4S, then loaded into iMovie and edited using an iMac. iMovie is also available in cut down format for iPhones.

The iMovie ‘trailer’ feature gives professional polish, and is perfect for a quick movie when you need to make an impact FAST! Each pre-made trailer comes ready to use, the move maker just adds video and images into the pre-made format.

Trailers are set up complete with music, royalty free thanks to Apple.  ‘Arthur’ is FIV+ and was looking for a home; I was aiming for a positive vibe in the adoption video, and the trailer options worked a treat – see what you think.

Oh and Arthur? He found his forever home with a family who adore him!

Self Presentation Video Tips

Don’t just sit there, no matter how important or exciting your message is! You can record a voiceover and still present your message, keep a viewer’s interest by cutting between you and the cats, your product, or other interesting visuals that keep people watching…………

  • Sit in good light – or lighten your footage when you edit.
  • Video success means being prepared, so have a mini script or list of ideas
  • Keep your background, and clothing neutral unless you have a specific idea or brand you are promoting.
  • Tell your ‘story’. Have a beginning, a middle, an end, including your Call to Action, if you have one.
  • Have fun, be relaxed and remember – be yourself, your blog, your brand.
  • Don’t UM, AH or ER – EVERRRRRRRR. It makes the brightest most intelligent person sound awful! 

Exceptions – OK we have one of those too!

Talking to the camera is boring for the viewer, unless you really have a strong, structured and very specific concept. This lady is seller for a company called Scentsy. She generates excitement with product ‘unboxings’ similar to the pet blog posts for cat and dog gift boxes. Note the neutral background, the clear light and although it’s not a perfect studio setup – she nails her message perfectly.

OK everyone, now grab that camera, your smartphone or fancy video setup, and go shoot for some video success! Use our tips, and let us know when you upload your amazing movies online! If you need video editing app advice  – check our post here.

Silver Kitten
Tech Editor at DashKitten.com

Dash Kitten Silver Kitten the Business Cat

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  1. Heather Wallace

    June 14, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Great suggestions! I think having an idea for what message you want to say helps to prevent the “um” and “ah” problem. I’m trying to incorporate some more video into the blog and these are great suggestions that I will definitely be implementing.


  2. Cathy Armato

    June 13, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Thanks for these great tips Marjorie! I need to spend some time in learning mode on video. I know how to shoot a video on my camera but I have no idea what to do next! I’m still learning the features of my camera for photos, although my photos have improved greatly. I need to step it up big time in terms of video!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
    Cathy Armato recently posted…My Dog Is Lord Of The Manor at Coindre HallMy Profile


  3. Christine Caplan

    March 2, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Oh thank you for this! I finally went and bought a tripod so I could get rid of the shaking piece — so worth it. What I need help with is editing. I find it so time consuming. Thanks so much for the music recommendation too – I typically upload my videos to you tube and embed them into my post. Do you have any editing recommendations for Android users?


  4. Tenacious Little Terrier

    March 2, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I need to work more on video. I have a tripod that can wrap itself around things so it doesn’t have to be on the ground necessarily.


  5. The Daily Pip

    March 2, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    The wobbling thing is challenging for me! Actually, my eleven year old daughter is quite the video editor. I’ve included a few videos lately all of which have been shot and edited by her. LOL.

    Love Harvey’s video with the flowers. I’m going to tweet this as well. Some great tips.


  6. Dear Mishu

    March 2, 2017 at 11:17 am

    The videos are really helpful to demonstrate these techniques. I found the advice on setting up your shot especially useful!


  7. Rebecca at MattieDog

    March 2, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Great tips – the don’t shake is harder than it sounds! We have invested in a little tripod, even if we’re shooting on a counter! Thanks for these!


  8. Kitty Cat Chronicles

    March 2, 2017 at 8:47 am

    These are great tips, and especially timely for me since one of my blogging goals with my accountability partner was to create a video this week. I put it up on the blog today, which you already saw. I used iMovie… nothing fancy. I think it turned out well, just wish the lighting were better. Making videos can be intimidating for me, so I will file these tips away for the next one. Thanks, furiends!
    P.S. Loved the videos of Harvey and Arthur!


  9. Aimable Cats

    March 2, 2017 at 6:28 am

    Knowing your camera or camera app is important. When I was taking video of Cyril the Virile Feral last week, I discovered the camera on my phone had a fourth zoom setting — I knew it had three, but did not remember the fourth.


  10. Nichole

    March 2, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Thanks for the great tips – and adorable videos! Happy filming!


  11. Beth

    March 2, 2017 at 5:56 am

    I haven’t tried making a video, but these tips make it seem less daunting. I am so glad that Arthur has a family to love now.!


  12. Sonja

    March 2, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Interesting. WE have both artistic video of our travels and “talk to” tips and tricks videos. The talk to videos get more traction. But we enjoy making the artistic ones better. Also lighting lighting lighting.


    • Sonja

      March 2, 2017 at 5:51 am

      Oh and … ARTICULATE! and slllllooooowwwww down. THAT one is key. 🙂


  13. kelly

    March 2, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Fantastic information! I’ve always concentrated on taking photos, but want to venture out into video as well, thanks for the tips and I may just follow up with you on this.


  14. erin the Cat (Princess)

    November 12, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I love this post, so informative and inspiring! I do feel that I could now do a video too… if only a small one. Not a Spielberg production though. MOL purrs ERin


  15. Malaika Fernandes

    October 17, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    This could not have come at a better time because i am considering doing a video series. Thank you for all the tips.


  16. Robin

    October 17, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Your timing with this post is great! I have been working on perfecting my video skills. Working in front of the camera is easy for me, it’s behind the camera that is taking a little while. No one wants to see me, they want to see the cats. My biggest issue is the wobble part. I have hand tremors, so I’m working to get the right equipment to help cover that up a bit (hand-holding the camera is a no-no for me in video). I’ve been having my husband do a bit of the filming, but he doesn’t “see the shot” as well as I do. It is a learning process for both of us! Thank you for the tips!


  17. Sweet Purrfections

    October 17, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Great tips! It took me a couple of years before I realized I had to turn my iPhone sideways to get a video that filled the screen. I also forget to turn off the TV. MOL


    • Dash Kitten

      October 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Mostly yes ladies, but for mini movies in some apps, like Vine, you hold the camera in portrait mode, that is upright, as if making a call. It’s worth checking to see how an app prefers to be used when you look to try out a new one.


  18. Susan FriedlandSmith (@SaddleSeeksHorse)

    October 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    My husband wants me to use more video on my blog. He knows how to edit. I am a simpleton. He just told me tonight he got the updated version of Camtasia. I’m a little overwhelmed as I first got into blogging to write, not do video. Although I like putting quick videos on my Instagram (and they get more views than a picture). All that to say, you blog post is timely. 🙂


  19. Talent Hounds

    October 17, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    We love making videos and it is becoming more and more important. They add credibility and allow people to really get to know you or your pets. I get tons of great footage on my phone and other cameras and use iMovie or Final Cut. Sound can be deadly- I had an issue with my mic connection at Global Pet Expo and at another event and did not realize until I went to edit- SO annoying as too late.


  20. FiveSibesMom

    October 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    We love doing videos and photo slideshow videos, some on my cell, but mainly with a videocam and iMovie! You have some great tips here, especially making sure the sound is clear (which can be a bit wonky on a cell if you accidentally cover the mic with your hand!) And I so agree that talking to the camera is very borrring…although there are a few who do do it well!


  21. Ruth Epstein

    October 17, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Great tips


  22. Maureen

    October 17, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Wonderful tips! I havent delved into video yet, but these are tips I’m going to save for later!


  23. Beth Patterson

    October 17, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Thanks for these tips. I am completely intimidated by video, but I know I should give it a try.


  24. Paul Kirhagis

    October 16, 2016 at 3:25 am

    what sort of tips do you have for the “cell phone camera” videographers in the crowd?


  25. The Daily Pip

    October 15, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I love both of your videos! The music works well and they both definitely tell a story. I’m determined to start using video more. I don’t know much about it, but my 11 year old daughter is a whiz at editing, etc. Hoping she can teach her old mom some new tricks.


  26. Brian Frum

    October 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    We never are too cooperative with the video thingy, we want to move around too much. Great tips though, I may have to try again!


  27. Tenacious Little Terrier

    October 15, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I keep saying I need to make more videos so thanks for the tips. I have some training of Mr. N to film!


  28. The Island Cats

    October 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Great tips. With Windows, we use Movie Maker to edit videos, add title, credits and other fancy stuff.


  29. The Swiss Cats

    October 15, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Thank you for those useful tips ! We need to work more with videos. Purrs


  30. Joely Smith

    October 15, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Great tips! I still shoot videos on my phone lol – I mean it works alright but video’s are NOT my forte yet your suggestions and tips still help TONS! Thank you!


  31. Hindy Pearson

    October 15, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I keep saying I have to learn to make videos, but never do because it seems a lot more techie than I want to know about. Your post is full of great tips, and it certainly sounds easy, but I think I’ll keep procrastinating.


  32. Cathy Armato

    October 15, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Video is definitely something I need to work on , big time. I’m literally at the bottom on this. I can shoot a video with my Smartphone and my SLR camera but that’s it. Trimming, any kind of editing, etc. are all way above my “pay grade” for now. It’s on my ever growing To Learn How list!


  33. Bryn Nowell

    October 15, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Great points! Thanks for sharing. I can’t emphasize the importance of knowing your camera’s specifics and abilities. It’s huge to ensure success and feel like you’re the one who’s in control!


  34. da tabbies o trout towne

    October 15, 2016 at 4:25 am

    guys…grate mooveez…each one, N harvey…looks like we can say happee
    spring two ewe & yurz !! 984 paws UP !!! thanx for sharin theeze tipz

    heerz two a pineapple fish kinda week oh end ~~~~~~~ insert heartz


  35. Nichole

    October 15, 2016 at 4:06 am

    We haven’t really gotten into videos… just some quick Instagram clips here and there. Thank you for the great tips!


  36. Three Chatty Cats

    October 15, 2016 at 1:46 am

    This is a great and informative post! I really need to start doing videos and your post has inspired me to try. I will definitely be putting these tips to good use. I love the trailer you put together, too!


  37. mommakatandherbearcat

    October 15, 2016 at 12:57 am

    This is great! I know videos are popular and it’s on my list of things to add to our blog. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed at the thought – but these are great tips! Thank you.


  38. Charles Huss

    October 15, 2016 at 12:35 am

    I learned another lesson on my last video. Use manual focus when possible. My camera went crazy the other day and decided to randomly change the area of focus every few seconds.


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