The Dash Kitten Crew have some great advice to get you working movie magic fast. Don’t overstress, one step at a time – you can do this.
Video can be a fresh and exciting direction for bloggers of all genres. Create everything from a teaser trailer to a movie How-To with our video production tips.
You do not need any fancy smartphone camera accessories or top of the range smartphones. Use the device you have which can be a cellphone or a GoPro. With a bit of preparation, you can walk the video walk with total confidence.
There is no steep learning curve in making a simple movie. Just common sense preparation and a dash of planning. Don’t be intimidated by the high production values of professional outfits, your aim is quality video values for you and your audience.
Top Tips for Video Success
Smartphone 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 clips 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 goal is.
Is it a homestyle vignette? A cat’s adventures, a kitten falling over its paws, a product review, or a sophisticated travelogue?
Make it a Quick Movie
Check out my 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 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, a 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 ‘Videoshop‘ (Apple) and (Google Play) which I use and recommend. Adobe RUSH is anothr free option.
Then you can upload your quick video to social media for immediate, fun and exciting movie fun for your followers and friends.
Can we hear you?
Whether you use the camera’s audio or a special microphone makes 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 a 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 quickly. 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 adores him!
Self Presentation Video Tips
Don’t just sit there, no matter how important or exciting your message is don’t just sit. You can record a voiceover and still present your message, keep a viewer’s interest by cutting between you and your cats, your product, or other interesting visuals to keep people watching.
- Sit in good light – or lighten your footage when you edit.
- Video success means being prepared, so have a running order or list of ideas if you speak with confidence.
- 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 tongue-tied and silly.
Exceptions? We have one of those
Talking to the camera is boring for the viewer unless you really have a strong, structured and very specific concept. Then you can go for it. Speak with conviction, have any props ready and practice!
Here is a mini showcase of some of my own smartphone movies:
- Our night movie of the HighLight Show in New Zealand
- No Edit super fast movie
- Our Finalist smartphone movie ‘Duckling‘
OK everyone, grab that camera, smartphone or 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.
Movie Maker and Picture Taker
Join my camera discoveries and smartphone movies adventures. Making Smartphone Movies and Taking Great Photographs can be a lot of fun.