10 DIY Video Production Tips for Budget Conscious Video Makers
The elements for a good video production include your script or story, sound, music, text, images, setting, graphics, and editing. You will also need a strong description with keywords for media posts and social sharing. This can also be used for search engine optimization and in your giveaway or lead capture page.
All these elements can cost big bucks as it is widely thought that Video Production is expensive. But there is a large community of Filmmakers and Videos Makers that use DIY techniques to produce professional videos. Many of these Videos and Films are made without using expensive equipment, programs and software.
Most of DVEYE’s work is made with quality budget or free hardware and software. There are so many, consumer videos cameras, mobile phones cameras and free editing software available now. This makes things much easier to produce a professional, quality video for your clients, products, websites and blogs without having to spend fortunes on Video Production.
10 DIY Video Production Tips for Producing a Quality Video on a Budget.
Use a Tripod:
Number one and probably one of the most important of all is, use a tripod. You need your shots to be steady with no camera shake. There are many different uses for a tripod, including using it as a Steadicam, or as a Jib but here are some basic methods for a sturdy camera.
There are three basic methods for stabilizing your camera:
a. Using a tripod.
b. Put your camera on some kind of tripod alternative support: a chair, a wall, or other props available.
c. Brace the camera body with your hand against whatever solid support is available, including yourself.
The first choice is always the best. Use any sturdy tripod for stability. These can be found very cheaply at local markets or on Ebay. You won’t always have one available and maybe sometimes a tripod is impractical or there is limited space. A small mono pod alternative is a good second choice depending on its design and intended use.
Another trick is to use some cord or string. Attach the two ends together then attach to the bottom of your camera. Drop the string down to loop under your foot. Now you have a simple form of stability. The other thing to remember is, no matter which technique you choose, always and without fail make sure your camera is level.
2. D.I.Y and Budget Equipment:
Search through YouTube and you’ll find endless DIY and self build Video equipment projects. And there is also some very affordable video maker equipment available online. A DVEYE highly recommended tool for Video Makers is the Smoovie Pro Pocket Video Stabilizer. It uses a new magnetic gimbals and will help you take shake free video. It is very easy to set up, lightweight, pocket sized and you can pick this up for around $20, so it is very affordable.
People are always looking for new ways to make DIY Video Production equipment. There are many DIY, self build Steadicam, Dollies, Sliders, Jibs etc, ideas available on YouTube. So if you are on a budget and looking to save costs on equipment, self builds are always a good option. You can find some of the better ones in our DIY Video Equipment playlist below. Also as I mentioned earlier your tripod can be customized to perform several different tasks.
DIY Video Equipment
3. Writing a Script:
Every Video Production needs a story and your script will be the reason viewers engage with your video. You can use Free storyboard resources to put your script together before you start filming. Jot down your ideas with a pencil and paper and translate them into an organized storyboard. This will give you the options to add more details for each shot.
Your detailed shot list (download my PDF shot list here) will help you visualize your Video creation. You can also add your location notes and background info to your storyboard. Download my free storyboard templates and I highly recommend you download the Celix app, which is only available for Mac.
When you’re filming outside use Natural light to your advantage when you can. You can incorporate natural light in your composition. Shadows also create a strong mood or feeling and can look stunning in framed shots if used correctly. Also think about using morning and evening light also know as ” The Golden Hours” in your video shots. If you find yourself with shadows you don’t want then find something reflective to balance the light in your shot.
Here are some low light stills using shadows and light from a DVEYE Video Production location shoot in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Brighton UK some years ago.
If your shooting indoors, make sure your lighting set up works, by doing some test shots. You can use grip lights from the hardware store, standing lamps or build your own. The more light you have the more professional your shots will look. DIY lighting can be set up quite easily but make sure not to mix colors. See the DVEYE playlist for making your own indoor studio lighting set up and more tips.
If you already know your storyboard you will also have in mind locations. Set your scene because your audience will be paying close attention. Make it visually outstanding, think creatively and use your camera to frame the perfect shots. If your inside you can create any kind of background you like with Green Screening and use backdrops (video) if you have the space.
Free Green Screen Backgrounds and Footage
Composition is your friend and with some creative framing you can make every shot jump out. Make it as perfect as you can because editing takes time. Try to keep the rule of thirds in mind because this is your guide and these simple photography rules also apply to your video shots. I say “keep in mind” because it is not always the way you want your framed shots to look. Here an interesting post from PetaPixel on the 10 Myths About the Rule of Thirds. Video Production is all about creativity and going against the norm can produce outstanding results.
Always film extra shots or B-roll shots that can be added into your main story, to cover edits and cuts when your editing. It is certainly worth trying different angled shots. I use a Clamp Grip that lets me position one of my Cameras just about anywhere. I also like to take multiple shots of a scene, giving me more options in my edit. Use different perspectives of the same frame and keep them as B-roll shots.
7. Panning and Tilt:
If your going to use panning shots in your video production you will need a fluid head tripod for smooth shots. There are some great little tricks you can use for this. A very simple tip I’ve seen is using an elastic band on your cameras handle. Then gently pull the elastic band to create your panning shot. The band absorbs any unwanted movements of your hand, giving you even smoother results. Check out this Video in our Video Shooting Tips and Tricks playlist for more panning and tilting tips.
8. Use Your Phone as a Monitor
Professional monitors and recorders have become very popular during the past few years. The demand for more features has also been growing. This new breed of smaller, powerful monitors and recorders takes video production capabilities to a whole new level with 4K video. These monitors are very costly but it is quite possible to use your mobile phone as a monitor. Plus there are several apps available to help you achieve this.
Using Your Phone as a Monitor
Great audio will make a big difference to your video. You want your audience to be able to hear clearly with out any background noise distractions. Many cameras just don’t have descent microphones and you will have to get as close as possible to your subject with your mic to cut out background sounds.
An external mic is ideal but if you only have the camera mic make sure your subject is directly in front of the lens to get any kind of decent recording. Boost your sound when recording and use noise filters in editing to get louder audio if you can not get close to your subject. Experiment and always test your sound before you shoot. Check out these DIY Boom Microphone self builds.
This is where the magic happens or where it all come together, which is very true. The basic function of all Video Editors is cut and paste. The video timeline is where you drop in your video shots. The cheaper or free editors usually have one timeline but you’ll find multiple timelines with the more advanced editors like Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas and Hitfilm.
Lightworks free version will offer you multiple timelines and is worth checking out if your look something a little more advanced. Check out our post on Free Tools for Creating and Editing Video for a full list of totally Free Editing Tools.
The editing basics are pretty straight forward. Once you have uploaded your footage you will need to add an intro and titles. For intros and titles use one of the many free templates available on the web. See our page WebHits for a massive list of Free Templates. Add your main scenes using cut and paste. Edit and clean up your audio and add your final closing Outro and Titles. Plus you will usually add some form of call to action to direct your viewers to where you wish them to go.
A basic tip is to separate your audio from your video which will allow you to overlap and edit your sound more freely. Also fade in and out your audio on the timeline which will give your edits a more natural sound.
Your cuts should be used to move the pace of your story along and your transitions should be kept short. Video goes directly to the senses and your pacing will need to reflect the mood of your story. It must engage the viewer. Check out this post from Videomaker, The Art of Deciding When to Cut (And when Not to) There are hundreds of tips for editing better on the web. One of the best ways to learn more Tips is to look for YouTube Videos. See our DVEYE playlist, Better Video Editing Tips below. For even more check out these Tips and Videos from TedBlog.
Better Video Editing Tips
Video Production is a creative process so experiment (if you have the time) and if you enjoy creating your story it will show in your final edit. Always keep your audience in mind as it is them you are editing for and not yourself. Making a professional looking Video need not be an expensive process. Use DIY techniques for shooting and one of the many free Video editing programs available. Add free templates for Titles, Intros and Outros. Clean up your edit before export you will have a professional looking Video that will not have cost you a fortune.
Take a look at the DV EYE, Video Shooting Tips and Tricks playlist. You will find some great tips and tricks for DIY filming and shooting better video on a budget.
Video Shooting Tips and Tricks