Video Production Tips
Let's move on to some video production ideas, because now that you've got your script down, and you feel really comfortable with it, and you know you've created something really valuable, now let's move on to what to think about when it comes to your production. Now, if you're gonna film this, be it in your home, or at the office, or even in a studio, and it might be slightly different if you're in a studio, because you're gonna have things set up, potentially, for you already. But if you're looking to keep things at a low budget for the time being, then there's a few things that I want you to be aware of when it comes to your video. First of all, let's say for example, you're gonna create something in your office, let's say, or in your home. If you're gonna be presenting, this is what the bird's eye view should kind of look like, when it comes to your studio that you might build at home, or in the office. You're gonna have, as you can see, you're gonna have like the camera in front of...
you, it's gonna be filming you, and you could have two or more lights on you, but don't have two really really powerful lights. I recommend something like softbox lighting. It can be really useful with things like fluorescent lighting, for example. I tend to go fluorescent, as opposed to something called halogen, because halogen bulbs get very very hot, and they're kind of more expensive to run as well. But if you set up fluorescent lighting, it's difficult to say that word sometimes, fluorescent lighting with lights on you, and you have two in front of you coming for either side, then you should light yourself pretty evenly. But just make sure that the background behind you is far enough away so you don't cast a shadow onto the background. If you're in the office and there's computers and things behind you, or the rest of the office is behind you, that's fine, don't need to necessarily worry too much about shadows, et cetera. But that's something that I'd recommend you have a look at, and just kind of play around with the lighting, and just make sure it feels right to you. Now, with this, as I say, make sure you don't cast a shadow behind you. You can get more lights to light the backdrop if you wish to as well. So that would be the lighting, and that would be the setup with the camera. With the audio, make sure you're using some sort of lapel microphone. Sometimes people will use shotgun mics and things, but I think lapel microphones, like what I'm wearing right now, will just pick up your voice nice and clearly, if you're gonna be presenting to camera, and it'll just come across very very well indeed. And of course, that's kind of from the bird's eye view. If you were to look at things from now you would look at the camera, and how you look at things, then in that instance, what you would see is a bit like this. You would see like the camera in front of you, two lights either side, raised up a little bit, pointing down at you, and you should find that that'll kind of evenly light you, and it should look really good. A lot of times when people go and create videos, they get the lighting wrong, or they try and use daylight or something, which is fine to do, but you might just find this easier if you just light it nicely from two sides, and make sure you're not casting a shadow on the back of whatever the background might be, and just using a nice microphone and a good camera, and you should be good to go. I wouldn't recommend using things like an iPhone, I know they can create really good video, but I would recommend getting a proper camcorder, that would film you well. And in part of the download resources that we've got for you, we've got some recommended hardware that could be useful for you as well. But I would say that you don't have to go to town and spend a fortune on equipment. You can just have like a good setup, that will just look good, 'cause again, it doesn't have to be TV quality, it just needs to be good enough so someone's gonna view the video and think, that looks good, I can buy into that brand, 'cause it looks like they're credible as a company. And that's what I'd recommend. Now as you've been watching this video with Creative Live, I'm sure you've been seeing lots of shots around the room as well, and so you can have like lighting, you can see how the lighting's set up, you can see the cameras that are set up and things like that. And when you go into the studio, it's slightly different because of course everything is taken care of, typically. But it's just an idea of understanding how the lighting works, how the audio works, how the cameras work. And if you get that all right, and you get it set up in your home or in the office, you should be good to go and create lots and lots of different videos. Because remember, the first time you create a video, and you put it out there, it's likely to work relatively well, but you're gonna want to go and test a whole load of other types of videos as well, to see what does work, what doesn't work, and create lots of different types of videos, just a split test, and try different ideas when you're creating lots of videos. Great, now when it comes to your video, I also want to talk about your presenting, how you're gonna present your video ad, when it comes to the actual day when you're in the studio presenting. Now the first thing I'd recommend, is take time to warm up. A lot of the time, when you start videos, especially if you're not used to creating video, you can find that the first 10 or 15 minutes just goes horribly wrong, and that happens quite a bit. I know, I do a lot of video myself, and you can sometimes feel that you just can't get into the groove sometimes. So don't worry if it takes you 15, 20 minutes to really get into the groove. You will find that you'll get more and more used to it. Of course I would really recommend you get your script down, you feel really comfortable with it, and you know that you've prepared it, and practiced it quite a bit in the mirror, parts of the day that you're gonna actually film the video ad. But the first 15, 20 minutes you might just not feel it, you might just not be in the, kind of like, feeling it's working that well that day. So just take your time, carry on, and just know that the first 15, 20 minutes might be complete rubbish, and then start filming again. And that's something that I do quite regularly, so don't feel like you're alone if you're not having a good day with presenting, it will come. The other thing I'd say is that break up the script a bit as well. If you think like, I remember filming the first ever video I ever did for my business, and I thought that I had to film the thing all in one go. And this is around about five minute video I was trying to get right. And I didn't really know what I was doing in terms of video production the very first time I did it. And I remember it took me well over 100 takes to get it right, because I thought I had to do it all in one take. I didn't realize there was such thing as called editing, that you can stitch together some of the different parts of the video. So, what I would recommend you do, is I would recommend you kind of break your script down to maybe like 10 to 15-second segments. And all you're gonna do is say, right, here's my first segment which is 10 seconds, and let's just make sure I nail that. Do it 100 times if you really need to. It should only be like a few sentences, but get really comfortable with it, presenting it to camera. Make sure your energy's good, you feel really good about your presenting, and just break it down to that 10-second chunk. Once you've done that 10 seconds, you're like great, that was really really good, and move on to the next aspect of your script. So you say the next chunk which is 15 seconds, let's go and do that bit now. Again, do as many takes as you like, 'cause later on when you get all those bits together, you can crop it all together, and it'll look really really good. So don't worry about trying to get the script all done in one take. Break it up, and it'll be a lot easier for you to deliver those parts to camera, and it won't take you too long to create the video ad. Now the next thing is making sure you present with energy. Now I know that if I'm down the studio, creating videos and it's taking me a long time to do it, my energy can drop over time, and that's difficult. So when you're creating your video ad, remember people are normally in that passive state on YouTube. They're on YouTube, they are kind of like, just looking at different videos they're watching, and they're full of intent, but we're used to kind of like the viewing experience can be very much like here's a video, going to the next one, going to the next one. And so people are kind of not necessarily paying attention all that much when they're on YouTube. Sometimes they are when they're really looking for something, so they will be when they're looking for your videos, but make sure the energy is high, because that's what's gonna really help you. There's a reason why TV, I'm not sure if you've seen the shopping ads on TV, I'm sure you have, they're like, "And what's more!", and that sort of stuff. The reason they're kind of such high energy, is 'cause most people are just sitting there, flicking through the channels, and they have to have really high energy to get the view to the point where they'll potentially go and buy the products, and call that number and buy the products. So that's why the energy is so high there. Likewise with your YouTube ads, you need to make sure the energy is high. It doesn't have to be over the top, you don't have to be some sort of magic sales presenter or anything like that. Honesty and genuine, kind of like, authority can work incredibly well, so just make sure the energy is high. Is almost like you plus one. And if you can bring that energy to the camera, it'll really make a massive different, the performance of your video ad. Likewise, the way to present, some people go into presenter mode when they start presenting, and it can take some time to break that down a little bit. You gotta get really comfortable with speaking to the camera, and not feeling like you have to be some sort of new reporter, or some sort of excellent salesperson or anything like that. Some people just go into that zone sometimes, and if that is what you do, then there's a way of getting past that. And what I tend to do, is recommend to people, imagine you're talking not to a friend, but to a friend of a friend. Let's say for example you're in a social environment, at a bar or at a pub, or whatever it might be. You meet a friend of a friend, and that kind of familiarity, but also that kind of level of professionalism comes across. So imagine that you're speaking to a friend of a friend, and that's how to work with the camera. When you do it that way, you'll tend to find you have a lot better response in your presenting, and you should come across a lot more credible, and a lot more relatable as well, in your video ads. That's really important to try and achieve that. And I would recommend you would have people that are very close to you in the studio if it's at all possible. I know my wife normally comes to the studio when I do lots of important videos, because she knows me so well, and if I go into presenter mode, she'll be like, "Oh no, you're losing a little bit, Tom. "Come back and just be normal again." and so I'd really recommend sometimes having friends or having your team there, potentially, that can tell you if you're going into a weird mode. And ask them to give you live feedback as well, because sometimes it can feel like people are being very polite and saying "Yeah no that was great, "that was a really really good shot!", where you know like, "Okay I didn't feel it was, "but great, I can carry on." So you wanna make sure that you have people giving you honest feedback as you're doing it and tell them to look out for these things. Make sure that you kind of like, get them to think like, don't let my energy drop, and also don't make me go into presenter mode. If they keep an eye on that when you're presenting, you should come across a lot better, and then you can really concentrate on these 10 to 15-second segments, and get your scripts done, and have a really really powerful ad. And lastly I'd also say, try to enjoy it. I know it's not easy, but try and have a bit of fun. Try and have a bit of a laugh. I know that when we came in today, I met the team, here all working around, and we kind of like, it's good to just like, engage, and try and enjoy the whole process, 'cause if you do, again, it comes across. It looks like you're a friendly person that people would like to watch, and as a result, that's a really important thing to do. Try and enjoy the whole process. Don't try and be a perfectionist, just go in there, and enjoy the whole process. So, now let's talk about video editing. This is something where a lot of people get into looking at their video, they download their video from the file, for example, look at it be like, "Right, we've got lots of footage here, 'cause I've made "lots of mistakes. "I need to edit those bits out." But if you're not comfortable with how to edit, I would actually say don't try and edit your video. Don't try and learn video editing. It takes a long time to actually be any good at it. And I know that I've spend hours and hours trying to edit videos in the past, and they just never really come out as good, as if I was just to pass it off to a video editor. And when you're creating a video ad, that you're gonna be spending money on, I'd really recommend you go out and just try and find someone who is able to edit the video that you've created. So, I wanna give you a few pointers about how you can potentially do this, whilst keeping it at a budget that is affordable for your video add. So, what I recommend a lot of people do, is to go to a site like Upwork. Upwork's great, there's other sites out there as well, that can be very good. And you can go there, and you can ask for almost like freelance editors. So you can submit your job, and you're gonna say, "Hey, is there anybody out there that can edit "this video to make it look like this?", and so you can submit that job, and then those people can come back to you, and they might have a portfolio of different videos they've done in the past, and as a result, you can look at it and say, "Okay great, you look like you'd perfect for the job. "How much are you gonna charge?", and you can kind of like, obviously, put an amount per video that you want to get edited. But obviously the more amount you put there, probably more experts will be in there, and so you might get a better edit done. But Upwork can be really valuable. The only thing I would say, is when you post your job, you want to mention the words, "This is a simple job for a video editor "who knows what they're doing." Now, if you include that, you tend to find you get much better freelancer responding, 'cause those people that are good at video editing will be like, "Oh great, this looks like an easy job.", but those people that aren't very good will be like, "Okay well this probably isn't for me." And so that phrase, it doesn't have to go for video editor, you can go any type of job. I always find that I try and say those words, this is a simple job for those people that know what they're doing, and if you do that, you'll tend to find you get much better people coming through that could potentially do the job you asked. So that's a really valuable sentence to add when you're doing it. Now, when it comes to your editing as well, I want you to think about storyboarding out some B-roll as well. We talked earlier about things like your credibility, and maybe if you've written a book, or if you've spoken on stage, you're gonna want to use some of that footage, in your video ad. So if that credibility section is there, have a think about what, potentially, you could put into the video. So it could be you presenting to camera most of the time, but then every now and again, you might have some other clips of you speaking, and that would be considered what's called B-roll. So you could have like this clip of you speaking, maybe it might be a clip of, whatever it might be, that would represent what you've done in the past, maybe your book, or anything like that. Any sort of work that you've done, you can take little clips that will just be able to be peppered into the actual video itself. And it can make it just look, and kind of, doesn't mean that the camera's always one you, there different things can be happening in the video as well. So, maybe at the credibility section, you can add it there. If you've got an action plan, and you have this like three-step process, or you have a four-step process you might want to share with people. Again, that might be the perfect time to go to an image of what that action plan is. And you can use like keynote slides that we're using right now to present this, you can have that sort of build out, so people can get to see exactly what your plan is, and so they can see it. You don't have to explain it all time, they can actually see it in front of them. And it means they'll just be able to understand exactly what it is you're talking about from just seeing that bit of B-roll, that bit of footage, that's not you speaking to camera, but just that slightly different type of content. Likewise if you're teaching something, you might want to again, illustrate some of that in the video ad itself. So again, it's not just you presenting all the time. You can use different parts of your video to bring in this B-roll. That can work very very well. And a great area that I often go to as well, is Video Hive. If you type in Video Hive into Google, you'll find that you can buy these little clips, et cetera. And there are other resources there, part of the whole marketplace, it's called Envato Marketplace. So you can, like, lots of graphics, lots of images, lots of video clips as well, that you can download and buy the rights to, so you can use that in your video ads, as well. So that can work really well. There are of course, other ones out there as well, but that's something that we've used in the past that seems to work well. Now, there's one thing that I want to make sure that if you pass this over to an editor, they know what they're doing, and that is the call to action edit. Now if you look at this ad, for one of our clients, Brendon Burchard, you'll see, that it's in the bottom left hand corner of the video ad itself. You'll see that little darker area, and that area there, can be clicked, to go to your website at any point. It's called the call to action overlay. Now, what you want to do is make sure your editor edits something in to the video itself, so it's clear to the viewer, they need to click that link. And what we'll do, typically, is we'll create something like this. I mean, this is like a mock-up, and it doesn't look as good as it could look, but you can see what I mean. It's like you might have like a little arrow there, and it might give a call to action to say, click here to find out more, or click here to take the next step, click here to sign up for the webinar, or whatever it is you're promoting. You could have just like a nice graphic that comes in just to make it really crystal clear what you want your viewer to do, and which button to click as well. If you do that, and the viewer feels like, "Great, I know what to do next, "I can click that any point during this video, "and I'll go to the website to find out more." Now, if you are able to do that, it means that your whole video ad will be created and edited, and look the part, so when you upload it to YouTube, it'll just be perfect, and ready for you to run as a video ad.