If you’re a marketer looking for a quick, simple blueprint for video production, then you’re in for a treat.
But first, let me tell you what happened.
Just before Christmas, we completed the sneak peek of our upcoming product. Would you believe it took us only 3 hours to produce this video? And it’s nothing short of fantastic. Just by the looks of it, you would think we’ve hired a professional video agency to work with us.
Everything – and everyone – involved in the production is free.
From the gadgets to the software, to the talents and location, all we need is a mix of resourcefulness to make it happen.
And we pulled it off! You can watch the video on top of this article.
So today, we will share with you how we did it – from pre-prod to post-production.
Our goal is simple: By the time you’re finished reading this short article, you’ll be able to produce an in-house video on a shoestring budget.
Ready? Let’s go!
- Lighting: Since we’re working on a tight budget and a short schedule, we decided to shoot in our office. We don’t have a lighting kit that’s why we chose a spot with a good source of ambient light. In fact, we even used our mobile phone’s flashlight to make the footage livelier.Our tip: Don’t be afraid to use non-conventional stuff to help you out. Maximize the lighting of your location to bring out the honesty of your footage.
- Storyboard: Next, the storyboard was pretty rough. Fortunately, YouTube and Vimeo got a wealth of resources and high-quality videos. Now, there are millions of videos available. It would be impractical to spend your day jumping from one video to another. Streamline your search to those that cater to your target audience. Preferably, stick to 3 – 5 videos and start shooting. That way, you can cut your research in half and come away with a tried-and-tested format. For this production, we gathered a lot of materials and used them as inspiration – from the techniques used in camera movements, the use of depth of field, and a lot more. Click on the following images to watch the video:
- Location: As I said earlier, we took advantage of our office space – which is quite a dandy. I’m telling you, once you get inside, you’d probably want to stay and work in here too. And I won’t blame you. It’s modern and sophisticated – just like those you find in websites such as Office Design Gallery.We chose a spot without much distraction because we want our audience to focus on the product instead of the room. We already have a rough idea on how to maximize the space so the shoot flowed smoothly.The location is perfect since it matches with our product’s color motifs: Red, black and white. If you watch the video, you’ll notice the coherence in each element which is important.Note that as humans, we’re hardwired to lean towards consistency and orderliness. We hate chaos and we want to make sense of things. That’s why in our shoot, we had to strive for balance and put emphasis to the star of the show: the product.
- Props: For this shoot, we used Canon 60D and a lens kit of 18-55mm. Our props are pretty basic. We got a MacBook laptop because its color provides a good contrast to an already dark background (And it’s a Mac. Everything looks beautiful around a Mac!). The DigiStrats cup, shirt and chess piece were included for balance since giving away too much color brings distraction – and we don’t want that. We’re catering to a more serious, professional audience and not to the hippy, youthful crowd. Plus, these props help our audience associate the product with DigiStrats.
- Resolution & Frame Rate: This is really important especially if you’re shooting with multiple cameras. All of your cameras should have the same resolution and frame rate settings so that it will be easier for you to edit and post-process your produced videos. – For our video, we used 1920×1080 24fps.
- White Balance: ‘White Balance’ setting adjusts and corrects the color temperature of your footage to what it should look like. Different types of lights may give different tint on your footage. That is why, it is really important to always check and adjust your white balance. Otherwise, you may get a video or image with colors different with the actual ones. – Since our lighting for our location is warm, we decided to use ‘White Fluorescent Light’ and ‘Auto’ (Auto setting for White Balance works well too, but not all the time.)
- Picture Control or Picture Style: Other cameras also offer ‘Picture Control or Picture Style’ options that allow you to choose ready-to-go color settings for your footage. It offers different styles that include: Standard, which offers vivid color without emphasizing specific scenery; Portrait, makes the skin tones rosier; and Landscape, gives particular attention to blues and greens to make them more vibrant. You can even modify these Picture Styles or even create a new style and adjust it to your preferred color saturation, sharpness, contrast, and color balance. – As we really planned to color grade all of our videos after the production, we decided to use the ‘Standard’ picture style for our footage, so that it would be easier for me to control everything, from colors to contrast, to saturation, to sharpness, etc.
- Shutter Speed: Shutter speed is the time the shutter is open. Meaning, the faster the shutter speed, the shorter the time the shutter is open, which allows less light into the camera, and the slower the shutter speed, the longer the time the shutter is open, which allows more light into the camera. So if you’re shooting in a lowlight, you should slow down your shutter speed to brighten your footage. – Since we’re in a lowlight, we used 1/30th of a second for our shutter speed.
- ISO: The higher ISO settings are for low light and lower ISO settings are for bright light. But the higher ISO settings, the more noise it will give to your footage. So as much as possible, use the lowest ISO settings for better footage. – For our video, since we’re lacking for some lighting, we used ISO: 1200-1600, to still avoid excessively grain in our video.
- Color Grading: For our video footage, we chose latest the versions of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: versions 5 & 6. The latest Lightroom has a feature that allows you to easily color grade a bunch of videos by copying the settings you made from one video to another. What’s really good about this version is the number of free presets that you can download online. So now you can color grade your videos anytime you want. You can also enhance your videos by adjusting the exposure, contrast, vibrancy, colors, and more.Quick tips:
To download your copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom go to this link: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Get your free Lightroom presets here: Free Lightroom presets
There you have it. You’ve learned how to set your camera for optimal coverage, you found out how pre-production works. Plus, you’ve had an in-depth look at our post-production process.
Look, we encourage you to pursue video production. Commit yourself to mastering this skill.
Because big companies are going crazy about promoting their products online – it’s the future and they know it. And what a better way to expand their business online than by video content?
That’s why you’ve got to be ready when opportunity presents itself. Because they’ll definitely go after you.
Apply the lessons you’ve learned here and watch your confidence grow as you produce your own high-quality video.
In our next article, you’ll get to know our superstar designer/videographer, Erika. We’ll have a quick Q & A with her and you’ll learn how we produce our high-quality video.
See you soon!