Top tips for creating your own video content
In recent years, video content has rapidly become a crucial aspect of connecting with an audience, be it events, services or announcements. But what if you don’t have the budget to pay a production company, or the know-how to do it yourself?
We sat down with Oren Eitan from Artlist, to get some tips on how to create your own video content. Artlist is an online database of high quality, original, royalty-free music, specifically tailored for cinematic video content and set up by filmmakers in an endeavour to improve soundtrack options for film projects. Similarly, Artgrid is the footage sister-site and filled with stunning, royalty-free stock footage, available on a subscription-based system.
Oren believes that “any company that wants to grow has to use video, whether in ads, tutorials or promotional films. For branding, conversions or even workers’ morale, every business with growth aspirations has to use video in its content.”
Here are the top tips we gleaned for creating your own video content:
1. Equipment isn't everything
Hiring (or buying!) the latest and greatest gear can be tempting, but is it necessary? The answer is generally ‘no’. These days, smartphones are more than capable of shooting high-quality and even 4K video. If you’re not feeling confident, search for a free tutorial on YouTube! Everything from music videos to feature films has been shot on iPhones. If high quality, focused footage is what you’re after, save your spending and use your phone.
2. Lighting is key
Good lighting is crucial… but it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re shooting outside, wait for a nicer day and take advantage of the natural light. If you’re inside, aim to find a neutral white light.
It's also important to ensure that your lighting matches in every take - it can be jarring to the viewer it suddenly switches mid-scene. You don’t want to get to the editing stage and have to spend hours trying to make your shots match. If you can make it easier for yourself in advance, do it!
3. Add the ‘wow’ factor with stock footage
What if you just don’t have the time to shoot a video yourself? Or you live in Whangarei and need a shot of someone climbing a snow-capped mountain? That’s where stock footage can be invaluable, either to create a video from scratch or to add to your existing footage. Adding something as simple as a single drone shot can increase the production quality tenfold, giving the ‘wow’ factor and making your video content look more professional.
As Oren points out, stock video can be its own source of inspiration. When speaking about Artgrid, he describes it as “more than just a database of stock footage. It offers story-driven footage made by the top cinematographers in the industry.”
4. Cater to your audience
Who are you making this for? It’s easy to say ‘our audience is everyone’, but by trying to connect with everyone, it's easy to end up appealing to no one. Identify your audience, know who you’re talking to, and customise your content accordingly.
If you were promoting a fun fringe festival show, the target audience and tone of your video content would be hugely different than if you were looking to find donors to fund the restoration of a historic theatre. A great way to set the tone and tailor video content to a specific audience is through a soundtrack. So...
5. You’re going to need music
Music is a great way to grab and hold your audience’s attention, break up your video, and add character. It can even completely change the tone of your content. Think about television or online commercials that grab your attention - chances are they have a great soundtrack. Frankly, music is a must.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as chucking your favourite track under your footage. Using a service like Artlist ensures that you have access to a library of original, royalty-free music which you can use at your leisure without fear of repercussion - they have the copyright handled.
“One of the main goals of Artlist is enabling creators to create without dealing with all the boring, tedious and time-consuming stuff of licensing.” Oren says “Artlist focuses on the quality of music instead of quantity. As a result, you will not have to search through tons of bad music to find a couple of good songs.”
Vegan Friendly artist on Artlist - photo supplied.
6. Keep it short and sweet
Finally, keep it short. Even if you’ve created an utter masterpiece, most people won’t stick around to watch more than two or three minutes of video online. When you’re planning out your video, always think about how much you can cut out while still connecting your message. What is vital to include? What can be trimmed? Are two shorter videos better than one? Take the time to think this out and finesse the idea.
Give it a go
As a parting gift, Oren has hooked us up with some sweet deals for Artlist and Artgrid. If you sign up to either service via the links below, you will receive an additional two months for free on your subscription!
The Artlist team - photo supplied.