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A Guide to Self-Shooting

Published on Friday, 18th November 2016, contributed by Suited and Booted Studios

Suited and Booted Studios are video production specialists based in Bath, and we understand the essential role that video takes in a social marketing plan. The increase in social video streams, such as Facebook Live, offers a new touchpoint for businesses to connect with their customers. It also makes video more accessible than ever, allowing people to create simple to camera pieces themselves as they dip their toes in the water of video creation. With this in mind we recently created a guide to self-shooting, allowing anyone to create a video following these simple rules. Here’s our four-stage guide:

1. Pictures

You could film on your smartphone, tablet, DSLR or a professional camcorder. Audiences are becoming increasingly forgiving when it comes to quality, as long as the content is relevant and engaging. Try to keep the camera still, if you don't have a tripod - improvise! A table, tower of books or a shelf can be used to stabilise your camera. 

Composition is key, your subject should occupy most of the frame. Make sure there isn't a huge space above their head; give them "looking room" in the direction that they're facing. When filming on a smartphone or tablet, be sure that you' re holding the device landscape, not portrait!

Prepare - are your batteries charged? Do you have enough memory on your device? Use a well-lit room, avoid filming in direct sunlight or in front of a strong light source. 

2. Sound

Remember, it's easier to put up with bad picture in a film than bad sound! Choose your location away from any noise or potential noise. If you don't have an external microphone, you can use the one on your camera. Where possible, try using an external microphone such as a clip-on microphone.

Top tip: Watch it back as soon as you've finished recording, if the sound is bad then do it again.

3. Content

Know your topic - make sure it's something you know about; you don't want to appear amateur. Keep it short and sweet; you don't want your audience getting bored. Identify your audience, dress and talk appropriately depending on who you're talking to. Practice and prepare - check your location before filming, test your camera to get the framing and lighting right.

Filming an interview? You need to make sure you and your subject are prepared. You should know what questions you're going to ask, and the subject should know what they're going to be asked so that they can prepare their answers. 

Top tip: keep quiet and nod a lot - unless you want to be heard in the film! It's worth mentioning to your subjects that it isn't a live broadcast, they can re-do their answers if they aren't happy. 

4. Finishing off

You have now finished filming, so what do you do next? You could send your footage to an editor, to save editing it yourself. If you do wish to edit the film yourself, there are plenty of free editing software options available, including iMovie for Mac users, and Windows Movie Maker if you're on a PC. Simple apps such as Splice can be used on your smartphone or tablet.

If you're after a more polished and professional approach, get in touch with Suited and Booted Studios to find out how we might be able to help you create a film for your business.