It’s been over four weeks since the VideoMyJob team moved completely to working from home, due to COVID-19. After moving from the well-lit, fabulously furnished VideoMyJob headquarters, to our home offices (or dining/living/spare rooms), we’ve had to adjust to filming videos in new locations and a unique set of new challenges; clutter, kids at home, fur-babies and other distractions!
So how are we overcoming these new challenges, so that we can continue to create professional work videos?
Believe it or not, it can be a fun challenge to figure out! Think of it like creating a movie set and you’re the star … of a world-class video discussing executive comms, or a job ad, or what you made for lunch – you get the picture!
My colleague Olivia had a lot of fun with this video advising you what not to do when filming from home!
Fortunately, we have learned a lot more about video during this time and have some great tips to help you still get professional videos, even when you aren’t in your regular office space. In this quick guide to creating professional videos at home we will cover:
Do the following exercises with your phone in hand/tripod and camera on so you can check yourself and your frame in real-time.
How to find a great location for professional quality videos, at home
Get that nice background! Walk around your home and look for places that can add color, depth, and/or personality. Try to avoid cluttered areas (e.g. bedrooms & bathrooms), clothes hanging around, or TV screens. You want the viewers to focus on the subject – YOU.
You could also create a filming space by adding ‘props’. Such as a coffee table, plants, adding a cushion, books, etc to your background. Remember you are now the star of your own show, and can design this ‘set’ how you think looks best.
Your plan B
If you don’t have any suitable background space, our (other) Digital Content Coordinator Jay, did some homework on how to create a green screen in this video, which can help you choose a background you feel more comfortable filming with.
Keep in mind, there is no need to be perfect! We’re going through an interesting time in history. People understand you’re not in your usual workplace. Don’t hesitate to address this – be real, authentic, and honest, even if your pet has decided to run around the house as soon as you press record…
How to create great lighting for professional quality videos, at home
There is a misconception that you need high quality, expensive equipment to create great, professional-looking video. However with the right lighting, you can get great quality footage from your mobile phone.
If you have any spaces with good natural light (e.g. in front of a window), then head there with your phone and tripod. Test what angles and sitting/standing positions may or may not work. This improves your videos, as it provides an even distribution of light in your frame (as long as you’re facing it – not behind it).
If you have limited natural light, work with what you’ve got. Ceiling lights, lamps, and tripod lighting can work well (VideoMyJob also sells a hardware kit that is easy to use). You could also look at eBay, Amazon, or Marketplace to see if there are any good deals on offer for other lighting options.
Whichever you use, it is a good idea to position the main light source in front of you, with one or two ‘fill lights’ to get rid of any shadows on your face and torso.
Don’t be shy to film outside if you have a desk, balcony or backyard area. You may need a utilize a table to pop your tripod on for height. Don’t forget props! You could also have your designated filming space outside too – weather & sound permitting, more tips on that next
How to create a great audio experience for professional quality videos, at home
You are so close to filming a great, professional video in your home! Remember, when you’re recording a video, it is your time to shine! So let your household know that it’d be great if they could be extra quiet during that time (I’m talking to you – cats, dogs, and guinea pigs).
If possible, close the door to the room you’re recording in. Rooms with bookshelves, carpet, and/or covered walls (pictures, paintings) are great for sound-proofing your filming space.
If you’d like to improve your sound quality even more, you could also invest in an external microphone that connects to your phone. Some good options are a ‘lavalier’ microphone, which you can attach to your shirt like a mini microphone, or a ‘point and shoot’ mic, which records what is right in front of it. Both of these options deliver clearer audio and focus on your voice, rather than outside noises. There are lots of smartphone video accessories to help you make more professional-looking videos.
Lights, Camera, Action!
So you’ve found your designated filming space, set up your lighting (or placed yourself in front of some natural light), and sorted out your sound. That’s it, you’re ready to start filming quality videos from home!
So have fun and experiment with your home filming space, with the help of the VideoMyJob app. With your new set of skills, embrace the learning process and start to create content, it is a great way to engage your customers and colleagues alike.