Featured article
06 August 2020

Brilliant Tips on How to Shoot a Good Video

As a content creator, I spend most of my spare time thinking about how to generate new ideas. There are a plethora of video genres out there that you can venture into. Having a vision for the video you want to record will help you in the production.

In this article, I’ll be sharing the different types of activities and practices I do before producing a video that helps me to get the creative juice flowing.

Content Creation

Creating relevant and timely content is important if you want to be seen. I remember shooting a ‘How To Beat The Claw Machine’ video when it was trending back in 2019 and, guess what, it was filmed using an iPhone 6s! That has been my highest engagement video and highest viewed video ever. 

 

So, before creating something, ask yourself “Is your content entertaining?” and/or “Does it give value to others?” If yes, then it’s something worth working on.

There are a few questions I ask before beginning any video shooting process:

 

a) Am I travelling or shooting at my studio today?

 

If I’m travelling, I’d think about cars, ferries, buses, trains, planes, and such! Those are good pace setting shots that I can use to tell the story of me travelling. However, if I’m shooting at my studio, I’d mainly concentrate on the content I’m about to share and set up the lighting to enhance the video quality.

I’d also prepare some mental notes on the opening of the video and the points I wish to get across. A good way to practice this is to have junctions, which means, one point leading to the next. Not only will it ease the viewer’s understanding of the subject in hand but it also makes it easier for you to present.

 

b)  What am I eating today?

 

This falls into the context of the food being the subject. Oftentimes, I try to make a story to better showcase or introduce the food to the viewers. For example, shooting a video about my favourite food since I was young or finding a good place with a great food presentation will attract more audience. You could also try having snazzy titles like “The Best Char Koay Teow I had!” or “Flooding Laksa” to gain attention.

 

c) What am I doing today?

 

This has to be something unique and worth recording. Perhaps you’re doing something exciting for the first time and would like to document it? For instance, your trip to Koh Lipe would be something worthwhile filming than you going for a car wash. If a video comes out with the title “Koh Lipe: Vacation of the Decade” vs “I Went to the Carwash”, you can guess which is more appealing and would garner more views.

 

d) Am I shooting solo or collaborating today?

 

Some activities can be done alone while some are better off having someone doing it with you. If you’re shooting solo, for the most part, you’ll need a tripod for best results. If you’re collaborating with someone else, think of common topics to talk about.

Once I’ve figured out the type of content, I move on to think about how to carry out videography sequences that make sense! 

Think of it as fixing a jigsaw puzzle! Broken, in pieces, and sometimes upside-down. Those misaligned, misplaced, or unorganized puzzles will be the content you shot! Videography pieces them together. Videography pieces them together into a perfect picture!

Now that you know the importance of videography, it’s time to talk more about the techniques!

 

Videography Techniques

I gain most of my inspiration from watching vloggers such as Peter Mckinnon and Casey Neistat. Sometimes before I begin my video shoot I would go on YouTube to watch or rewatch some videos from Peter or Casey. With this, I can better envision how I’d like to shoot the video to complete the storytelling experience.

 

I love his perspective shots, which is explained in this video. He prioritises his shots more than aesthetics. It’s unconventional as most videographers or photographers would only want the best composition, lighting, subject, and location. He, on the other hand, focuses on taking the shot first. Most of his work has a very authentic style, showcasing his busy life in New York City as a business owner. Check out his video here

Image credit: https://www.thefactsite.com

Through his videos, I learned how time-lapse can be useful to start a story. Right after the time-lapse, he’d introduce himself and continue with what he currently feels, what he is about to do, or his opinions on a certain topic. He inspired people to start vlogging as he was one of the first few who began uploading videos on YouTube way before anyone else did.

 

Peter McKinnon is an incredible content creator who won the Shorty Award for Breakout YouTuber of the Year in 2019. He rose to stardom with his magnetic personality creating ‘How-To’ videos on photography and videography.

From ‘Two minute Tuesdays’ to PM Vlogs like, ‘Filmed this entire EOS R5 Video without it overheating…’, he inspires viewers as he adds his fun and energetic personality into an otherwise difficult process to shoot a video or photo.

Unlike Casey, Peter is meticulous in his shot selections and he makes sure that only the most aesthetically pleasing scenes make it into his videos. He takes extra caution on colour grading, colour correction, and audio designing to make his video seem professionally done.

I’ve learned how to do simple videography tricks using speed ramping to transition from shots to shots, and how to add B-rolls into my vlogs through his videos with reference to this video. He relies a lot on 120 frames per second (fps) shots to create the 80% slow-motion effect where everything looks, in his words, “Buttery Smooth”. I also learned that while most DSLR or mirrorless cameras aren’t able to go up to 120 fps without costing a bombshell, you’d be surprised to find out your phone can do that! Most phones should be able to toggle between slow-motion mode and at different frame rates. Remember, the more the frame rates, the slower the video can playback smoothly.

Now that I’ve shared my thought processes behind the production of a video, I hope I’ve helped you understand or possibly improve your craft so that you can also be a content creator!

Rodric enjoys filming videos and sharing them on his IG. He is a persistent content creator and never stops learning to improve his skills. A Taylor’s University alumni, he studied Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Hons) and is also one of The Risers’ ambassadors!

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