Every YouTube star, vlogger and user alike knows the importance of a good quality video to success or failure in the competitive world of social media. Given that professional videography can be not only an expensive hobby but a complicated and time consuming one, we’ve researched the top tips for filming your best home video to implement on your YouTube channel. We looked to Grant Cromwell of ReelSEO and Kari Mulholland of TED to inspire us on becoming film gurus.
Tip #1: Film Close-Up Shots
Given the small size of the computer screen, videos should be close up views of the speaker in order to help viewers draw attention to the most important subject. Wide shots cause items to be too small and unfocused, thus losing the viewer’s attention. Especially in short, high impact YouTube videos, the viewer should be focused on what you desire most as the producer.
Tip #2: The Importance of Good Lighting
Light should be shining on the subject not sourcing from above. As videographer Izzy Hyman describes in Cromwell’s article, light directly from above causes harsh shadows and eyes to appear dark. Good light options are focused light shining at the speaker or natural sunlight from a window. This type of light is known as soft light and is more flattering on the subject.
Tip #3: Utilize Multiple Camera Angles
As Ted Talks editor Kari Mulholland claims, “the web audience has a short attention span” so it is important to vary angles in order to better capture the interest of wandering eyes. While this requires stopping filming and editing, switching up the angle of videos throughout the vlog might increase viewer numbers or minutes watched.
Tip #4: When Editing, Cut on Action
Every blog has its mistakes that require editing or moments of transition from one concept to the next. When editing, Mulholland urges readers to transition from one action to the next so it appears that the first action gestures to the second action. This creates a more uniform flow that pleases the audience visually. It is important to remember that the viewer can have a critical eye and thus sloppy editing could lead to a negative impression of an otherwise good video.
For example, a wide arm gesture to the audience may warrant a cut to a shot of the audience:
Tip #5: Film in Thirds
While this may be an age-old pointer for many, it’s one of the most basic and crucial tips in filming a good video. Think of the screen as divided into thirds both lengthwise and widthwise. The subject should be placed at any of the four crosshairs that are created by these intersecting lines. The purpose of this is to be most pleasing and interactive to the human eye. The so called “rule of thirds” ensures that your video will be intriguing to the audience due to its creation of an interesting point for the viewer to focus and linger on–rather than being unimaginatively placed in the center of the frame.
Hopefully these video tips can enhance your YouTube content and move your channel to the next level. It is important to recognize the impact that strategic videography and editing can have on the quality and influence of your videos on the internet. Happy filming!
by Mackenzie Hummel