Since creating my first commercial brand video for the blog with the Mercedes-Benz Valente, I have learned so much and am excited to be able to bring you these tips to help you start your own journey into making films! Even if you don’t blog and just want to record family moments, the first post in this little series where I revealed my mistakes and offered filming hints is a great little beginning resource.
Films are just so powerful. They really do touch the soul of your viewers in so many more ways than still imagery in some situations. This can be an incredibly powerful and important tool for bloggers as they are called upon to deliver complicated brand messages to their audience while still keeping true to their own personal values. Films are also a brilliant way to supplement your family storytelling. Entire experiences like overseas holidays or birthday celebrations can be beautifully woven into a series of treasured moments to be watched and enjoyed over and over again for years to come.
First we should chat about filmmaking equipment. It is finally something that is quite affordable for most.
I have been shooting my little films using two different cameras. I use the Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark2 for all of my videos in the home studio. I also used it to create all the footage for the Mercedes video. If I am shooting for a client, I will use the best equipment that I have as I want to be assured of the best quality footage to start with. The in-camera stabilisation (the system that keeps the video capture smooth and not shaky) that comes with the Olympus is second to none. I am absolutely amazed at how easy it is to handhold the camera while keeping the footage still. The other advantage to using the Olympus is that I can attach my Rode VideoMic Pro, an external microphone to record sound properly, which is essential to the product reviews that Gemma and I do monthly.
The majority of my little family daily life films are just taken on my iPhone6. I have this with me
most all of the time. If the camera is with me, then it will be the camera I use. I don’t have a microphone to us e with the iPhone just yet, so I usually just remove the sound in the editing program and set the clips to music. Since I am mentioning it here, I will bring up the point that music needs to be properly licensed to be used in even your home movies. There are many sites where you can find royalty free music and purchase commercial rights to tracks. The song in the Mercedes-Benz Valente video was from PremiumBeat.com.
The actual filming is just half the process. While many people want to know how to get started, they often forget to ask about how to wrap it all up.
With that in mind, lets look at video editing.
Mick, my video editor uses Adobe Premier Pro and that is what he put my Mercedes-Benz Valente footage together with. Since I have the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, I have downloaded it to my Macbook Pro. I have yet to come anywhere near to mastering the controls, but I can see why it is the choice for many video professionals. It is on my list to learn as it also syncs with the iOS app to allow seamless video creation from iPhone to Macbook.
The learning curve for any full featured program is a bit steep, but there are quick ways to get yourself a fully edited film without even having to learn any techniques. There are a few automatic apps that will take your footage and put it all together for you, but you lose some control in return for ease. My favourite of these apps is called Magisto. You can choose a theme and music, but the app will cut and edit the clips together for you. I pay for the yearly business subscription to get a bit more options, but it is still an app that asks for you to let go of control and embrace the surprise.
If you can’t swing the price for the most professional video editing apps out there, you can spend a little less and buy iMovie or my new favourite, Filmora. Both of these programs have iOS apps and Filmora is also available for Windows. These programs are quite easy to use and will let you have full control over the editing process including transitions between clips and title/text overlay.
No matter what the editing software that you choose, the key to a great little film is the story and how well you engage your viewers with that tale.
Final tip (for now) is to keep your video limited to 2 minutes. If you must, 3 minutes, but that is about the most anyone will actually watch to the end. After that your message is lost as people stop watching.
Do you want to learn more about how to “tell a little story”? Stay tuned, because Mick and I just might have something in the works for you!