Your Short-Form Video Strategy: Preparing to Film

Short-Form Video Strategy

With today’s social media platforms, anyone can become a content creator and share their videos with a global audience. So if you’re planning to create and share short-form videos on social media, it’s important to be prepared with the right equipment, lighting, and editing tools. Let’s walk through what you’ll need to make sure your videos are the best they can be.

Mastering Mobile Filmmaking: Captivating Your Audience with Authenticity

First, let’s start with equipment. While professional cameras and equipment can give you high-quality videos, most smartphones nowadays have a decent camera that can capture high-quality video footage. Short-form video lends itself to a more realistic, real-world feeling that comes from filming with a phone rather than an expensive studio camera. But, having a more authentic and raw-looking video, like something you would see in a WhatsApp or Facetime calls can actually help build a stronger connection with your audience. Using a smartphone for filming videos is also convenient since you can easily transfer and edit the video on the same device. Additionally, using a smartphone allows you to film videos on the go.

Of course, there are some principles to follow, such as avoiding shakiness, keeping everything in focus, and capturing good sound (which can be done with most smartphones). Captions are also important since many people prefer to watch videos without sound. Whether you’re using a smartphone or choose to use a professional camera, make sure to invest in a good tripod to stabilize your shots. Ultimately, the most important thing is to create intrigue and connection with your audience, which can be done with any camera.

Optimizing Vertical Video for Social Media

One of the key elements to remember when filming videos for social media is to shoot in a vertical format. Most social media platforms are designed to be viewed on mobile devices, and as a result, viewers prefer vertical video content. That’s why you need to make sure to hold your phone vertically when recording, rather than horizontally.

Most phones will also record at high definition in a 1080×1920 resolution or higher if you record vertically. And if you decide to film in 4K, it has its benefits, like being able to punch in or crop to a video without losing quality.

Next, you need to think about lighting. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of creating a visually appealing video. Natural light is the best light source for video, but if you’re filming indoors, it’s important to have adequate lighting. Be sure to avoid harsh shadows or bright spots in the video frame, and try to achieve even lighting across the frame. If you’re filming in a room with natural light from the windows, make sure the light falls on your face rather than lighting you from behind.

If you don’t have natural light, a ring light — which is a ordable and ideal for people who talk directly into the camera — or softbox can help create a well-lit environment for

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filming. If you want to create a more professional feel, you can use athree-point lighting setup with a key light, fill light, and a backlight, as demonstrated by this image from Streamyard. The key light illuminates the subject and is the primary source of light. The fill light is placed opposite the key light and fills in the shadows created by the key light. Finally, the backlight illuminates the subject from behind and helps separate it from the background. For more information check out the resources for an article on how to set up athree-point lighting system .

LED panels are also a great option if you’re looking for something a ordable. They o er even lighting and are straightforward to use.

When filming outdoors with only a smartphone, be aware of natural light conditions, and plan accordingly. It’s best to film during golden hours — the time period shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which the daylight is softer than when the sun is higher in the sky. Or, film in areas with natural shade to avoid harsh shadows and overexposure. Experiment with di erent angles and compositions to find the best look for your video, and be creative with the resources available to you, such as looking for natural shade or creating your own with an umbrella or piece of fabric. With some planning and creativity, you can capture high-quality footage even with limited equipment.

But keep in mind that while high-quality lighting can enhance your videos, it’s essential to remember it’s not the most crucial factor. The key to success is creating an engaging story that connects with your audience. Expensive equipment won’t necessarily get you more followers or better engagement. So, it’s essential to focus on creating a compelling story that resonates with your audience, rather than investing in expensive equipment.

Sound is another essential element to consider when creating short-form video content. Poor audio quality can be distracting and will reduce the overall quality of your video. If you’re using a smartphone to film, try to get as close to the audio source as possible to ensure that the sound is clear and free from background noise. Consider using a lavalier microphone to capture high-quality audio, especially if you’re filming in a noisy environment or if you need to capture sound from a distance.

Here’s Michael Rowe, cinematographer & on-camera talent at Nexorank to share more.

Michael Rowe: So sound is 50% of your video. And so in that way, having high quality sound is as important as getting a good looking visual. You want to be recording in an environment that’s as quiet as possible, limiting ambient noise. In addition, depending on the platform, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram reels, you’ll see folks often literally just using an apple microphone and they’ll talk directly into it, right? That’s a perfectly acceptable way to record audio, because that’s what people are expecting on the platform. Something

else that you could consider as well is if you’re filming with a smartphone, there’s a relatively a ordable option called the Sure MV 88 that you can plug directly into your iPhone, and it’ll be a microphone that points towards you as you hold up your phone and record. If you really want to have a little bit more of a complicated setup, you have a little bit more money to spend, then getting a lavalier microphone of any kind that can either interface with your iPhone or whatever device you’re recording on is a perfectly great option as well.

You may also want to spend some time determining what editing apps you may need. There are a variety of app possibilities, whether they’re for editing on your phone or your desktop. In the resources section you’ll find a list of recommended apps that you may want to consider.

That should get you started! With the right preparation you can help your short-form video content perform successfully across social media platforms.


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