Nowadays, anyone can create a video. Just turn on your phone, aim, and push a button. Right?
Well, yes. But what makes a video really awesome? Here are five tips that might help take your videos from “kinda boring” to “super great.”
Tip 1: Sound
Now I’m not just talking about some boring voice over or a music track. I’m talking about the sounds of the footsteps walking on that wood floor that reminds you of that time you spent that summer, the best summer of your life, in that cabin in the Sierras. Or the crackling sounds of that fireplace, or the rain outside. Ambient sound creates feelings that words can’t convey. Think through your video and what opportunities there are for sounds to make emotional connections in your audience.
Tip 2: Reshoot that terrible scene
I know. I know. You’re pressed for time. You’re over budget. But trust me, you need to reshoot that part that is reminding everyone that your video is so small town. It’s not the end of the world. Maybe it’s a little embarrassing, but that’s okay. Hollywood does it all the time. Some of the best projects I’ve worked on have needed a reshoot for one reason or another–and let me tell you, it made all the difference.
Tip 3: Create characters with personality
You’ve got a scene with two people and they’re doing something like – selling copiers. It’s boring. I just fell asleep. Let’s try again. You’ve got a guy. He’s yo-yoing and telling you how simple it is to operate this new copier. Another guy comes up. He’s eating a sandwich. Grabs the copies out of the copier. You just sold a million copiers. Your audience wants to be entertained more than they want to buy your product or service, so create characters with a little life in them and your brand will be perceived as fun and engaging.
Tip 4: Use interesting locations, costumes, and props
You’re probably not going to get Tom Hanks to play the main part in your video. Instead, you’ve got your friend Jim. Jim’s a great guy, but he’s not going to light up the screen for you just on his own–he’s just going to be Jim. That’s when you tell him, “Jim. You’re not Jim anymore. You’re a superstar fireman.” You put a fireman’s coat on Jim, give him an axe, and you put him in front of an old building. Now Jim feels awesome and he lights up the screen for you. The right costumes, locations, and props transform your on-screen talent and raise the perceived value of your production.
Tip 5: Lighting
So you’re gonna film someone talking in front of a boring wall. Your audience just turned the channel. Now look again. It’s the same wall, but now it’s got a shadow of a palm tree on it. Oh, that’s interesting. Where is this person? Near the beach? I wish I was near the beach. I wish I walking on the beach at sunset. What are they selling in this video. Hotdogs? I want one. You just ate ten hotdogs, all because of that one light. Use light and shadows to create feeling and a sense of place. Your audience will thank you for it.
There you have it. Put these tips into action and start making awesome videos.
Todd Peterson is the Senior Producer at Red Canary Productions, a video production studio based out of San Luis Obispo. He has performed work for clients such as Cal Poly, Challenge Butter, Foster Grant and New York Times bestselling author Francis Chan. Learn more about Todd and the services of Red Canary at redcanary.tv.