The beauty of youtube is how easy it is for anyone to share their videos. All you need is a camera, a PC or mac, and a bit of creativity!
However, as professionals it’s easy to spot a few technical things that could make your video that little bit better. There are a few common mistakes that are often simply rectified. So, before you upload your next masterpiece, have a look through these tips to see how you can make your video even better!
1. Effects: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!
Using effects well is an art form. Upon finding a new effect, it can be very tempting to use it just because you know it’s there, whether it’s making text whizz across the screen or spinning transitions between shots. The key to using effects well is knowing when to use them. Don’t be afraid to be minimalist. The same applies to colours and fonts.
2. Cutting footage: Less is more.
Being ruthless with their footage is one of the things people find hardest. They have a lot of material that they like, and want to include as much as possible. However, the average viewer’s attention span is very low, and the shorter and snappier you can make your video, the better. Don’t have unnecessarily long title screens, or hold on a shot too long. If you have two shots which are similar, think about using only one of them to tell the story most efficiently. If you voice-over your video, keep sentences short, and avoid redundant speech.
3. Little details: check your video.
Spelling mistakes, audio-sync, aspect ratio, and other little mistakes can distract your viewer. Run your video past a few friends before you upload it so that these sort of things can get ironed out.
4. Get your framing right.
One of the things people don’t always make the most of when taking a photo or shooting some footage is how they frame the shot. Excess head-room is a common mistake. People naturally place the point-of-interest (in this example someone’s face) in the centre of the screen. However, this makes all the space above the person’s head redundant, and makes the person look small. Lower the shot so that more of the person (and less of the sky above them) is visible, and position them to the side of the shot, rather than centrally (If you want to find out more about framing, you can read more here about the rule of thirds).
There are infinite possibilities of where you can place the camera, and how you then frame the shot, so think about the possibilities before you hit record. The obvious choice might not always be the best.
5. Think about light and sound.
Avoid noisy locations if you’re filming someone who is talking. If your mic is on camera, then the closer the camera is to the person, the better the sound will be. Try to have the primary light source behind your camera, so that the person is well-lit. Don’t film them standing in front of a window, for example, because they will be silhouetted by all the light behind them.
But most importantly, you need a good idea in the first place. These technical tips will just help make your video look that little bit more professional. People will only want to watch your video if it’s fun, if it’s entertaining or different. So spend time thinking through your idea, so that you can make it the best that it can be!