Achieving a professional look is more about your technique than your tools, so you don’t need to drop a fortune on expensive equipment – chances are good that you can make great videos with whatever you’ve got right now, just by paying attention to a few key details. These 10 tips will help you improve the quality of your videos right away.
1. Use Plenty of Light.
Lighting makes a huge difference in the quality of a finished professional video, so make it one of your top priorities during filming. If you don’t use enough properly-placed light, your video will probably look amateurish, even if it’s great in every other way.
If you’re filming indoors, you will need to be more intentional about the types of lights you use and where you place them. One thing to avoid is overhead lighting – it can cast unflattering shadows on your subjects’ faces. Windows are a good natural light source. You can also use a large lamp or two to cast the type of light you want.
2. Use a Clean Background.
Be deliberate about the background you use for filming. Nothing looks less professional than a messy or distracting background.
One easy way to get a professional look for your video is to use a solid-coloured background. A wall, a bedsheet, or a large sheet of backdrop paper are all good options. Make sure your subject stands several feet away from the backdrop to avoid casting shadows on it.
It’s also a good idea to shoot a video in a “professional” environment: the place where you actually work or spend time. Make sure to check out this video for both a great example of a filming set and some great tips on how to actually set up a home office.
3. Choose a Good Video Editing Program.
Good video editing software can help you turn your raw footage into something great. There are some simpler tools like Wave video, Camtasia or iMovie. More professional options include Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro.
4. Keep Your Editing Simple.
Trying out different effects can be fun during the video editing process, but don’t go too crazy. A simple, clean editing style generally looks most professional.
Whether you’re editing videos yourself or outsourcing this task to video editing services, there are a few things that should be done during this stage:
- Using noise cancelling to clean up any background noise.
- Adjusting the lighting a little if you need to.
- Cutting out awkward pauses and silences.
- Adding background music and transitions.
5. Prioritize Crisp, Clear Audio.
Your audio quality is actually more important than your professional video quality. Most people are willing to watch a video that’s not shot in HD or that’s even a little grainy, as long as everything else about it is good. But fuzzy, indistinct audio is usually enough to make anybody hit the “back” button within a few seconds of starting to play a video.
6. Avoid Shaky Footage.
Shaky footage will make any professional video look like a home movie (and it can make your viewers feel seasick, to boot). It’s hard to hold a camera completely steady, so try not to hold your camera at all if you can help it. Instead, use a tripod, or set your camera on a sturdy surface.
7. Understand the Rule of Thirds.
The rule of thirdsis one of the most basic principles of film composition.
Imagine that there’s a 3-by-3 grid laid over the field you’re filming. Instead of placing your subject right in the middle of the shot, you should place your subject along one of the lines of the grid. The points where the lines intersect are particularly strong areas of focus, so situate important elements of the video there, if you can.
8. Use Your Phone the Right Way.
No DSLR camera? No problem. You can use your phone to capture professional video footage – the quality is just fine for most purposes. But there are a few things in mind if you’re going to use your phone for video creation.
9. Work on Your Camera Presence.
If you appear in your professional videos, the way you carry yourself on camera has an enormous impact on how professional your content looks. Appearing nervous, fidgety, or uncomfortable on camera will distract viewers from your message.
10. Shoot from a Variety of Angles.
Cutting from one angle to another is a good (and simple) way to add visual interest to your professional videos. This is an especially useful technique if you’re making a how-to video, a product demo, or another type of video that shows you doing something rather than just talking.
Next Production, a brand of Next Media, is one of the leading Audio and Film Production Companies in Kampala, Uganda and East Africa, also specializing in Video production, TV Commercial (TVC) production, Events Promotion and Talent Management.