The Basics for Better Videos

Five tips for producing professional videos that will impress your customers.

July 1, 2008

1. Look for the Light.

Web video is unforgiving of poor lighting. Outdoors, shoot with the sun behind you; inside, use all of the available light to brighten the scene.

2. Keep it Steady.

When you’re recording, use a tripod or the image stabilization feature on your camcorder. Pan and zoom slowly and smoothly to avoid shaky pictures.

3. Size Matters.

Save your files in high-definition format. It creates larger files, but saving the file in a smaller size and then trying to enlarge it will yield grainy results. “Ideally, video files should be shot at 30 frames per second, at 480 by 360 pixels,” says Christian Sterner, president of video producer WellcomeMat.

4. Space it Out.

Create a sense of movement by placing your focal object off center in each shot. Putting the focus dead center makes the shot seem more static.

5. Crank Up the Volume.

The built-in mikes in most camcorders just don’t do the job, especially against background noise. Instead, opt for a handheld mike that plugs into a jack on the camera or use a wireless lavaliere mike.