If you’re like me, you probably dread the thought of having to write a script, set up a camera on a tripod, get the lighting right, put up a nice background behind you and sit down to record a video. In as much time as it takes to do all that, you could practically write an ebook that you could sell for a tidy profit. But that’s not the point, is it? The objective here is to engage your audience with multimedia, not just shove more text in front of them that they probably don’t want to read anyway.
In this guide, I will do my best to help you make video production and editing easy – in general terms, anyway. You can use quite a few “cheats” or shortcuts, if you will, to achieving comparable quality to high-definition shooting and great production.
Making Video Easy with Your Camera
I’m a big proponent of using small cameras that fit in your pocket to take video for your website. The more web-ready a camera is, in my opinion, the better. Thus, if you can post it to Facebook straight off of the device, it’s probably an indication that it’s pretty darn web-ready.
Flip cameras and “play/touch” cameras are some of my favorites. Not to name names or anything, but cameras made in this style really are the easiest to use. You can often set them up on a tripod on a tablet op, hit the “record” button and go. No need to stop and play back; just keep going and trudge through mistakes. Of course, it makes editing that much easier if you can go through the thumbnails and delete the ones you don’t want just by looking at the cut scenes.
If you have someone handy to stop the clock for you, that’s great. But if not, you’re only limited by battery life and disk space on your camera. Try to get a camera with a good rechargeable battery so you don’t have to constantly be charging and changing it.
Making Video Easy with Editing
You don’t need the world’s fanciest editing software to throw a video on your home page. Anymore, the more rugged and homemade it looks, the better. But don’t use that as an excuse to upload a piece of garbage. If you’re trying to sell something, your audience would at least like to know that they’re spending money with someone who cares about what he or she is presenting. And if you’re selling yourself as a businessperson or your skills, then what the video looks like matters all that much more.
I like using screencasting software to edit everything I can. You pop it into the timeline, slice out what you don’t want, add captions, titles and transitions, and you’re set. Unless you need to make major changes to the text, lighting and position, there’s no need to get too fancy. Just make it look as decent as you need to without going totally overboard.