How do I produce professional looking videos for my business?
I want to produce a few videos, a couple with me talking and a few with screenshots and maybe some website tutorial. I have started with videotaping myself, but the lighting doesn't look great. Does anyone have recommendations on how to produce good looking videos on my own simply. Also, what tools are available to add screenshots and website tutorials? Thanks.
Hey Derek, the real question is do you want to have it professional looking or do you want to do it yourself? How valuable is your time? People go to school for years to master the art of video production, and while I will point you in the direction of some helpful videography websites, your best bet is to hire a video production house or freelancers to do the video for you. Simply put they know the ins and outs of making your video look great, have the equipment to do it, and know how to troubleshoot when things go wrong. I would say put the effort into your business and let a video expert make videos for you.
But I did promise some resources, so here's a few links I've found helpful: http://www.videomaker.com/tips-to-get-started
For screen shots I recommend Screenflow on Mac, Camtasia on PC.
You already got some pretty good answers in terms of making your videos look good, the next thing is making them SOUND good as well... which is something a lot of people overlook. This is important because when we record something without any type of equalization or filtering we wind up with a wall of sound that spans the entire bandwidth of human hearing. Even if there's nothing going on at certain levels but a mere hiss the ear still picks up on it and tells the brain to process it. Then with the mid ranges between 800hz-2,600hz(or 2.6k) can be quite harsh on our ears causing what Sound Engineers call "listening fatigue" and can actually damage one's ears over time if they continuously listen to material with those ranges jumping out at them.
Due to all of this going on the brain has to separate which audio information is important and which isn't, then if there's echos and a lot of boxiness to your speech it has to work harder to decipher what you're saying. This is the #1 reason why people don't let go and dance as freely with local up and coming music Artists even when they like the material because 98% of your energy and focus is projected into the task of separating all the different sounds you're hearing in order to understand what's happening.... so there's nothing left to project into just vibing along.
This same thing applies to your videos in the sense that the viewer will be more absorbed in making out what you're saying than actually taking it in and understanding it. The harshness of the audio will wear their ears and brain out before they get half way through the video and may well decide to stop and look elsewhere for the information.
Seeing that your focus is mainly speech at $16 computer mic should work perfectly fine so there's no need to go buy a $300 condensor mic and stand... unless you really want to. Letting the camera pick up on the audio is never a great idea because it picks up on the entire room which not only catches your voice, but the body of sound waves filling the space as well as any echos, which makes it harder to engineer.
If you want to do this yourself as well you can look up tutorials on youtube for treating vocals, it doesn't matter which program they're using because it's the EQing techniques you want to get familiar with, which can be applied in any software and most competent video editing software usually allows you to treat your audio and even comes with built in Audio effects.
Everyone's voice is different so you'd have to play around with your recordings to learn the characteristics of your voice, but generally you want to cut all the frequencies beneath 150hz or so to take a lot of the bass tones out. For most men with deeper bassier voices 150hz is the bottom of their vocal range, if you have a higher more medium toned voice you may want to take it up to around 200hz.
From 200hz-400hz is the range a lot of bass pops occur on your Bs, Ps and Ts when speaking, 400hz-800hz is around the range where that annoying boxiness occurs that glues words together in people's videos. 800hz-2,500hz(2.5k) is where that harshness occurs that drills into people's ears. 2,500hz(2.5k)-6,000hz(6k) is where the main body of people's voice occurs more clearly and understandable. 6,000hz(6k)-9,000hz(9k) is the range where the brightness and warmth in people's voice occur and 9k-20k is where you get a lot of hissing from S and shhh sounds in your speach. The human ear only picks up on frequencies between 40hz-20,000hz(20k) and is the default bandwidth most equalizer make available.
I know all of that doesn't really make much sense as of right now, but once you start looking at how people treat audio with an EQ it'll start to become clearer. An equalizer is the same as the "Bass, low mid, mid, high mid, treble" settings on your car radio.... it just gives you more faders to work with and on a parametric EQ you can set them where ever you want to adjust the volume level of certain frequencies... rather than being stuck on a certain bandwidth like on your car radio.
I would go as far as saying this is more important than getting a "good looking" video because as long as you can manage even lighting and get a clear picture you're good without all the extra effects and titles flying in and out and nobody will think any less of you for not having all that. But if you have all that and your audio sucks, it will ruin everything. It will also be best to have other people listen to the audio to make sure they understand it easily because we trick ourselves with audible illusions due to the fact that we already know what we're saying. So as it plays we know exactly what's going on and what's being said so if there's a part that isn't clear we don't realize it because our brain automatically fills in the blank creating the same effect as if we heard it clearly. So having an extra pair of ears who have no clue as to what they're about to listen to will be of great value to you.
Hey Derek! Great question! I actually just started building a website dedicated to educating people on this topic.
Video has such an amazing ROI that is seems crazy that more people are not doing it. This is mainly because it is not easy, there are less DIY tools for it, and/or it can be expensive (I have seen companies charge $1700+ for a 60 second video).
If you are looking for a simple video that can be created from a number of pictures, YouTube actually has a built in tool to help you with that. So does Facebook.
However, if you are wanting a video with motion graphics, video footage, voice-over, images, text, etc. You really should hire a professional.
However, if you just want to make some simple videos here are a few programs I use or have used in the past. All of them are pretty moderately priced.
I know, I create them on a daily basis. Video combines every facet of media: written content, images, graphics, footage, sound, and voiceover and puts them together. It is by far the most time consuming and most difficult marketing effort. In relative terms, $1700 is not expensive for the time, skill, and value a professional video provides, however it IS a lot of money for most small (and even medium) sized businesses. That's all I was saying as the OP clearly is looking for a way to avoid the high cost.
This all depends on budget and time and what you want to spend time on or not, but here are a list of places I found for different levels:
you have quite a lot of choices, so next time, be more specific on your request regarding video production..It is a project, not a single task.
Regarding timelines, budget, type, audience, quality, graphics...That is what video production involves and more
Getting the lighting right is the hardest and most important part. There are lots of tutorials on Youtube though. I've been using a 3-piece softbox kit. There are other ways using floor lamps or shop lighting, but the kit has been worth it.
I release a lot of video content. If I can answer any questions for you, let me know.
I would like to wholeheartedly endorse Jerry Nelson's comment and advice. You have probably seen this quotation many times before on the Social Media:
“If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur”
In our line of business we constantly get requests for “Professional” looking website and “Luxury Branding” but cheap. I think the irony is missed by many people who make these requests. The clue is in the words“Luxury” or “Professional”.
If you want a professional video or website then you should go to professionals who do this for a living, day-in, day-out, which gives them more practice in a week than an ordinary person will get in a lifetime.
Professional video companies use professional lighting, sound recording, noise cancelling microphone, sound mixers, video editing applications, etc. You can never hope to produce something of the same quality on your Mac, iPhone or Android smartphones. Remember these free or cheap apps were made to have a bit of fun, or satisfy those more demanding home movie/video makers. They were never designed to produce professional videos.
The best evidence of this is to visit Youtube or search on Google for hotels anywhere in the world. Then look for those enlightened hotels who have realised that "video" is important part of their website and sales tool. You can easily tell the ones done by professionals and those made by the owners or the teenagers with their iPhone or Android with “Can do” attitudes. I love “Can do” attitude but no amount of this will get over technical capabilities of the equipment or the individual's lack of experience.
If your business matters to you, then my advice is “invest” in it. If you don't invest in your business why should any potential customer invest their trust (by parting money) in your business.
If you are looking for free video creation tools then you should not miss YouTube editor, Prezi, Animoto and Commoncraft etc . These tools lets you easily create videos by using images. These video creation tools are best for marketers to promote their business online via graphics.
I agree with Jerry Nelson. If you want professional looking video, hire a professional production company. Save the DIY's for quick tips & tricks that you can share on social media.
Hey Derek, Like Jerry pointed out this task might take a lot of your time which can be spent where its most needed. You can always find a professional production house and work with them to get a neat output. You can check
That's where I work by the way. Cheers.