SELF FILMING GUIDE
WHEN FILMING YOURSELF
be mindful of your audio and lighting. The environment you’re filming in should be as silent as possible, unless you’re intentionally filming in a social setting. Look to stay away from any unwanted background noise.
If you’re filming in a controlled setting - your office, restaurant, or rented space for example - be sure to let all surrounding parties know to keep the area clear or as quiet as possible. This is not always afforded, but be mindful.
Media-related survey results affirm that audio accounts for approximately half of the overall quality of a video. Remember the saying, “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. There’s only so much that can be done to enhance the audio in post production. Save time and money by ensuring your video sounds at least decent.
Whether filming from a phone or an actual camera, consider using an external microphone - shotgun or lavalier in oppose to the built-in microphone - to ensure quality audio.
Achieving optimal lighting is very important when you’re looking to maximize the quality of your video. It would be ideal to film in an open area with big windows all around on the sunniest of days, but that’s not always the case. If your preferred area to film is dimly lit, you can borrow lighting fixtures from surrounding rooms, or even purchase or rent lighting.
Tip: When primarily using natural light, be efficient and timely when filming. As the day progresses, the amount of light available to you will inevitably shift.
Tip: Do not position yourself directly in front of a bright window. If your background is too bright, you will appear as a silhouette.
Tip: Do not position yourself too close in front of a light colored wall. Create some separation to create some sort of depth, and minimize creating an unwanted shadow effect.
Just think - when was the last time you fully watched a video that was visually unclear? And if you did, were you
all of the above
Always keep your viewer’s experience in mind.
Think about how you want to be perceived. Choose an angle.
Think about some of the bad videos you’ve ever watched, or the videos where you said to yourself, “This wouldn’t be so bad if they had just…”
One of those #IfTheyHaveJust topics is stabilization. Shaky footage equals shaky results. Your best option is to purchase/obtain a quality tripod. When considering tripods, think beyond your current project. Will you be doing more filming in the future? If so, how much? If this is only the beginning, I suggest you invest in a strong quality tripod that can support a range of cameras and weight. Not ready purchase one yet? Feel free to find or create a sturdy flat surface to help you achieve your ideal frame.
Okay, now for the most important advice. Know Yourself. Be Yourself.
You know who you are. You know who you are authentically, as well as how you must present yourself to successfully connect with your audience. You may get it on the first try… you might… some do… many don’t…. but some. Nonetheless, don’t stop until you honestly feel comfortable with what you’ve recorded. And only then, do it again… three more times preferably, and that last one will be your golden take!
If you talk with your hands, then talk with your hands. Take/Create time to find your comfort zone. Be aware of the message you wish to convey with your facial expressions, body language, and influx in tone.
What you show is what they see so make sure you’ve carved out time to do a few test runs. Do a few 15 second takes, “Mic check 1-2. My name is XXXX XXXXXX. I arrived on time yesterday to forcefully kick cards with the largest gorilla in the Bronx Zoo.” Check lighting, audio, clothing, hair, and overall surroundings until you’re satisfied.
LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION.
You’re more than ready.