Video is here to stay. I listed off the statistics in how video is changing the digital and social media world in how audiences consume information in another post.

Simply put? It grabs people’s attention and it’s worth it to invest in such a medium.

Popular media outlets across the United States are pivoting to video. These outlets focus effort and energy on the medium because they believe they’ll find a higher return on investment.

You should too. And you can learn the basics here. It’s important to jump on this shift in the industry now, even using something as simple as a smartphone to produce the material.

The basics of creating video go as such: making, producing, and editing.

  1. Making the video

While creating a video, remember length, composition, and preparation. These are the three main things to remember while putting it all together.

Keep in mind how long videos are going to be. My personal rule is to stick to 60 seconds. This is just long enough to grab your audience’s attention and hit them with the information without overloading or boring them.

If videos incorporate interviews or are focused on a more in-depth topic, it’s OK to be between one to five minutes. Anything longer than five minutes is a short film or a documentary. Unless you’re planning to make it into a documentary, don’t go over five minutes.

As for composition, a smartphone should still be treated with as much care as a camera. That means checking white balance and ISO are correct and that there’s natural lighting. Remember to get close to the subject so they fill the frame appropriately, but also don’t awkwardly cut off anyone’s limbs or the top of their head.

The easiest thing to forget when using a smartphone for video is to film it horizontally. Otherwise, it’s a vertical shot that only works best for Snapchat or mobile phones. If a person is watching the video on their desktop, it’ll will be too small to see.

The last part in the actual making of videos is to be prepared. Bring all the gear — microphones, lighting, and a tripod. But most importantly: know what’s going to happen, especially if it’s live. Have a game plan — a script and where people are going to stand and move —so the camera is at the best angle.

  1. Producing and editing the video:

These software programs are good options when editing on your desktop:

  • Lightworks: professional interface and quality production
  • iMovie (Apple products only)
  • Adobe Premiere Pro: my personal favourite because it has a wide range of capabilities

For on-the-go editing on your phone you can use:

  • iMovie (Apple products only): has an easy interface and can be used for basic photos
  • Magisto: Does most of the work for you
  • Adobe Premier Clip
  • Power Director Video Editor

Watch this video to get an idea on how to edit and produce video.

Most likely, organisations want to share their videos on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Since 85 percent of people watch videos without their sound turned on, media professionals should atach captions.

The easiest way to do this is to use the YouTube editor. After uploading a video, the owner can type in the captions with the video is running. This ensures that punctuation is correct, names are spelled right, and the “ums” and stumbles from any dialogue can be trimmed.

Now all you have to do is upload the finished product to your website or social media platforms and you’re good to go.

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