Oct 29, 2013

Stop Making Bad Videos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE! Bad video doesn't have to exist. There are simple concepts that will eliminate it altogether. Sure, there will always be a difference between large and small budget productions; but together we can rid ourselves of bad video and make room for more well shot twerk videos. Whether if your filming your child's birthday party or your marketing managers presentation, the following tips will keep you from making bad videos.



The Harlem shake was cool for a minute, but your jittery camera isn't. Tripods come in all shapes and sizes and fit every camera. Most likely your shooting video on your phone, so opt for something light weight and cheap. You can get a head to fit your phone for under $5 bucks (I’ve got this one.) If you’ve spent your marketing budget on a super nice DSLR that is going to allow you to shoot amazing video “in house” then beg for just a few more dollars and get a nice tri-pod to match it. 95% of bad amateur video is simply the result of poor stabilization (I just made up that statistic.) In the end the tripod is going to keep your camera still so you can focus on the subject and not be distracted by the “shakes.”


Don’t ever decide to shoot a video without a script or shot list. Most bad video is the result of poor planning and a lack of leadership. If your shooting the video, then you are the director and producer; don’t fall into the trap of letting your subjects dictate your creative direction. Chances are you had a plan which led you to buy a sweet camera and bust out your sweet DIY video production skills in the first place; take control of your set and own the process.  Its helpful to write down the “big idea” your trying to convey or capture. If you stick to the plan, chances are you might actually end up with something of value to flood your fan page or corporate meeting.


There is nothing worse than an otherwise decent video that can’t be salvaged because the audio is horrible. I’m sure your boss doesn't want to sound like he’s talking out of a tin can, so invest in a decent microphone. Most DSLR’s have an accessory shoe built for a shotgun mic. A shotgun mic is long and skinny and has nodes that focus the polar pattern of the microphone to be very narrow. The end result is that it records only what it is pointing at and doesn’t pick up the surrounding noise. Ok, that's too good to be completely true. You will pick up ambient noise, but this is what I call “real life” and it adds a bit of context to the story. Regardless, the external mic is going to give you sound that is actually useable. You can pick up a decent mic for as low as $250.


If your not interested in learning the ins and outs of video production you could always practice your producer skills and hire professionals. Whether your production is big or small there are tons of production companies and freelance crew members who can help your project look and sound great. Sites like Production Hub, Mandy, and Thumbtack are great places to look for help. Together we can rid the world of bad video and continue to focus on what matters; internet memes.

Brandon Faris

Brandon Faris

Film Director