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How to produce your own professional videos from home or your office

If it is true that necessity is the mother of all invention, then the current pandemic has really put us to the test.

One good thing that’s come from it is that new techniques have evolved from expanded technologies.

If you are Zoom-fatigued like me, it may be hard to realize how much easier it is than traveling out of state or even from one meeting to the next. Certainly, face-to-face, in-person interaction is the best thing, but Zoom can be an efficient means to communicate. 

You may not have thought about producing videos with Zoom or using selfie sticks and your own smartphone to shoot your own videos. In this blog post, I will show you how to either use these techniques or combine them to produce high quality videos yourself. I will also explain why you may want to hire a professional to assist you in this endeavor and how that can be cost effective under this model.

So, let’s get started with 10 easy steps:

  1. First, purchase your own stuff – A selfie stick, lapel microphone and light. There are many options to consider, and for under $100 you can’t go wrong. You can find these items on the bottom of our landing page that we’ve devoted to this concept of doing your own video: https://marketing.jhcom.net/videoforcrisiscomm
  2. Don’t look like an amateur – Understand that sound and lighting are dead giveaways for amateur videos. The equipment we are suggesting will eliminate this common issue. You will attach your camera to the selfie stick, displaying it horizontally and alleviating another common problem amateur videographers make by shooting vertically.
  3. Have a friend or colleague interview you – Use Zoom, or do it in person, as long as you are  properly socially distanced. Angle the camera to your eye view, but talk to the person interviewing you while looking into the camera. We are not meant to speak directly into cameras and that’s why we get so nervous and turn from human beings into robots reciting lines. But, the interview format will help you open up.
  4. Do yet another video conference call – Use Zoom, WebEx or whatever you prefer. This software which was intended for video meetings can be repurposed to shoot and record video. We’ve done professional videos in which we’ve interviewed people and edited them together with graphics, photos and footage. You can also use video software to coach your interviewee while he or she directly speaks into the camera. You can prompt them with questions using this proven interview format.
  5. Help us cover you up – As much as we love looking at talking heads (sarcasm intended), we actually really like looking at photos. Supply your editor with plenty of photos of you and your staff; video clips are also welcomed and can be added in with some special framing.
  6. You can’t rip off images – There’s plenty of stock and royalty images that you can use but you have to pay for them. Your editor should have access to a photo library to purchase inexpensive images. You can’t just use any photo off the Internet that you like.
  7. You can’t have Thunderstruck as your opening music – The same is true for music as it is for images. You can’t just take any song you like and use it. There are plenty of royalty free music clips you can use. Or you can pay for a musician to compose for you.
  8. Get to the point – Keep your video to under 3-minutes, but 2-minutes is even better. If you have a lot to say, do it in separate videos. You really should focus on one and only one primary message.
  9. Your time to shine should not include your head and face – Invest in some make-up. As someone who swears that the shining light accentuates my bald spot, the lights and high definition cameras do expose your imperfections. Be generous with the makeup if you’re used to wearing it and consider some light makeup to minimize the shine from your forehead.
  10. Hire a pro – If you eliminate the cost for travel and the use of high-end equipment, you can focus on frequency and message. However, you need someone to edit everything all together and there is no substitute for experience. If you focus on your message and have a consultant on the Zoom call, all you then have to pay for is their hour of time (well worth it) and their editor’s time. You can put the money you would have spent into producing more videos which will yield you better results.

John Houle is the president of JH Communications and can be reached at 401.952.7214 or at john@jhcom.net.

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