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#HCUASocial: 9 Tips for Shooting Better Videos

Thanks to smartphones, creating videos isn't quite the production it used to be. In fact, it can be quite fun! It's another way to showcase your credit union's resources - like a staffer sharing some budgeting tips or advice for first-time homebuyers. 

Okay, that's all great, but you want a bit more info on how to shoot videos. Here are a few technical pointers:

Photo via TechReview.Guide         

1. Shoot in landscape (make sure your phone is turned horizontally). To avoid massive vertical black bars on either side of your video, DO NOT film vertically. See the picture at right. 

2. Frame your video thoughtfully. Every frame should mean something. Think about what you want this video to accomplish before you start shooting. For example, if you want a credit union staffer to share financial tips, you would just film him or her sharing two or three pieces of advice. You would NOT film an entire financial seminar.

3. Download a movie editing app. Apps makes it easy to create and edit videos on the go. Two well-known apps are iMovie (iPhone) and PowerDirector Video Editor (Android). Both have robust offerings and are made for "drag and drop" editing. 

4. Watermark your videos. You want people to share your video, but you don't want them to take credit for it. Add a watermark or logo on videos you create and share externally. If you're only editing videos from your smartphone, it may be difficult to add a watermark in the traditional sense. Try to incorporate your credit union's logo in other ways throughout the video - apparel, signage, a well-placed tumbler or another piece of collateral will do the trick.

5. Use natural light when possible. Unless you have a lighting kit or a recording studio on hand, natural light tends to be the most flattering. Pro tip: Aim for the magic hour (the hour or so after sunrise or before sunset) for the most flattering light of them all. At those times, daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky.

6. Try to stick to close-ups. The details of wider shots get lost on smaller screens. Also, wider shots are less personal!  

7. Pay attention to audio. Try to film in quieter locations. You can also record the audio separately, but it can be very difficult to edit and sync the visual with the audio via a mobile device. If you're serious about video, invest in a microphone for your smartphone or lavalier microphone.

8. Think about frames per second. Are you filming an action shot? You'll want to shoot it at 120 or 240 frames per second (FPS). For a crispier feel (like reality TV), you'll want to shoot at 30 FPS (4K full HD). For 1080p, you'll want to shoot it 60 FPS. You should be able to adjust FPS in your smartphone's camera settings. 

9. Watch it on your phone before sharing it. After you're done editing, view it one more time before you post it on the web.  

Your credit union has a million amazing stories that are perfect for video. All you need is a smartphone and social media to share them. Happy filming! 

Questions? Need help brainstorming video ideas? Send me an email or give me a call, 314.542.1349.