Creating video content on a budget
What you need to start making videos.
Video content - everyone seems to be doing it nowadays. Some of my favorite videos are actually "rawly" produced but with really engaging content, like the video of Rich Roll shopping for a vegan meal under $25.
It's easy to get caught up in what all the pros are doing, especially Gary Vee, who has a full-time videographer on-staff. Their content looks extremely clean and professional. But, the truth is, if you're just starting and are trying to do it lean, all you need is your phone/camera and a few additions.
Video content creation essentials list:
- A capable video camera - for the sake of this conversation we'll use an iPhone 7 Plus
- A tripod OR mini-tripod
- A smartphone tripod mount
- (optional) LED video lights
- (optional) a microphone
1. The Camera
Using your smartphone
You don't need to get fancy with the camera. You'll find that most modern smartphones have a more than capable camera for videos. I personally use an iPhone 7 Plus since it's slim, light, and is deceivingly good. If you need to, you can even adjust the video recording quality. This matters if you want to shoot in say 1080p at 60fps OR if you want to crank it up to 4k at 30fps. If you have limited storage on your phone you're probably good at 1080p at 30fps. (Check out this interesting article if you're curious about the difference between shooting settings.)
To access these settings on iPhone go to Settings > Camera > Record Video. Feel free to leave comment on where this is located on Android!
Using a DSLR
There's a richness that comes with DSLR videos that smartphones can't really touch (yet!). Here's a video I shot using a Nikon D750 and a 35mm f/1.4 lens. Notice it has pretty sharp video quality. We'll touch on using a DSLR in the short future.
2. The Tripod
This is the easiest part to shop --> use any tripod that has a standard 1/4" screw. All you have to do is search on Amazon and look for the best review.
Here is my personal tripod. I've found the collapsible feature to be immensely helpful:
If you want something smaller for on-the-go vids, you want to get a mini tripod. This one is pretty good and has high ratings on Amazon. You can even fold the legs to turn it into a handle.
3. Smartphone Tripod Mount
This is applicable if you go the smartphone route. It's going to be the cheapest thing on the list so I highly recommend you get it for the sake of convenience. You don't have to use this version -- there are ones with much higher quality if you want to go that route.
4. (optional) LED Video Lights
I'm putting this under the optional category because there are so many alternatives to using lights. You can set up in front of a sunny window or not even use any external lights. BUT for the sake of convenience these are the ones I use. If you're interested in "make-up tutorial" videos then what you're looking for a is a "video ring light" -- Google it and you'll find several to choose from.
5. (optional) Microphone
There's actually several options when it comes to audio. You have boom mics, lavalier mics, iPhone Mics (Shure actually has a $150 one that looks pretty neat), or good old earphones. I've personally used a Shure boom mic and have even hidden an extra iPhone on mic mode and had pretty decent results.
If you need specific recommendations don't hesitate to reach out or leave a comment below.
I hope this helps you on your journey to creating video content. I've personally experienced the multitude of internal excuses you can come up with when you want to start creating something new but are not sure where to start.
In the future we'll touch on editing video and how to hire an overseas freelancer to edit videos for you.