Over the last few years, we’ve helped property managers film hundreds of blogs and today we’ll share some best practices to help you get started producing your own content. Firstly, let’s review our motto, when it comes to publishing your own content: professional, not perfect.
You don’t need a newscast’s equipment to produce quality and professional educational blogs. We recommend iPhones and iPads to do this almost exclusively because they are already in most offices, they take good video and the file format they use is really easy to edit and send to YouTube.
Here’s what you want to do:
1. Make sure you are in a good location. For more detailed information, you can see our separate blog on this. You want plenty of light and a space that is quiet. If you have a door you can shut, that’s even better.
2. Gather your equipment. You will need your iPhone or your iPad with plenty of room on it for videos. If it’s full of photos and music already, you might have to erase some of that. It will take about 100Mb per minute, so calculate how much you’ll need on your device.
3. Keep your charging cable close. You never know when you’re going to run out of juice. You can use it to charge, or transfer video off of the iPhone or the iPad if you start running out of room.
4. Set your phone or iPad to airplane mode. You don’t want to be interrupted while you’re shooting.
5. Get a mount to attach the iPhone or the iPad to a tripod. Each mount is different. They aren’t too expensive ($20 or $30 on Amazon – just search for iPhone mount or iPad mount) and they come in different sizes.
6. If you’re in a loud place, or you’re concerned with the quality of audio on your blog, a good option is to get a microphone. You can find microphones that plug right into your phone or your iPad. There are also professional microphones that you can use, but you’ll need a preamp to attach the microphone to your device. Don’t forget a stand with your microphone. It’s okay to hold a microphone when it’s just you, but if you’re interviewing someone, it’s awkward to be on the video holding your microphone.
1. Keep the camera close to you. Make sure the camera is already set to video. The screen will show two different things depending on whether it’s set to picture or video. If you start at the picture setting and then move it over to video, you’re not going to get the same quality and you may not even be in the frame.
2. Have the camera just below your eyes. You don’t want to see everything that’s behind you in the video. You don’t want too much “headroom,” the amount of space between the top of your head and the top of the frame. Also, your audio sounds better when you have the camera in the right place.
3. Use the rear facing camera. Do not use the front side camera on the side that has the screen. It’s not as high a resolution as the rear-facing camera. Also, during the shoot, people being filmed tend to look at the image in the picture instead of at the camera lens. You don’t want to be looking off to the side; you want to be looking right at the camera.
4. Keep your notes on the table. If you have cue cards held up, you tend to look off to the side so you can read them. It won’t look right on the video. Looking down to check your notes is a natural looking action, and you don’t appear to be staring off into space.
5. Have someone stand behind the camera if you’re nervous or a little camera shy. It can help you feel like you’re talking to that person instead of talking to the camera.
1. Turn off the camera between takes. When it comes time to upload the video, then having a big file is trouble. You want to keep those files as small as possible. The easiest way to do that is to make sure you stop recording between takes. That way, you also have the opportunity to erase any bad takes. That will save you room on your phone.
2. Pause when you need to. Just stop if you screw up or made a mistake. Start at an earlier sentence and you’ll have a good place to stop when you’re editing. Always pause when you start and pause when you’re done. Don’t keep talking as you’re getting up to shut off the camera. It doesn’t look right. Think about a newscast. You see that point when the newscasters are chatting with each other before the whole segment cuts off.
3. Have an intro and an outro. Start with who you are, who you work for and what you want to talk about. When you’re done, it helps to say something like this:
“Thanks for your time; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.”