Research has shown that videos are the most engaging form of content that you can share on social media or your website. It not only increases the number of people who look at your work, and the amount of time that people spend on your site or social media page, it also builds trust between you and the viewer. Especially as an artist or creative, showing your creative process can make people relate to you as a real person, and like your work even more.
We have put together a list of simple tips which we hope can help you to create awesome videos which showcase your work in the best light possible. These pointers are flexible and are hopefully helpful to all creative makers – fine artists, crafters, writers, musicians and everything in between.
- Wherever possible, take videos in a place with lots of daylight – as much of it as possible. It really makes a difference to boost the atmosphere and show the details of what you’re doing.
- Consider the room you’re in when you film – it gives or takes away the context of what you’re doing. For videos documenting your creative process, it is best to show yourself in a creative space where your habitat reflects what you are doing, like a studio space or outside. If you don’t have access to anywhere creative, choose somewhere with a plain wall and furniture. Whatever you do, don’t take a film in your bedroom if you can avoid it. You don’t want people to be judging your taste in posters instead of watching what you’re doing.
- Be the main event. Creative work and equipment are good to include in the shots, but you don’t want them to take over from the subject (you!). Make sure your shots aren’t too crowded, and check that general mess such as your bag or packed lunch is out of shot.
- Always take videos landscape – nothing is more noticeable than a video taken portrait-style on an Iphone.
- Keep it steady. Use a tripod or rest your camera on something to keep the shots steady – unless a moving lense is the look you’re going for.
- Phone a friend. Getting someone you know to help you take shots that you can’t, such as sweeping shots and ones that shift in and out of focus, gives great variation to your video.
- Quality is key. Don’t rely on our smartphone – if you have a decent camera, use it! If you don’t, ask around your friends and family if you can borrow a proper camera for the shoot, and consider investing in one for the future – is is an essential tool for any creative person. Also try and take your shots in HD format or the best quality possible. If the files are too big, you can always export the content in a lower quality later.
- If possible, try to take the video in a widescreen format (16:9 ratio) to be in-keeping with the standard film format.
- Vary your shots when you can. It is rarely very enticing to watch the same thing over a long period of time, however cool it may be. Try and differentiate your videos with close ups and long shots. You can easily do the same activity a few times, such as playing the same track, and film it from different angles each time. You can put it altogether in the editing process to give the effect that you’re making the same piece.
General Last Pointers
- Pre-prepare. Make sure that you have everything you need ready to hand before you start filming, so that your movements are smooth and there are no awkward stumbles during the video.
- Cut to the chase. If your video isn’t engaging in the first few seconds, people will switch off. Try and make the first impression impactful or intriguing, or at the very least cut out the bit where you are setting up, sitting down, turning things on and long-windedly introducing what you’re doing.
- Keep your films short. Since people have a very short attention span (especially on social media), you ideally should be trying to make your videos last for 3 minutes maximum, otherwise your audience will get bored and stop watching before you’ve got to the good bit!
- Consider your soundtrack. If adding music to your video, make sure that it suits the atmosphere of your work. You could potentially cut the shots of the video to the beat of the music to create a more dynamic video. If you are not including music, then consider silencing the video in order to get rid of unwelcome background noises.
- Make sure you fully credit anyone who has contributed to your video – including anyone who has helped you take the shots, inspired you in any way, or to acknowledge the music you’ve added afterwards. Wherever possible, link back to their creative work if they have a website or social media page. Also, make sure that you aren’t breaching any copyright by sharing work that you don’t own!
- Take loads of shots. You can never have enough raw content to shape into a finished video.
- Edit carefully. Sloppy or lazy editing is painfully obvious – take as much time as you can spare to make a clear, fluid video.
- Lastly, enjoy the process! Have fun making your film and I hope these hints were in some way useful to help you make a cracking video which represents your creative side!
To see some creative film work on Pop My Mind, check out Nostalgia by James Todino, Underfoot by Nathaniel Spain and Assemble by Bethan Kerridge – all unique video pieces made by members of our creative community.
Written by Karis Lambert
Featured image by Oliver Squirrell