Saturday, June 13, 2020

How To: Create Better Video From Home

If you've watched any late-night TV lately (Jimmy Fallon, SNL, or literally any other show producing remotely), you know that creating quality video from home is NOT easy! Even for TV veterans.
Video blogging pioneer and "Get Seen" author Steve Garfield of shares some tips for creating better video from home. 
We'll talk about audio quality, getting your background camera-ready, lighting tips, and more!

#Marketing Profs PRO video live stream interview with MarketingProfs' Kerry O'Shea Gorgone, and StoryLeader's Chris Brogan, about How To Create Better Video From Home.


Q: What's the most important part of video?
A: Audio

I've done research. If the video quality is less than perfect, but the audio is good, and the content is interesting, people will keep watching your video.

If the audio is bad, they will leave.

If you are recording with a smartphone, the closer you are to the device, the better your audio will be. 

- Know where the microphone is, and talk into it. 

To get better sound, add an external microphone, for a smartphone, video camera, or computer. 

You can use a set of headphones with an attached microphone, or a standalone microphone. 

One tip is to get a floor stand, and swing the microphone around to where you are sitting. That reduces any noise you might make by tapping on your desktop. 


For lighting, be aware of the light around you. If you are inside and near a window, have the window facing you instead of behind you. If the window is behind you, and you are using a webcam, it probably has auto exposure, and it will set exposure to the light behind you. That's not good. 

In the above photo, I sat in front of the window to make sure this location was perfectly bad to start from. 

The webcam is at desk level, looking up at me. The light is behind me, screwing up the auto exposure of the webcam.

This is the shot that lots of people use from their laptops webcams.


TIP: Raise the level of the webcam in your laptop camera to meet or line up just above your EYE LEVEL. You can easily do this with a stack of books. 

In the above photo I've added light from TWO SOURCES, a MAIN light and a FILL light. 

The main light is an LED light just to the right of my webcam. The fill light is my desk lamp with an LED bulb. 

I also added a small LED light pointed up towards my bookcase as a back light to allow the webcam to see added depth, but it's small, and not too big to screw up the auto exposure of the webcam. 


Set up your webcam and take a photo of where you will be sitting. 

Look at the background. How do you think you might be rated by Room Rater on twitter? Take a look at his twitter feed and see what comments he makes on how to make backgrounds better. 

In this example, after looking at the photo, I decided to move the webcam towards the left to allow more of the bookcase to show up on both sides of me, rather than having the black bookcase look like it was growing out of the top of my head. ;-)

Click through to Steve Garfield's Ultimate Video Gear List: Cameras, Microphones, and Lights to see a list of gear I use 

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