The Secret to Making Great Videos Isn’t What You Think

Wondering how I make my videos look so professional? The secret isn’t using expensive equipment, it’s the lighting technique. If you take the time to light yourself or your interviewee carefully, a $100 flip camera can look like it was shot on a $10,000 professional camera – especially if the final video is going to end up online somewhere like YouTube or Facebook.

I found this really helpful tutorial video by Eve Hazelton that shows you the basic technique for lighting yourself (or someone else) in an interview or video blog post.  This is exactly the technique I use, and you can pull this off without expensive equipment if you’re creative and use ordinary lights you find in your home or local hardware store.  Pay attention to the technique and not so much about the exact lights she uses (she explains the specific lights to use in video 2).

DSLR Lighting Techniques from Eve Hazelton from Realm Pictures on Vimeo.

A Creative Idea to Consider

Lets say your agency is going to put out a press release about a new program available for the public.  Of course you’ll be writing a press release and maybe even scheduling a press conference.  If you have some lead time, how about grabbing a video camera (or even an iphone someone has), lighting it properly (as the video describes) and having your chief executive or program manager answer the top 5 questions you know people will have.  You don’t have to do any fancy graphics or music, just have him/her answer the the questions on camera and upload that simple, straight forward video to YouTube.  Then, when you email out your news release, include a link to the video so the news agencies, bloggers, even your colleagues can embed that video on their websites along with the news story.

I often forget that newspapers and television stations often have their own online web team who want more content than a reporter provides.  This is a great way for the reporter or newcaster to say “And, if you want more information about this new program, visit our website where we have additional video.”  They want to promote their website and you want to have your story said in your own words.  It’s a win-win.

So What Equipment Did She Use in the Video?

Many will ask about specifics of equipment (as opposed to the technique), so Eve answers that and gives you some suggestions on how to do it on the cheap in this video.

Lighting Techniques 2 – Eve Hazelton from Realm Pictures on Vimeo.

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