5 Tips For Making A Great Video


Hello Vermontivators!

This is Gin Ferrara of Spindle & Widget and Doug Dunbebin of RETN with some tips and tools for making your videos their best.

We’ve been teaching mobile mediamaking to educators, artists, students, and professionals as part of RETN’s goal to get your stories shared with the larger community. We’re thrilled to be working with Vermontivate this year. By following some simple guidelines, you can make sure your technique lets your story shine.


Gin and Doug’s Top 5 Mobile Media Tips

Start with a plan.

Write an outline (or shot list), and draw simple storyboards for each shot in your video. Once you have the plan, organize your shoot by location and time.

Stay Focused.

Check your framing and focus – for many devices this means double tapping on the screen to see the whole frame, and tapping and holding the spot on the screen where you want to focus. Mix up your shots with close-ups and wider shots – watch Gin’s video on the subject. MOST IMPORTANTLY: film horizontally, or you will end up with big black cars on either side of your video (what a waste of space!).

Sound’s Great.

Use an external microphone whenever possible.  Watch Doug’s video about recording audio to make your video sound its best. Or, skip the mic and make a silent film with music and titles. NOTE: If you want to use a music track, find one that you can have permission to use, and credit accordingly.

Keep It Steady.

Tripods are the way to go – and any tripod is better than none. But sometimes you need to move to capture your shot, or film from an odd angle. In that case, brace yourself against a wall, create a DIY stand, or lean on something in your environment. When moving to film, hold your breath for the length of the shot (though not too long!).

Let the Light Shine.

Use available light to keep your shots bright. Clamp lights from the hardware store are an affordable option, and a bright white foamcore board can bounce light around a room. Look at your shot carefully as you compose it – the partial shade of a tree is especially tricky.

Whew! That’s a lot information, and we’ve just scratched the surface. If you’d like to learn more, RETN offers FREE camera workshops at their studio.

Good luck and we look forward to watching your videos!  

-Gin and Doug