Go to great video lengths.
An outstanding video starts with thorough planning. Even simple videos deserve a rough outline of a script. Write one up, and then plan your shoot day so you’ll have all the equipment you’ll need.
Write it down.
Turn your initial video idea into a rough draft or a list of bullet points you’d like to cover. Slowly flesh it out into a more robust script that includes all the important points you need to make. To create a true shooting script, add notes for visual transitions, voice-over, necessary B-roll (background or filler footage), and more.
Preparing a script for your long videos reduces your chance of rambling or missing important points, which can negatively impact overall engagement. “I highly recommend writing a script, especially if you’re prone to going off on a tangent,” says Martin. “I write scripts for everything. It often starts as bullet points or a note on my phone. Then from there, I flesh out almost word for word what I want to say.”
“Scripts keep you focused. If you’re not focused as a content creator, your content is going to be all over the place,” says Martin. “And the people viewing it are going to notice how well you did or did not plan it out.” Most tutorials or explainer videos can stop at a script, while more complex or stylized films require storyboards as well, for a complete visual plan before the shoot begins.
Gather your gear.
If you’re first starting out, use whatever you have on hand. To film at home, all you really need is your iPhone, a window, a tripod, and a mic. “Look for a space in your house that has good natural light coming in. If it’s too harsh, put up a sheer curtain to diffuse it,” says Martin.
Even if you shoot with your phone, a tripod can keep it steady for a professional look. And finally, a microphone to capture sound is a must. “If you do spend money, spend money on a mic. Good audio will make or break any video,” says Martin. “Good audio and a good idea.”
Shoot like a pro.
Try to memorize your script ahead of your shoot. Reading from your notes can be handy, but it’s also noticeable for the viewer. Going by memory keeps things natural and relaxed. If there’s something you need to get verbatim from the script, practice that line repeatedly until you get it.
“I try to do everything from memory,” says Martin. “I want to make a connection and make eye contact with the camera. But if my eye is veering off to my notes, it just takes me out of it.”
Add visual and audio cues for yourself while you film to make it easier to edit your video file later. After you finish a take that you feel really good about, clap your hands together once loudly. This will add a spike in your audio timeline on your editing software, so you’ll know where to jump to for your favorite takes.