A DIY video doesn’t have to look like a big-budget movie, but the goal is still to engage the audience. That starts with being patient with the process. “If you want to create a tutorial, you have to give yourself extra time,” says Badgley.
Before you do anything else, test your video and audio to make sure you’re in frame, the camera is recording, and the microphone is picking up your voice. Especially with DIY, it can be expensive, frustrating, or impossible to go back and reshoot parts of a project.
Then film yourself doing each step of the project in a way that will help your audience see exactly what you’re doing. “At the end, you can piece it all together,” says Badgley.
“I make sure to document the project through photos and videos, and sometimes I’ll record a time-lapse just so I have that from start to finish. It’s really cool to see a bigger thing going from beginning to end in a 30-second span,” says Badgley. Most smartphones have a time-lapse feature in the camera app, so you can capture repetitive steps or long processes.
“Be authentic. Talk to the camera like you’re talking to a friend,” Badgley advises. “DIYers of all kinds have the same mindset. We’re creative and we like to try new things, so just talk through what you’re doing. Even if you might think something is common knowledge, it might not be for someone else.”
Pick your shots.
With camera angles as with everything else, think about your audience. What shots would be most helpful and informative? What shots add to the narrative of your video?
Rodriguez sticks to the rules of filmmaking. “I want to get a wide establishing shot, I want to get a mid-shot, and I want to get some tight shots. Those are kind of burned into my mind.”
“One thing I’ve learned is to turn the phone around on my tripod so I have the screen facing me,” Badgley says. “Then I can see what’s being recorded and know that if I’m just filming my butt, I need to move it.”