Video is very different to recording audios. There is no where to hide!
I still have a lot of practice to do, but these are just a few of the challenges I’ve overcome to get a half decent product.
1. Look Directly at the Camera
To get good contact with your audience you have to be looking straight at the camera – like straight down the lens or on a laptop you need to be looking at the lens not the green light beside it, otherwise you get a strange “sideways’ look about you.
2. Avoid Jowls
To avoid looking all “jowlie” or like you have more chins than a Chinese phone book – make sure you are looking slightly upwards at your camera, not too far up though or they’ll be looking straight up ya nose 🙂
Also if you are looking down at the camera it gives the effect of “looking down” on your audience and we certainly don’t want that!
I find if the camera is just slightly above eye level, then it works really well. In a weird twist if I sit my laptop on my Yeti microphone box on a dining room table – I get the exact right height.
3. Don’t Move About Too Much
If you have expensive camera’s then you can move and sway as much as you like because they will self focus. However, the tiny little camera’s in most laptops or iPhones can’t focus quickly and you keep going out of focus if you move too much. Allow the camera to lock onto you and then stay as still as you can, while not appearing to “wooden”. Use your arms and hands to get the movement …. that way you won’t look like a talking clothes peg.
Golden rule, in most instances of course is: The better the equipment, The better the end product
4. You Need MakeUp – Even If You Think You Don’t!
If you are a bronzed tanned beauty then by all means go ahead and roll cameras with just a dab of lip gloss. But for an old gal like me with pasty white skin, well we need a lot of help. I found a make up artist who specialises in video work and she was amazing.
She recommended a product called Kryolan. I was surprised how much makeup I needed to wear to look like I only had a little bit on. I was also surprised at the colours she gave me, that are quite gaudy and give you an eery resemblance to an Oompa-Loompa in normal light, but look fine once you look back at the video. The Lip Gloss she recommends looks pink on camera but is a funny orange colour. So I recommend you book in and have someone help you out if you are going to get serious about video. Danni at Its All About MakeUp really helped me a lot.
I also met another great makeup artist, Julie from Sapphire Hair and Makeup on the Gold Coast. She works a lot with photographers and does a lot of weddings so she is really versed in what works in the video field. Never go to a big department store to get makeup advice. What looks good in normal light can look really different under bright video lights. Something Julie recommended to me was a lighter foundation that is used in air brushing. I would never have got to that solution in a million years. but it’s brilliant. You just apply it with your fingers and it’s very running, but gives great coverage with a much less “made up” look and a much lighter feel. Plus it lasts for ages! The product is called Elementwo Canvas Blend Foundation and you can buy that here.
5. You Need Good Light
Thing is you just can’t film anywhere and get a good result. I’ve found the more natural light you have in front of you, the better it is. You can find me at new house sits wandering around doing test recordings with my laptop until I find the space with the best light.
Professional lights of course are best and not as expensive as you might think. Friends sent me links to these light systems, one in Sydney Australia and one in New York, both of which will ship for under $250 and that includes back drops as well!
My colleagues son is into lighting and he said the bulbs you get with the kit from the New York company will make you look younger – I guess if you buy two kits you look twice as young!
Aussie Lights – here
New York (age defying) Lights – here
If you really want to bend your brain, Brendon Burchard, who has the ultimate set up, recorded this little video where he explains in depth how he gets his look and feel. You don’t need all the hi tech stuff he uses, I’m told the cheap lite boxes will give a similar effect as his expensive ones. You can also buy small HD cameras now that will do a great job with the right lighting, but get a geek talking about which camera to use and you’ll be here for days! Once he starts selling Geoff Walkers program (which is now finished) he is done on the video stuff but up until then its pure gold. Oh for the day when I have a whole apartment to create and play in! Click here for the video
I’ve also found the little iRig Mic Studio to be quite good. You’ll need a microphone stand to hang it above your head – remember sound rises. When you see singers in a studio you’ll notice the microphone is always slightly higher than their mouth and they’re singing up into it. That is because sound rises, but if your voice is strong enough you’ll fill the room and the sound will go into the microphone just fine.
Don’t forget any microphone you use will only capture what is coming out of your mouth. The more you practice your vocal exercises and the stronger you make your voice, the more quality you will get in your recordings. I highly recommend you have sessions with a reputable voice coach or you could get Roger Love‘s audio program and learn how to strengthen and protect your voice, in doing that you will naturally project more sound out of your mouth and into the microphone. You will notice an amazing difference in what your voice can do it you do the exercises each day.
6. You Need to Look Confident
OK – the makeup covers any zits or bits you don’t won’t the world to see. But you must be upbeat and confident ….. whether you feel that way or not!
Droning on in a video just won’t work. So you need to raise your energy and vibration. Dancing like no one’s looking before you do your recording is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change your energy state and prepare you to record. But it’s a personal thing so whatever activity vibes you up and makes you feel full of zest for life is the perfect things for you!
I’d estimate you need to be amped up to at least twice as perky as normal to look normal.
7. Be Yourself – Everyone Else is Taken
Of course being you is the most important part of video because video more than any other type of communication will nail you as a fraud if you are pretending or are trying to be someone you’re not.
Funny thing, the closer I got to the camera, the more ME I became. You find your truth in funny places, usually the places you’ve been avoiding the most. I found filming from a distance didn’t work so well. I had to develop a real heart connection with the camera, which is of course ultimately your connection with your audience.
So its very much about figuring out what is right for you and experimenting A LOT!
THEN PRACTICE A LOT!
Then once you get your clip recorded, well your problems aren’t over – then you got to load them to the internet and that’s a blog post for another day! I recommend you start with YouTube because its just easier.
I’d love you to leave a comment below about your video experiences to date.