Creatively Corporate

The Corporate Communications Video Starter Kit: What You Need To Start Making Your Own Videos

The Corporate Communications Video Starter Kit: What You Need To Start Making Your Own Videos

creatively corporate video camera

So you want to start making your own videos? … ugh. How cliche was that intro? I’m so disappointed in myself. Let me try that again (Yes, I could just delete all this, but I believe in transparency here at Creatively Corporate)…

OK aspiring directors! Get your puffy director pants on, cuz it’s time to start making your corporate videos! (There… that’s MUCH better!)

But seriously ladies and germs, if you don’t have a background in video production, making your own semi-polished content can be intimidating. Sure, you probably have captured something cute your cat or child did with your iPhone, but you want your internal videos to look professional. Fortunately, modern technology has made it easier than ever. So here’s what you need to get started:

A Camera
Duh, right? There are still some things to consider before you buy. First, make sure the camera is full HD. Most cameras today are made with this feature, but it’s just something to be aware of in case might be looking at a used or discontinued model. Shooting in HD has its advantages, especially when editing later.

Now, what type of camera should you use? When I first began making internal videos for a former employer, I used a “flip-style” camera, like this one. (Please note that I’m not an affiliate for Amazon. I make no money from these links; they’re just used as examples.)

The one I use currently is similar to this. I prefer this to the flip-style camera mostly because of the zoom feature, as well as a few other photographic settings. The flip-styles have zooms, but they’re not nearly as powerful.  If you have the budget, you could get something more advanced, like this. But unless you’re trying to make really polished, high-production videos, you’re better off saving the money. For less formal videos for internal purposes, the previous two cameras are more than good enough.

You can also use the video feature on your smartphone, but I don’t recommend it – too limiting both in the in-phone editing software and exporting  or transferring files if you want to use your PC or Mac for editing.

A Microphone
When deciding on a camera, make sure it has an external microphone jack. Recording an interview, for example, with a built-in mic will usually produce a shallow or echo quality in your audio. Having an external microphone isolates your subject’s voice and makes for a better recording. In particular, you want a lavalier model and a stick microphone. The former will be for more formal, structured interviews, the latter for man-on-the-street pieces.

Depending on your camera, a regular plug-in lavalier microphone might be all you need. But cameras of better quality require a powered microphone (one that requires a battery) for recording. Whatever kind of camera you choose, make sure you read the instructions for recommendations on the type of microphone you should use before you purchase.

A Tripod
There are people who think they don’t need a tripod – that they have steady hands and they can just hold the camera. They’re wrong. Trust me. You need a tripod for balanced, steady recording. Unless you’re going for a documentary feel for your video, no one wants to watch a shaky video. Make sure the tripod has some stout to it. You can go cheap and get a tripod with weak legs, and you’ll wish you spent a little extra money later.

Editing Software
There are a lot of editing software titles available, and depending on your experience and expectations, you should know about some of the more popular or well known options.

For Free: There are several software titles that don’t cost anything. MovieMaker comes free with Windows, and iMovie is the standard editor with Mac computers. There is also a popular title, LightWorks, and YouTube has its own built-in editor you can use after uploading videos. I’ve used MovieMaker and iMovie, and they both do an adequate job. But if you want more polished videos that can build professional-looking graphics, you’re better off with a more advanced program.

Intermediate/Low-Cost: A few of the titles in this category are Camtasia for PC and ScreenFlow for Mac. I haven’t used either of these, but there are reviews and tutorials available on YouTube, so be sure to check them out to decide if either suit your needs.

Pro/Higher-Cost: The two most popular titles in this category are Adobe Premiere and Final Cut. I use Adobe Premiere and have used Final Cut. I highly recommend Premiere, but Final Cut is a very good tool, as well. If you have the budget and want to produce more polished, higher-quality work, then either of these titles are perfect. Adobe Premiere has become a cloud-based program with a $20/month subscription fee, so it won’t break the bank. If you’re a bit intimidated at the prospect of using something this advanced, there are a plethora of free tutorials online. It just takes patience and time, but you’ll get the hang of it.

I hope this helps get you started on your corporate video program. Remember, these are just the basics. I’ll expand more on these in future posts. Let me know if you’re ready to start using videos in your communication department, and what questions you might have. You can use the Comment section below or email me directly!

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