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How to Plan and Film High-Quality Video Content with Basic Equipment

Creating a stand-out film with basic equipment is possible with the right approach and creativity. Here are the steps you can follow:


  • Scriptwriting: Crafting a compelling script with characters and actors using clear dialogue is essential for the whole process. When you’re script writing, bare in mind the actors you’ll be working with and ways of making them feel comfortable. Stage fright can be real! In our experience, using a teleprompter is a great way to relax your actors and crew. It can also help speed up the filming process, if you’re short on time and have lots to get through, without feeling rushed.

  • Storyboarding: Designing a storyboard to visualise each scene will help the production team massively. It allows them to visualise and plan various shots, camera angles and transitions that could be used later in post-production. 

  • Opting for a project manager will help things get off the ground, prevent delays and keep your team organised. We’ve also included a link to our software recommendation for a more technical planning approach: Mailnote is an easy-to-use tool to organise your ideas and projects into visual boards. Otherwise, if you prefer a familiar software Excel/Word are also good options.



Equipment You'll Need

  • Camera: A DSLR or mirrorless camera with video capabilities. Ensure it can shoot in Full HD (1920x1080) or higher resolutions.

  • Tripod: A stable tripod is crucial for steady shots.

  • Microphone: Invest in a decent external microphone for better audio quality. A shotgun microphone or lavalier (lapel) microphone are good options.

  • Lighting: Natural light (daylight) can be a fantastic light source. You can also create DIY lighting setups using affordable LED lights or even household lamps with diffusion such as a white cloth or similar.

  • Gimbal: Recommended if you're looking at recording on-the-go and don't know how to get around wobbly hand movements? This recent article reviews the top 3 iPhone and android gimbals (Link to https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-android-and-iphone-gimbal/) They're a great, affordable piece of equipment that can enhance your output!


Production

  • Set up your equipment: Mount the camera on the tripod, position microphone(s) for clear audio and set up lighting if needed.

  • Filming: Follow your storyboard but be open to improvisation if needed.

  • Hiring a podcast studio is an option - we recently checked out the space at Quaker Space London which we thought, looked pretty cool!



Post-Production

  • Organise: Import your footage, organise it and start editing.

  • Edit: Remove any bad takes and edit your timeline. You can use free or affordable editing software like Adobe Premiere Rush or iMovie. If you are an advanced video editor, Davinci Resolve upgraded to Advanced as the basic version is free.

  • Effects: Add music and sound effects. Use royalty-free music and sound effects to enhance the mood of your film.

  • Finishing touches: You can create professional-looking titles and credits to give your film a more polished finish. Consider the pacing, transitions and other motion graphics, to enhance the final look!

Once you’re happy, it’s always a good idea to run it through the team and take onboard comments, they might see something you didn’t. We’re rarely all happy first time around! Review platforms are a great way to share internally, we use Frame or for a simpler sharing tool GDrive or Sharepoint work just as well.


Distribution


  • Upload your film to online platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or social media.

Head over to our PCD Media to watch and learn more about Film with Us and how we can help you create compelling content.

Remember, storytelling, creativity and attention to detail matter more than expensive equipment. 

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