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five tips to film


2020 has brought us some unexpected times and forced us, more than ever, to communicate online. A video is worth a thousand word and just like you would want to pick the right words, you need to use the right language to communicate your video message. THere are so many scenarios where a video will do the trick. Internal communication within a company is so important, why not film yourself share an important message with your team or employees? When everyone is working from home, seeing a familiar face, reading expression and feeling the (virtual) warmth of a human being will beat an email everyday of the week. External communication can benefit from it too – you aren’t able to meet with clients and want to keep a healthy communication channel and show your care about their experience as a client – a video message could really benefit maintaining good relationships.

At Milestone Films, we want to make you video life easier and better here are FIVE TIPS to make your homemade videos look and feel good 😉

Check out our video below to become a pro home office video communicator.

Tip 1: Landscape Beats Protrait

Prefer holding your phone horizontally. This is how we consume videos on the good old TV, at the movies and on the Web. It can show a bit on your surrounding and give context to your message. It also tends to be more flattering. After all, you want to look good!

In terms of framing, we like to stick to the rule of thirds. Imagine the frame is cut in three equal parts horizontally – see it? Yes? Now you want your eyes to be on the top third of the frame without chopping the top of your head off. If you’re looking straight into the camera, centre yourself vertically. This explaination makes no sense to you? Fair enough! This is exaclty why videos are better than words.

Tip 2: Face A Light Source

If you have a big window (or small) in your office, it’s a great way to light your face in a flattering way without owning any lighting. Sun is free! The sun is your friend and there’s nothing worse than a hopefull message delivered by a human in the dark. The feel and tone of your video need to match the message. This can be easily acheived with the right lighting. Never put the brightest source behind you because you will look dark. A camera works like our eyes – try and look at someone when you’re facing the sun – not only it hurts your eyeballs but as your eyes adjust to the intense brightness, everything in front of you will look dark.

Recap: Face a light source. Windows are great.

Tip 3: Avoid Coloured Walls

Coloured walls behind you are fine but on the side or facing you, the colour will reflect on your face. A yellow wall for example will make you look slightly sea sick and you don’t want that. Especially if you are in a small office space, prefer facing a white wall.

Tip 4: Place The Camera At Eye Level

We see lots and lots of homemade videos on social media (and especially on LinkedIn) where people fail the angle game.

With the camera much lower than your eyeline, you are looking down on your audience. Litterally! This gives a sense of self power on your audience. The kind of power relationship where you are (figuratively!) looking down on them.

The other side of the spectrum is holding you camera higher than your eyes. You are now looking up to your audience. It is not a flattering angle but most importantly it diminishes your message, gives a sense of doubt and uncertainty.

You can’t go wrong with holding the phone at eye level.

Next time you sit in front of a Netflix show, take notice of the angles the cinematographer chooses in different scenes and for different characters. The emotion passed onto the viewer is very depedant on angles. Become of film geek like us and never watch a film without analysing every single shot. Fun time.

Tip 5: Check Your Background

Checking what’s in the background might sound like an obvious tip but it is very easy to be so focus on looking your awesome self that you miss that great collection of hispter branded Gin in the corner of the frame. The list of things to avoid is long but I’m sure you get the idea. Clear out any mess in the bacground, pick something neutral or add elements that give context to your message.

Videos communicate visually and the brain is very good at scanning the whole frame!

Bonus Tip: Put Your Phone On Silent

Nothing more frustrating than having to do a whole take again because you received a text or a call. How dare they bothering you!? Now that you’re basically a Hollywood/Oscar nominated homemade video actress/actor, people should really just get in touch with your agent. If you don’t have an agent (yet), it’s fine, just turn your phone to silent 😉

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