Do you think large corporations like Subaru and Coca Cola are the only ones that are able to produce high-quality "lifestyle" videos? Well, think again.
As the founder of digital-marketing agency Pinetop Group, I have helped both startups and large businesses produce a number of these types of videos for various reasons. Everything from helping companies -- big and small -- connect with their audience, getting customers excited about new offering or showcasing a unique feature has been highlighted using this lifestyle-video technique.
And while these flicks look top of the line, producing these high-quality videos doesn’t require thousands of dollars in equipment, audio and lighting. To prove this point, we shot the video above on just an iPhone.
For those looking to create an amazing video, check out both the tips in the above video, along with the advice mentioned below.
Lighting sets the mood. Lighting can be one of the more difficult elements to get right when shooting high-quality video. When we shot the iPhone video, we decided to use natural light to give our video a natural ambience.
For those not wanting to use natural light, lighting kits are available. Here’s what a basic lighting set up looks like:
- Lights. It is usually two flood lamps and one spotlight
- Stands for all the lights (which usually come together in a kit)
- Reflectors. These can be anything from white cardboard to aluminum fabric reflectors that can be mounted on a stand.
You can put together a kit like the above mentioned for under $150. If you’re shooting one person on camera, set up the key light (usually your spotlight) on the left. This highlights the face from left to right. Then fill it in on the other side with one of your floodlights, and use the third light (your other flood) to light the person from behind in order to separate your subject from the background.
Music can make or break your video. In videos music help determines the perception of your message. Viewers make split-second, subconscious judgments about the content of your video depending on the type of music you select.
Unfortunately, music isn’t always free to use in videos. To select the right music, you must first understand the difference between royalty-free music and music you pay royalties to use. Most mainstream music (music on the radio) is copyrighted and can only be used in videos with royalties -- an expensive strategy.
Peter VanRysdam, CMO of 352 Inc, suggests these four ways to find legal music for your YouTube videos:
- Creative commons licenses. Finding free creative commons audio is pretty simple. Sites like incompetech.com and danodongs.com allow users to use music and ask for donations in return.
- Stock audio. Sites like iStockphoto offer music rights from $3.60 to $95 depending on the license selected and type of payment plan you use.
- Pay-per-use. Friendly Music offers a great option at just $1.99 per track. Songs are indexed by genre, keyword, and even moods, like angry or optimistic. Independent artists can upload their work for a 50-50 profit share.
- Public domain. Copyrights do not last forever. That said, copyrights only cover the composition.
Angles and focus tell stories. The iPhone has a fast lens at f2.8, which makes it great for shallow depth of field. A camera can only focus its lens at a single point, but there will be an area that stretches in front and behind this focus point that still appears sharp. This zone is known as the depth of field. Different types of videos warrant different camera angles and focus. Here are five different angles to consider:
1. High angle. This angle requires the camera to be above the action. This angle is often used in movies to give an overview or the feeling of being outside the action.
2. Low angle. This angle requires the camera to be below the main subject, and can give power to the person in the video. This angle gives the feeling of superiority.
3. Eye level. This angle, as you guessed, is level with the subject. This is a neutral angel and is often used to build trust within videos.
4. Bird’s eye. This angle requires the camera to be directly above the main subject. This angle is typically used for animals. It’s a good angle to use for a product review or how-to project.
5. Slanted. In this angle the camera is tilted. The horizon is no longer straight across and is used to portray confusion and chaos.
Don't just use your iPhone to shoot the video, download helpful apps. While we discuss in the video, VideoPro Camera, there are a plethora of other amazing services that can help take your video to the next level.
Video Filters -- the pro-camera photo editor ($4.99). The Video Filter app enables users to add unique filter effects to existing phone footage. Filters are important to evoke certain moods and emotions from audiences.
iMovie ($4.99). Create beautiful HD videos with iMovie’s editing software. iMovie offers its users themes, titles, transitions and soundtrack capabilities.
Squaready for Video (free). This app is specifically designed for Instagram users. Squaready for Video enables users to crop video footage onto white backgrounds to create a cleaner user experience.