Things to Consider in Making Your First Video

Lights, camera, action! Learn what goes into a first video.

So you’ve made the decision to create video for fun, fulfillment or profit. Great choice! Video production can be a very rewarding and exciting pastime.

Getting started requires a bit of investment to do properly, but there are generally ways around most of expensive bits. At least until you’re really up and running.

So what is involved in making a first video? Just a few simple steps.

Start with writing down what you would like your video to be. What should it look like? Will there be music or will there be people speaking? Make notes about each of the details you can think of.

Then next step is to actually shoot the video. Since you made a list and notes, this part is relatively straightforward. Check out articles on composition to frame shots properly, but on a basic level the goal is to simply capture the shots laid out in your notes.

Once that’s done, the footage will be offloaded from the camera onto a computer and imported into an editing application. Once in there, the clips will be trimmed, rearranged, and placed in the order determined in your notes. In this editing application you can add your music, adjust how the clips look and sound, and add titles and effects.

Once editing is complete, there isn’t much left to do. Export a video file and share it however you prefer. Upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, show it on your Facebook timeline. Once exported, the video file is versatile and widely shareable.

Ok, so that sounded easy. Write down an idea for a video, shoot it, edit it, export it, share it. I guess we’re done here. Good luck!

Just kidding. There’s more to it than that. While we’re not going to explore each aspect in great depth, it’s important to consider what is involved in creating a video from scratch.

Charting the Video

Getting started, let’s look at the first step. To create a video you’ll want to make a document that outlines what shots should look like, what the storyline is, and any notes that would be relevant to the production. If you’re artistic it can often help to draw pictures of each scene and add notes below each picture, and lay them out in the order they will appear in the video. This is called a storyboard and is a version of a technique used in pretty nearly every motion picture ever made.

If art isn’t your strong suit, but you’ve got a gadget by your side, take a look through the iOS or Android app store for storyboarding applications. There are scads of them out there, and many of them can make the planning job fun and easy.

Shooting the Video

Ok, so here things will get really fun. Now it’s time to pick up a camera, point it and capture a video. The planning list will keep extraneous shots to a minimum, and will make editing much easier.

Let’s look at the equipment you’ll need to get started.

A camera - this one is kind of obvious, but look for a camera that can shoot HD footage and has lots of features to help out shooting. Look for a long optical zoom feature, image stabilization, an integrated microphone and a headphone jack. There are other features, but we cover camcorders in further depth in other articles. Let’s continue with our list.

A camera bag - unless you’re shooting video in your bedroom the camera will be on the move. Even the most high-quality camera is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment with thousands of parts prone to being knocked out of whack. Invest in a bag and keep your investment safe.

A tripod - there are plenty of options for camera stands, but a tripod is a great starting place. Having a mounted camera takes a lot of the pressure off a shooter and allows you to really focus on making an image look great before hitting record.

This much will get you ready to capture some video. Be sure to read part 2 of this series on creating a first video here to learn a bit about editing software and more gear to help out with the shoot.