How to make cheap, awesome videos

This is how I make awesome videos really cheap

When I started shooting video, I was traveling to places like Europe and South America and I was shooting live music videos. And what this meant was that I wanted equipment that was very light. I was often shooting hand-held. I would be shooting for hours on a stage at a time. And I needed something that was easy to carry, easy to travel with and inexpensive – so that if it got damaged or it was stolen in transit, it would be no big deal.

The Camera

I found this canon Vixia camera on Craigslist $250 (new price was $1,500). Look on Craigslist, or look on Ebay, and find yourself a deal.
So, why do I like this camera?
The first thing is that it has a great big lens. I know that a lot of people like to use their smart phone to make video, but this lens is going to beat the heck out of any lens that you have on your smart phone. And by the way, at $250, this is cheaper than your iphone.

There’s a nice flip out lcd screen – and I can turn it around so that if I’m shooting myself, I can see myself. The other nice thing about this screen is that it turns at every angle so that no matter what kind of shot I’m trying to get – if I’m holding the camera up high or down low, I can shoot from really hard angles and I can still see what I’m getting.

cheap awesome videosIt’s so small and light that on this particular shoulder mount that I use, I can do all kinds of great moves with the camera that are very smooth. And the camera also has an external microphone jack and an external headphone jack. (most dslr cameras do not have a headphone jack – so you can’t hear the sound your getting through the camera)

Sound

I have a nice set of Sony headphones so I always know whether I’m getting high quality sound. This is terrifically important. You can have a video that has issues around what it looks like but the sound always needs to be of a certain quality.

The same is true for a microphone. When I’m recording audio in a studio, what I use is an external microphone set up on a microphone stand – above my head. A microphone, a cable, and a microphone stand so that I can keep the microphone close to my mouth but moved up out of the shot – and then attached to the camera about 10 feet away.

Lighting

The last thing I’ll mention is lighting. There’s a lot of attention given to getting studio lights, LED lights, expensive soft box arrangements – and I don’t use any of that. Because I want to be mobile and light and inexpensive, I use entirely natural light.

One of the ways that you do this well is that you choose your location as carefully as possible. In this case I’m in a room with a lot of natural light. The light is coming in off to my right. It’s very soft and diffuse. It’s hitting my face evenly and I have a nice, plain, well lit background behind me. And I’ve got myself separated from the background by about four feet.

You can look for this kind of location when you’re setting up your shots and get really beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous lighting that is going to be better than anything you can do with studio lights – and it costs you absolutely nothing!

I’d love to hear from you what kind of equipment you’re using and what kind of inexpensive tricks you’re trying out to make awesome video – on the cheap. And I would love to see videos that you’re creating.

One of the places you can do that is to join my Facebook group
facebook.com/groups/standoutbiz

We have a bunch of people there who are joining together to grow their business, to grow their enterprise, to grow their big project – and some of them are making awesome videos! (like me)