5 Top Prep Tips for Filming a Video Series

Filming yourself is about more than your equipment.

Five tips to consider before filming your first video series.  Number one may surprise you!

5.     Plan

Do you want a personal, conversational vibe or a produced video vibe? This effects your scripts, the location, and how you shoot. Once you decide on your style, outline your video topics and create scripts. When you are first starting, it’s helpful to write word for word scripts so you don’t have to worry about what you are going to say or how you appear on camera. But don’t feel caged in by your script – it’s just there to guide you. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to memorize the entire script.

Also remember that you can change your camera angles, or, if you have two cameras available to you, have two setup at 30-degree angles from each other.  Break your scripts into manageable parts and change the camera angle when you pause. Then edit them together later and the dialogue will appear seamless.

Productivity Tip: Plan all of your videos that need to be released on a deadline and shoot them all in one day. For example, if you release one video a week, shoot all four videos for one month in one day. Then you’ll maintain visual consistency and won’t have to setup your video studio multiple times a month. Just be careful to not over-schedule and burn yourself out.

4.     Invest in a stool.

A stool forces you to sit tall and look more professional. Its important to not slouch because the camera exaggerates everything, so even if you think you are only a little slouched, it will appear as if you are not enthusiastic about your message. And DO NOT use a stool that spins or has wheels – it can be distracting to both you and the camera.

3.     Make friends with your camera

Get to know your camera and use it to your advantage. Take at least an hour to learn the functions of your camera before you shoot; find out what settings look best in your shooting location, or where it should be placed to make you look great. Name your camera or put a picture of someone that makes you feel comfortable on the side of the lens and focus on that picture. Change it from an intimidating object to a great friend that is helping you get your message to your community.

2.     Get in the Zone.

To connect with your viewers, it is important to be yourself. Even if you want to have a professional feel to all of your videos, you can still show your personality. So do whatever you need to feel like the best you. This could mean meditating, exercising, or listening to a song that motivates or calms you. I like to sing my favorite song out loud and sometimes even dance. This warms up your voice and your body. When you feel comfortable in your voice and body, it projects through the camera and your viewers can’t help but to relate to you.

1.     Breathe and Stretch

I’m far from a fitness expert, but I did take dance classes until I was 16, and the one thing I value the most about those classes was learning how to stretch. Whenever I am getting ready to shoot, whether I am behind or in front of the camera, I do three simple stretches while taking deep breaths. And yes you can even do these stretches in the dress you plan to wear on camera.

–       Stand straight and tall, lift your arms above your head and grab one hand with the other and push up to lengthen your spine.  You can even lean to each side as you push.

–       Stretch your neck by leaning your head to one shoulder, then the other, forward, and back. Do a couple of these clockwise and counter clockwise.

–       Stretch your legs by bending one leg behind you at a time and hold it with your hand. Hold onto a wall if you need balance

Again I’m not a fitness coach or doctor so I’m always careful when stretching.

AND remember that you don’t need the best camera or the technical knowledge to start your web series or YouTube business channel. YouTube is a search engine just like Google, so it’s really important to develop your YouTube presence to get found. So don’t wait to get started. If you want more tips on how to film yourself and look great, sign up for the Dana Rivera Films storyteller list.  If you loved this post don’t forget to share and comment.

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