4 Steps for making a video on a budget

Don’t let the absence of fancy video equipment stop you from creating awesome content. You already have an amazing everyday tool right at your fingertips; you may even be reading this article on it right now! That’s right, we are talking about your smartphone.

The advanced camera technology on smartphones today allows you to capture high-quality visuals, which means you can capture, create and upload eye-catching content on the fly. Let’s get started.

1. Plan your video

The questions below can help you to create a storyboard and script for your video. This will help you keep your video on topic and concise.

  • What is the purpose of your video?
  • Where will it be seen?
  • What will the primary footage (A-Roll) in the video be?
  • What footage can you supplement your story with? (B-Roll)?

2. Filming your video

Begin by setting up your shot, using the rule of thirds for the focus. If you are filming a person talking set up your camera to have the correct headroom.

Rule of thirds
Proper headroom

When filming your A-Roll audio quality is essential, choose somewhere quiet with no wind, and stand close to the subject you are shooting so your phone can pick up the audio.

When you are filming your B-Roll change up your angles, try setting up 30 degrees on either side of your primary camera.

3. Editing

Choose an editing software that works for you! Adobe’s Premiere Pro is great if you have access to it, otherwise, try iMovie (Apple) and OpenShot (Windows) which are both free.

Transfer your video files from the device they were filmed on, to the computer.

Import your footage to your editing software, drag your A-Roll onto the timeline and cut out footage you don’t require. What you have now is the skeleton of your video.

Drag in your B-Roll onto a new track on the timeline cutting it to supplement your primary footage. The B-Roll may appear in several sections of the video.

So that your video looks smooth, you should cut on action between A-Roll and B-Roll. While it may seem intuitive to cut when your subjects are still and not talking, this can make your video look jumpy as there is no movement to ‘distract’ your viewer from the cut.

At this stage (if required) you can add in a soundtrack of royalty-free music, a quick google search will give you many options.

If you don’t have a computer on hand, there are some great mobile editing apps such as Adobe Premiere Rush.

4. Exporting

When you have finished editing your video, you’ll want to export it.

We recommend as an MP4 as this format is compatible across devices and software.

Ensure that it is exported at a rate of 25 frames per second (fps). This is the Australian standard for fps, it is what we are used to seeing on our screens, any less the video will look jumpy, any more and the file size may become too large.

Finally, your frame settings for a landscape video will be 1920×1080 pixels (px), and portrait 1080-1920px, this is the standard for most videos today and will work on a range of platforms.

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