To co-incide with the launch of new dates for our acclaimed Essential Video Skills for Comms workshops here is a blog that aims to get you kitted out for the cost of an Americano a day for a month.
By Dan Slee
Cost has always been a factor in helping to train comms people into how best to use video.
Gone are the days when a video production company could come and shoot a five grand video for a conference of fifty people.
Sure, there’s still a place for an externally-made video. But when you have the technology on your smartphone that’s in your pocket the smart thing to do is to look at ways to use that.
Over the past three years, myself and my colleague Steven Davies have trained more than 1,000 people. It has been a delight. Often people think the kit will be expensive. Not true. You can just use your phone or tablet if you like. But for a small investment you can improve what you do.
The sixty quid kit
If you have a device and you want he basics, a Rode clip-on microphone and a mobile phone tripod will cost you around £60. That’s roughly an Americano a day for a month. But if you want some extras, you can pay your money and take your choice.
A tablet or mobile
You can get a video camera if you must. But then you have the faff of keeping it charged, keeping it in a place where people can find it and hope that people will remember how to use it. Or you could use a smartphone or tablet. You are more likely to have that with you, have it charged and know what the buttons do.
Use your own phone if you can or your office device. But don’t use Windows or Blackberry. There isn’t the editing or social media software for them.
If money is no object, I’d reckon my colleague Steven suggest a Google Pixel 2 phone. Cost: Around £700.
I’d recommend a Samsung Galaxy S7. Cost: Around £400.
Or if you are after a tablet, the ipad will suffice. Cost: Around £300.
Sound and shooting extras
A tripod is a good idea. A pocket one will work just fine. Cost: around £10.
A Rode Smartlav clip-on microphone is handy to improve noise and has been roadtested by Steven. Cost: Around £50.
As an optional extra, a cable extension for the Rode Smartlav clip-on mic is an idea. Cost around £18.
You’ve a choice of editing software. For ios, you can use imovie which is free. Or you can go for kinemaster which is ios or android. There is a free version. That’ll do great things and if you can live with the kinemaster logo in the top right corner even better. But the Pro version gives you extra resources to draw from and is worth it, frankly. You can get it for £23.25 a year if you pay upfront or about £3 a month pay-as-you-go. Cost: From free to up to £23.25 a year.
Shooting video can be a drain on your phone battery. So, a powerbank you can plug in to top-up your charge is always a good idea. Cost: £20.
There are sound libraries available that charge a subscription. But there are also creative commons options which allow you to use for free so long as you fulfil some simple criteria. Crediting at the end, for example, is common. I’ve blogged about this here. Cost: free.
Our workshops help you to plan, shoot, edit, add music and text and post at the right length and in the right place. Give me a shout for more @danslee on Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org. They are great. But I am biased.
ESSENTIAL VIDEO SKILLS FOR COMMS
Birmingham on January 22. More here.
Manchester on January 24. More here.
London on February 1. More here.
SKILLS YOU’LL NEED FOR LIVE VIDEO
London on February 2. More here.
Dan Slee is co-founder of comms2point0.