The Big Idea: Using Video on a Budget

Quick, raise your hand if Apple computer convinced you that anyone could make a professional-looking video in virtually no time at all.

If someone can get a bajillion hits on YouTube with a cat playing the piano, there must be something to this whole viral video concept.

But before you start really using video in social, it’s good to understand the pitfalls:

  • While technology has had an equalizing effect on the production of video, the sheer amount of junk out there makes standing out difficult.
  • Paying attention to rights and permissions is essential for staying on the right side of a fine line.
  • Quality does matter, especially when you’re talking about audio.

Getting started:

  • Find a camera: Two great, inexpensive options include the iPhone camera or a lower end DSLR like the Canon T2i.
  • Familiarize yourself with editing: If you own a Mac, iMovie came bundled with your machine, most likely. It’s the easiest, and cheapest way to get your feet wet with editing and adding titles. Once you feel comfortable with that, consider upgrading to Final Cut or Adobe Premiere.
  • Rental houses: Look up camera shops in your city and see if they rent things that will enhance your shoot, including lenses, lights, and microphones. Usually you can get kitted out for a day or two for very little money.

Finding music that won’t break the bank

Ever since I started using editing software (I was sixteen) I discovered that music transformed everything. At that time, my work.

As soon as I started producing TV spots for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, that all changed. We had a micro-budget but still needed a way to draw together a spot with music. I had to get creative. Here are some of my favorite resources.

Distribute your masterpiece

YouTube is often said to be the world’s second-largest search engine. It deserves to be central to your distribution strategy.

Vimeo is a niche community favored by filmmakers. What’s nice about Vimeo is that it affords a lot more opportunity for personal connection.

This is an excerpt of a free ebook, SANE SOCIAL MEDIA, that you can get by signing up below:


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