Lights, Camera, Action! Tips for Making the Perfect Short Video

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Need to make a short video for a class or business presentation? Here are a few ideas for making it perfect.

The dream is still alive, and nowhere is this more apparent than on YouTube. YouTube has been around since 2005, and has been entertaining us ever since.

Many have turned YouTube’s popularity into opportunity. Using nothing but a computer and their own talents, these people have made a career out of entertaining, informing and helping their viewers.

Still, others use it to aid with their current jobs, creating ads or presentations to impress their boss, help the company and maybe bring them one step closer to advancement.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, you won’t get anywhere with a mediocre video. How do you improve it, then? How do you make the perfect short video?

We can help. We’ll offer some great advice in the paragraphs below.

Make a Plan

Some of us are good at improvisation, and others are not. Either way, you shouldn’t improvise your video.

Improvisation and business do not go well together. It would mean keeping the main points in mind while also deciding on your next move, which can split focus, slow your thinking, and even make you stumble.

Having a script allows you to be clear and concise, while also putting your creativity to good use. The best scripts are the ones that tell a story. There’s nothing more annoying than being preached to or told what to do, so try to use the plot to show why your product works.

Having a script allows you to be clear and concise, while also putting your creativity to good use.


A film is nothing without the right lighting, and unless you’re making a horror film, a well-lit set is essential. It’s best to use natural light whenever you can because the sun tends to provide just the right amount of light to make your picture pop without being too dramatic or overwhelming.

Keep in mind, weather can change without much warning, so you’re taking a risk when filming this way. For this reason, some would advise against natural light. However, if you’re not very experienced in lighting, natural light is probably a safer bet.

Whatever setting you choose, it should be noted that the best position for your light is at an angle. The subject should not have a light flashing in their eyes, nor should they have too many shadows. For this reason, many experts would advise filming in the early morning or in the few hours before dusk.

Camera Work

It’s a safe bet that your commercial or business presentation is not going to use the found footage approach. This means that the camera should be kept steady and all necessary movement should be carefully controlled.

There are a lot of great tips and tricks out there to help with this. For instance, panning shots, and probably most other camera movements to the left or right can be achieved by holding the camera close to your body and moving only your hips.

Many use a tripod to get steady shots, and while this method does work it’s not always realistic. There are situations where recording what’s going on is far more important than making sure it looks good.

A great example of this is nature documentaries. Animals don’t care that they’re being filmed. If a falcon dives at over 100 mph to catch a fish, you don’t have time to plan the shot.


Anybody who’s ever recorded audio with a camera phone, and sometimes just a camera, can tell you that their built-in audio system leaves a lot to be desired. That’s why you will need to buy a good quality microphone.

This may be on the more expensive side. Most decent external microphones cost between a hundred dollars and sometimes two-hundred. There are a few that aren’t that expensive, but you should read reviews to make sure you’re getting what you need.

If you want access to some of the best microphones and other gadgets out there, you might want to visit the CES–the Consumer Electronics Show. It takes place in Vegas and shows off the most advanced gadgets out there. To top it all off, it gets bigger every year.


Some people like to have background music in their productions. It isn’t a requirement, but it can certainly add ambiance.

If the video you’re working on is a school assignment or an office presentation, then your choice of music shouldn’t matter, so long as you pick something that fits the mood and doesn’t have any lyrics.

Videos uploaded to YouTube, or any website for that matter, will have to deal with copyright laws. So much of the content created in this world is protected by copyright and can’t be used without permission.

Since getting permission often involves money, most people would prefer to avoid the issue altogether. However, you can still put music in your videos if you find something that’s royalty free.

There are tricks to doing this. The first is to look into public domain music. Oftentimes, this will mean that you’re looking for music that’s about 100 years old. Even with this, though, there is a problem.

The government reorganized music copyright laws last year, and so music that would normally have fallen under public domain by now will instead be protected for a few more years.

The other option is royalty-free music. This is music that the artists have put into the public domain so people can use it without having to deal with copyright law.

For YouTube, royalty-free music is your best option.

The Best Tips for Your Next Short Video

Personal video production is huge right now, whether you’re in business for yourself or for a larger company. Creating a video for entertainment and creating a video for business are two different issues.

Music, lighting, sound, and camera work are essential for both, but business videos need a script. The best short video scripts are the ones that tell stories, so it’s best to focus on that.

If you want more fashion and lifestyle advice for men, please visit our site. We can give you some great men’s fashion advice.

Just A Guy Thing is a men's lifestyle magazine focused primarily at guys wanting to better themselves.

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