5 tips for a cost-savvy tech setup for filming video

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been giving you some tips and hints about planning and filming your very own content for social. Now, we know that one of the most daunting parts of starting out is the equipment and knowing where the blooming heck to start. You might think it’s all very confusing and expensive, but we’re about to bust the myths and give you a head start.

  1. Social specs. When you think filming and video production, your mind might jump straight to million-pound cinematic production. Well social is quite the opposite. There’s just no need to film on a 4k camera that costs you £3000 when social video content is usually played on a small mobile screen. A lot of mobile phones have the video filming capabilities that would be just fine for filming this kind of content.
  2. You don’t need to spend big bucks. Much like buying your first car, you’ll probably start out with a second-hand banger. Second-hand camera bodies can be as low as £200. A Prime lens is only £70. Lighting need only cost £70. With hundreds of fancy-pants models to choose from, it’s a bit daunting! But don’t feel like you need to spend loads of extra cash on bigger, pricier models for the sake of features and functions that you don’t need and might not use.
  3. Lighting. Yep, lights can be pricey. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn how to work with natural lighting before you start interfering with artificial lighting. It only takes a quick YouTube search to get to know your 3-way lighting types: natural, borrowed, florescent. Just make sure it’s balanced and doesn’t look flat or set up.
  4. Audio. As we mentioned in the post-production blog, you must, must, must make sure your video sounds good too. If it doesn’t, the poor sound quality will give the impression of a cheap and low-quality bit of content. Use a designated mic, not the built-in mic – they’re only about £40. Make sure you’ve turned off noisy appliances and closed the windows before you hit record – that’s something we do religiously for our own social content. It’s also not compulsory for mics to be out of shot. Keep them in if it makes things easier for you. Hand-held mics can make quite useful props.
  5. Mark it all out. We’re talking camera stands, cables, lighting stands, mic stands and where the people are standing or sitting. There are two reasons – first, so that you don’t tamper with your focus. Secondly, safety first! It’ll stop people from tripping over your equipment, and it’ll stop your equipment from getting damaged. If you need multiple shots and have one camera, mark where you need to move your camera to. This step is a must!

It’s just takes practise. Get used to your equipment and the way that you work with it. We all outgrow the banger that we got as our first car, and, once we get more confident with what we’re doing, upgrade it to something better.

We hope we’ve given you the confidence to start planning and filming your own video content for social. Take the plunge – know your story, bust the nerves, use basic equipment and nail the post-production. And enjoy the process!

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