The right lighting can make the difference between a beautiful, high-quality production and a shoddy, low-budget production. Lighting sets mood, lighting sets tone, lighting sets the entire look and feel of your production, so pay close attention to it. Again, you should have a professional handle this for you, but don’t forget to check your shots and approve the look and feel.


Opinions vary greatly among sound engineers on the best method and equipment for recording audio with a DSLR. You've likely seen many videos that use a lavalier microphone — the small piece that clips below the collar of the talent's shirt. Lavaliers come in both wired and wireless options. However, lavaliers can be a bit obtrusive both for the talent (who has to have a wire threaded down his or her shirt) and for the viewer (who has to see a microphone for the whole video).

Explainer videos are videosExtended ArticleWhat Is an Explainer Video? Here's Everything You Need to KnowIf you find yourself researching a new product you recently heard about, you’re in luck - there’s probably a video for that. Most companies… Read More that teach your audience more about your company, brand, product, or service. Like social content videos, almost any video can be an explainer video, the only requirement is a focus on how your company solves a particular problem.

Just as important as your visual effects are your audio effects. Sound mixing, dialogue, narration, and music all come together to create the audio that’s heard when your video is watched. Even just adding a layer of ambient sound over a quiet scene can make the difference between what feels like a high-quality video and a low-quality one. Make sure a professional handles your audio mixing, so you have the perfect sound levels, foley effects, dialogue volume, and more.
Finally, consider adding intro and outro music. Intro and outro music, or bookends, can serve as a theme for your content. These are a great choice if you don't need music throughout your entire video. Bookend music can help set the tone for your video, naturally split your content into chapters, and leave your viewers feeling they had a complete experience.
A note about shooting with two cameras: Your editor will need to sync the footage between the different views. To help them do this, clap your hands loudly in the view of both cameras right before you ask the first interview question … yes, just like an old fashion clapboard. Modern editing software has auto-sync features, but this loud clap will help you initially line up the clips.

Create a content plan that outlines how many videos you’ll make, what type of videos, and where you’ll share them. This plan should include a wide variety of video types from case studies to interviews, testimonials, educational videos, etc. According to the Nonprofit Marketing Guide, “the most popular video for nonprofits is storytelling about participants or supporters with 60% of nonprofits creating them.” The second most popular videos are fundraising appeals, which one-third of nonprofits produce.

When it comes time to shoot, clear out unnecessary people from the room and turn off the overhead lights. With your three-point lighting setup, there will be no need for those harsh fluorescents. When — and only when — everything is set up, call in your talent. There's nothing worse than being nervous, and then having to anxiously watch as lights are turned on and the camera is tested.
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