Get Started Creating Video Content With Your Smartphone for Bloggers, Small Businesses and Brands | Cielo De la Paz | Skillshare

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Get Started Creating Video Content With Your Smartphone for Bloggers, Small Businesses and Brands

teacher avatar Cielo De la Paz, Photographer, Videographer, Visual Storyteller

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Types of Content to Create


    • 3.

      Preparation and Planning


    • 4.

      Gear for Your Smartphone


    • 5.

      Filming Tips


    • 6.

      Conclusion and Class Project


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About This Class

It has been said that by 2019, 80% of Google searches are going to go to video content.

If you are a blogger, a small business or a brand, and want to be found on the web, you are going to need some kind of video content.

Luckily it's not that hard to do and can easily be done with just your iPhone or smartphone! In this class I'll be teaching:

  • What kind of content to create
  • How to prepare for filming your video content
  • What kind of gear for yyou need for your smartphone to make a good video
  • Tips for filming your video using your smartphone

This class will get you started creating your video quickly. This is especially great for beginners who are not familiar with filming. You'll know exactly what you need in order to start filming your videos.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Cielo De la Paz

Photographer, Videographer, Visual Storyteller


Instagram @thestoryographist   

Video is now the primary way we all consume our content. I want to help people get on board by showing them how easy it is to create videos. I know how overwhelming it can be with so much content out there on how to do it. I take a step-by-step approach, that if you follow it, you'll finally get over the tech hurdle, and create videos consistently for your blog or business.

Who am I? I'm a photographer and filmmaker based in San Francisco. My photos and film have been part of the Apple Shot on iPhone campaign, one photo winning the Gold Cannes Lion award. I'm a staff photographer for Vandala Music Magazine, a band video journalist, and I'm currently working on a documentary about people following their passion.

If you'd... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is [inaudible] and in this class I'm going to teach you how to create video content using only your smartphone. You might be wondering why you even need to create video content. Well, it's been said that by 2019, 80 percent of Google searchers are going to go to video content. Let me repeat that because it's kind of a big number. By 2019, 80 percent of Google searches are going to go to video content. So if you are a blogger, your business or a brand and you wants to be found on the web it's really important for you to have some kind of video. Luckily it's really easy to do especially now that we all have smart phones. In this class I'm going to teach you how to create content that's going to help you come up with different types of content to create and then I'll teach you what gear you need to get started and then finally I'm going to give you some filming tips on how to create good video. If that sounds great to you sign up and involve and let's get started. 2. Types of Content to Create: Before you start filming, you need to pick the type of content that you're going to create. It's good to keep your video's focus so that you're not all over the place. Definitely just keep one type of content in mind and focus on that for your particular video. In any type of content that you create, make sure that you are always on brand, that you're talking about something that your audience cares about. Definitely keep that in mind. Let me go over five examples of content that you can create for yourself. The first one, how to? Like this one. I'm sure there's something that you know how to do that your audience would really appreciate learning about. Consider teaching how to on your video. The second one is to do a top five list. If you're a photographer, you could possibly do your top five favorite lenses. If you're a foodie, you could do your top five restaurants in the city that you live in. Top five's are really easy to do because you're basically just talking about your preferences. When you do these, make sure that you're not just glossing over each of the items. Make sure you really go in depth into why that particular item is on your top five list. Your audience will really appreciate this and hearing your opinion. The next thing, which is very similar and is also opinion-based, is to do a product review. If there's a new product, especially if it's brand new, that just came out, why not go buy it or ask for a sample, which is what I sometimes do and then do a review. This is really easy to do because you're basically just talking about what you like about it, what you don't like about it, the benefits of certain features and so on. Again, make sure this is something that your audience would care about and would want to know about. Now, this one is a little controversial, but I'm going to put it out there because these are actually really fun and get a lot of views. If you care about views, think about doing one of these. It's the unboxing. I know there are some that are not done well, but if done right and if it's about something that your audience cares about the unboxing, it's actually really fascinating and in fact, I do watch some of these as well. As the word says, unboxing is basically getting a brand new product and recording yourself opening it up from the very beginning, out of the box and then showing what the packaging looks like, and then going over the features, turning it on and things like that. It's really fun to do. The last one is to do an interview. This is a little more technically difficult, very slightly because you will need two mics for this and I'm going to go over the gear later. But interviews are great because if you don't want to give your opinion, why not get somebody else that can give their opinion? It can be their top five list, their product review, and so on. Think about conducting an interview. With those five alone, if you rotate through those five, you'll find that you will actually have a lot of content to create. Go ahead and pick one of those, and let's get started and move forward with the rest of the course. 3. Preparation and Planning: Now that you've picked the type of content you want to create, you need to do a little bit of planning. Not a lot of planning, but just a little bit so that you save time later. If you don't do this planning, you will find that you will do take, after take, after take. By planning, I mean, creating a really quick outline. If you're a blogger, if you've ever written anything, you know that creating a quick outline and bullet points and so on, helps you so much and prevents you from wandering about, talking about, or writing about different things. It's the same for video. You need to create a really quick outline and you need to write down the goal of your video. If it's to introduce a certain product, that is the goal of your video. The way an outline works, very similar to creating a writing outline; what is your goal, what are the main topics, and very specific points that you want to make sure you cover. I've actually done video without creating an outline, and honestly, it was a mess. I ended up doing take after take, because I found that I missed certain points. Now, if you're really good at editing, sure, why not just go ahead and start speaking. But you'll find that your videos will be more organized, if you create some outline. Now, the next tip isn't necessarily for the types of content that I listed out earlier. But if it's something that has multiple scenes, if your video will have multiple scenes, it's beneficial for you to do a shortlist. A shortlist is an outline, but it's a visual outline. Basically, going to list down the scenes you want to capture. Let's say you want to do a demo, which is another type of content that you could do if you wanted, and let's say it's a demo of your chef and you are creating a dish. Your shortlist would be, let's say, showing the ingredients first, and then showing chopping vegetables, showing putting things in oven or sauteing on top of stove, and then showing the final completed dish. You're basically listing down all the different scenes that you need to capture in order for your story to make sense. Again, for the five types of content that I listed earlier, it's not necessary, but if you're doing a demo or something like that that requires more camera work, you want to make sure you create some shortlist. But most importantly, make sure you create an outline so that your story makes sense, and so that you save your time later, and that you capture all of the points that you want to cover. 4. Gear for Your Smartphone: Let's quickly go over some gear that you're going to need in order to start creating your video. Besides your smartphone, you're going to need something to hold your smartphone up. By that I mean some kind of tripod. This one here is something I like to recommend because it's less expensive than a tripod and it works just as well. This is the Joby Gorillapod. The way this works is, it's a mini tripod essentially and it just goes on top of a table, a chair. It works well if you don't have a horizontal surface to put it on top of, it can actually wrap around and pull, so you can bend it like that and then you can put your smartphone on top of it. In order to use this or any tripod actually, your smartphone will need to be put into some clamp like this. This here is a really inexpensive clamp and this fits really big phones such as my iPhone 7 Plus here. Then the way this works is that it screws into this like this and then it works. Really simple. The next thing I am going to recommend and if you were to skimp on anything, don't skimp on this one. It's to get a really good mic. Get the best mic that you can afford because it makes a really big difference. Let me just go and show you an example of what it sounds like without a mic because I'm actually using a mic right now. The next segment I will be talking without a mic. This is me without a mic. I don't know if you can tell a difference but you might be picking up some ambient noise, maybe you can hear a refrigerator, traffic outside, I'm not sure. Then my voice probably isn't as loud or as clear. If you are okay with it, fine, you don't have to but I think if you want to create a really good video with good sound, you should invest in a good microphone. What microphone should you get? The one I recommend that is not that expensive is the Rode Lavalier mic. It is this wired mic right here and the way this works is this part plugs into the headphone jack of your phone and then the other end just clips onto your shirt like this and it's the mic. This is about four or five feet long which is a good distance to be away from your smart phone if you're recording a talking head video such as this. I'm going to list out all of these recommendations in the class discussion so don't worry if you didn't quite capture that one. I'm going to list them all out. Also, if you want to go a little bit more advanced, I recommend the Rode wireless mic which is what I'm using right now and I will list that out as well. But if you're just starting out, I certainly used this for the longest time, so definitely just think about getting a wired Lavalier mic. Now for lighting, you can use natural light and still have a really good video. In fact, I have a really big window right here and what I've done is I've gone as close as possible to my big window so that I can just use the natural light. If you find that that is not enough, you can actually do what a lot of photographers do and use foam board or foam core to reflect and bounce light from the window onto your subject. I don't know if you can tell the difference but here maybe you can, it's basically reflecting the light from the window and I'm letting it bounce off of the foam board and then I'm projecting that light back onto me. I don't know if you can tell the difference but it does make a difference, especially in photography but it makes a difference in video as well. This foam board or foam core is what is called as well, is really inexpensive and you can find these in art stores. They're very common. Think about getting one of these foam cores to enhance your lighting. If you find that's not enough and you just don't even have a really big window or it's always dark outside, think about investing in some continuous lighting. What I like to use and this is a big one, there are smaller ones than this but these are LED lights. The way this works is, this one is great cause it's a dimable. I don't want to shine it onto you but you can dim it, make it darker, brighter. This is good white light. This particular one comes with some gels so that you can have warmer lights like bright white. This one is great because it is portable. This is a battery right here, so it's a really small battery pack. If you have no one to hold the light for you, this has a tripod mount. If you have a tripod or a stand, you can just put on top of that and then project the light onto yourself or your subject. But to get started, all you really need is a tripod and the mic and everything else is extra. Don't think like you need to get all of this equipment, that's going to be overwhelming. To get started, all you need is a good mic, a tripod and you're ready to roll. The one thing you should remember and you probably already have one of these is to have some way to charge your phone. Video takes up a lot of battery, so always have a charger so that you can charge your phone as you're filming. 5. Filming Tips: Now let me give you some tips on filming. The first one is composition. I don't know if you've heard of the rule of thirds, but this applies to Videography as well as Photography. The rule of thirds is basically if you divide up what you see in the frame into thirds, you place your main subject or whoever speaking at one of the thirds. There's a whole lot of science behind this, but trust me, that is just visually pleasing to see things at the thirds. So if there are two main subjects, so like if you're doing an interview, place each person at one of the thirds. The other thing is the distance away from the camera. Four or five feet is about a good distance to be away from the camera. This is a good distance because you can still see the person's eyes and you have that connection. If I were a little bit further away, there'll be less of a connection and it would feel less like a conversation. You wouldn't see my eyes, so it's a little bit less engaging. So about four or five feet is a good distance to be away from the camera. The next tip is to record for a few more extra seconds, so a few more extra seconds beforehand and a few more extra seconds afterwards. It's always helpful to have more, but that is one really good tip. Especially if you're somebody that's going to edit multiple clips together, you will find those extra few seconds are really going to be helpful. The other thing too is, if you are talking or if you're interviewing somebody, after the talking is done, make sure that you sit still for a few more seconds afterwards, as well as the person that you're interviewing. I've done a lot of these where I've done talking and then I get up and then you see that in the video, and that's really hard to edit out. Make sure you sit still for a few more seconds after you're done talking. Now duration, I get this question a lot. How long should my videos be? I think about three to five minutes is a good duration for your videos, and this is good because, especially with the five types of content that I listed earlier, you should be able to cover most of the things in three to five minutes. Now, definitely be mindful of the platform on which you're going to put your content up on. For example, Instagram only lasts for one minute, so obviously, you should keep it to one minute. But three to five minutes, if you're going to put this up on YouTube or on your blog and so on, is a good duration. Now again, it's very dependent on the type of content you are creating and what you're talking about. So if it's something that requires more, certainly go for much longer. I've watched videos for 25 minutes even especially if it was an interview of somebody that was really interested in hearing about from. Interviews tend to be a lot longer because you are introducing the person, there's banter and so on. Again, it really depends on the type of content you're creating. So I really can't say, but in general, three to five minutes is good, especially for the five types of content that I mentioned earlier, very dependent. So I will leave that one up to you. The next thing is, how should your record? I always recommend recording in segments. Now if you created that outline that I recommended earlier, you should have natural segments created already. Record in those bullet points that you wrote down for your outline. This is good because it allows for error, and trust me, there's going to be a lot of it, especially if you're starting out. So if you got the first part right, but screw up the next part, that's fine. Your first part is intact, you can just redo the second part and so on, for the next few segments of your video. Record in segments, don't record everything all at once. The next tip is to be more animated. I know it's kind of hard to do, especially when I first started out doing video, I was kind of not so animated, didn't enunciate and just kind of was still like this. So you can see a difference when I'm not as animated as I was a few seconds earlier. So definitely be a little bit more animated, but don't take it too far, it's a fine balance. This is something that you will learn over time, like what is enough and what is too much. So don't worry about if you get it wrong the first place, I was certainly not so engaging the first few videos that I did, but just a really quick tip on that one, be a little bit more animated. Then finally, keep in mind that creating video, it's a learning process. You're not going to get it right right away, and especially talking in front of a camera, it's really intimidating. So it's something that you learn over time. If it helps you to practice before you start recording, sure, but what's going to get you started if you just go right for it, don't expect too much and just start creating your content and do it more and more and you're just going to get better and better. Be easy on yourself. Remind yourself it's learning process and that you're not going to be great at first, but you're going to get better as you go along. The most important part is that you get started creating video, and that you create it, and then you just get better over time. 6. Conclusion and Class Project: As you guessed, the project for this class is for you to create a three to five minute video. You can take one of the five types of content that I listed earlier in the class, but if you manage to come up with something else, definitely go ahead and do whatever you are comfortable with. If you want to get fancy with editing and add music and so on, I actually teach another SkillShare class that teaches you how to do all of that using your smartphone. But for this particular class, you don't even need to do that. I just want you to create that three to five minute video and get comfortable creating video content using your smartphone. Once you're done with your project, go ahead and upload it on YouTube or Vimeo and then take that link and include it in your class project, so that the rest of the class can see what you came up with. That's it for the class. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. If you have any questions, don't be shy, go ahead and ask me or anyone else in the class, and I will have answers for you as soon as possible. Thank you.