With so much web video content produced every day you’re probably thinking it can’t be that difficult to do it yourself. And you’re right. Shooting and uploading video to YouTube and other sites full of user generated content such as Metacafe and Vimeo isn’t rocket science, though there are a few things you should know that will make things easier on you — and your potential audience. Ever want to learn how to make videos? We tell you how you can get started using the smartphone in your pocket.
HOW TO MAKE YOUTUBE VIDEOS: RECORDING OPTIONS
Capture video with a camcorder. If you want the highest quality video footage, nothing beats a camcorder or a good digital still camera’s video recorder. Aside from HD-quality images, you have more flexibility for making your footage look professional. You can use a tripod, for example, to minimize shakiness when tracking objects over a wide area.
Capture video with a smartphone. Most newer smartphone models can be used to shoot video in high-definition (HD). It’s a perfect device for capturing spontaneous moments, or when a camcorder is simply too inconvenient. One thing to remember when shooting video with a smartphone: turn your phone to landscape orientation. It’s natural to hold your smartphone in the vertical position, but that’s deadly for videos.
Capture video with a webcam. If you want to create a quick talking head video of yourself, your computer’s webcam is a quick and easy way to capture the footage. Most new PCs come equipped with an integrated webcam. If you have an older computer model, you can always connect an external webcam. You can even make a video of yourself right on YouTube. The site’s upload page includes an option for recording videos directly from your webcam.
TIPS TO MAKE A VIDEO FOR THE WEB
Regardless of which device you plan to use to capture video there are a few things you should keep in mind when shooting video:
Frame your shots: If you’re serious about creating compelling content, then think about how you’re going to craft your footage. Try to frame your video shots just as you would a photograph. To create some interest when you make a video consider keeping the main subject out of the center of the frame by using the rule of thirds.
Break up the footage: Add some variety to your video by changing the point of view. Even if your video is an interview of someone, try shooting the answer to one question in one position and then shoot the person answering the next question from a different angle. This will help keep the viewer interested in the video.
Keep it simple: You don’t have to create fancy footage to make a video compelling. A good story can do a lot of the work for you. While it may be fun to play with the zoom feature on a video camera, the results are often less than stellar and can be tiresome for viewers to watch.
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MADE A VIDEO? TRANSFER IT AND DO MORE
After you shoot your video, in many cases the next step is to transfer it to your computer. Whether you use a camcorder, digital camera, or smartphone to capture video footage, you can connect your device to your computer with a USB cable and use the device’s included software to transfer the files. Some camcorders and digital cameras even include Wi-Fi connections, so you can wirelessly send video files to your computer or upload them directly to sites like YouTube and DailyMotion.
Once you get the video on your computer you might want to do some light video editing. If you do plan to edit your footage, you can use the free video editing software that comes on your computer (Windows Movie Maker for PCs, or iMovie on the Mac). With either program, you can trim and reassemble footage, add transitions and other effects, and even include a soundtrack. Many smartphones also include basic video editing tools within the video recorder function.
User generated video sites like YouTube also include basic video editing features. When adding a video to YouTube the Video Manager feature lets you trim, stabilize, and enhance the lighting of your clips. You can also add audio tracks, annotations, and closed captions. You can download your videos as MP4 files so you can transfer them to a mobile device.
MAKE A YOUTUBE VIDEO? HOW TO UPLOAD AND SHARE IT
With a smartphone, or a Wi-Fi enabled camcorder or digital camera, you can share your video to YouTube directly. With an Android device, you can upload videos directly from the phone with the YouTube app. Simply log in to your account, click the Upload icon at the top of the screen, select the video you want to upload, then tap Upload. You can also upload videos directly from the camera app. After shooting a video clip, choose YouTube from the share menu, give the video a title and description, and then click the Upload icon.
If you’re uploading files from your computer, log in to your YouTube account, click the Upload button (located next to the search bar at the top of the page), then select the videos you wish to upload. Next, give your video a title and description. You can also promote your video with tags, or descriptive keywords that help affect search results.
You shouldn’t have to worry about which format you use to capture video, as YouTube supports the following formats:
After uploading the video, you’ll choose whether you want your videos to be public, private, or unlisted. Private videos can only be seen by you and up to 50 of your closest friends who you invite to watch. Unlisted means the video won’t appear in any of YouTube’s public spaces, such as your channel, search results, or the homepage — you can send a link to the video to anyone you wish to have access to it. If you make your videos public, you can also share them on Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter.
How often do you create videos for the web? What’s your favorite site for user-generated web videos? Let us know in the comments section.