Can you make a business video with just your laptop and some phone headphones? Today we’re asking how can I make a video on my laptop?
So now, I’m going to walk you through the process of how to make a simple YouTube video, using a computer with a webcam and a mic. And the aim of this, is to show you how you can start to create content for your business, even without a massive setup.
Now I’m using a Rode mic set up, which costs around about £200 or so. But the workflow I’m about to show you would work fine if you use some earphones with an inline mic, something like you might use for your phone, they would be absolutely fine in this scenario.
So, let’s get started.
So first up – to record, I’m going to use QuickTime and this is available for both Mac and PC users. So off I go to boot that up and you’ll find it in the applications here on the Mac. You have a few options here. If you want to just record yourself, then it’s this option, ‘new movie recording’, and then you’ll see the camera output pop up. So, this point, let’s just quickly consider a couple of things in terms of shots.
First up the lighting. So here I’m lit by the light coming from the window, which is over here. So, when you’re starting off find a window or natural daylight and film just using that. So, to be completely honest with you, in my setup here, I’ve also got another light fill light coming in from that direction, which is daylight balanced. But for the sake of the exercise here, just ignore that and make sure that when you’re shooting your video, your face is lit by the daylight from the window, wherever you’re doing it.
The second thing to think about is the background of the shot. Just try to make sure there’s nothing too distracting going on in the background. There’s not random stuff that looks like they’re poking out the back of your head. If you give just a little bit of thought to these sorts of things, it really presents a little bit more of a professional edge to this kind of little videos rather than a scrappier vibe, which may not do your brand any good. And that’s a good point actually. These videos are all extensions of you, your business and your brand. It’s like an extension of your shop window so people will make all sorts of judgements about you, based on what they see in something like this. So, it’s worth investing a little bit of time and effort in getting these little presentations the best they possibly can be.
So, sound – probably the most important element to an effective video, which you know, I’m a cameraman. That is an incredibly painful thing to admit. That sound is actually really critical, but it really is. Presuming you’re recording on headphones with an inline mic like I showed you earlier, just consider where you’re shooting. So, try and pick somewhere that is relatively quiet if you can. For example, don’t try and film, you know, by an airport or next door to a construction site. The thing is, if the source of the noise isn’t in frame, it will become a massive distraction because viewers will think, ‘where’s that noise coming from?’
Consider your audience
And then before long you’ve lost them. And here’s a top tip which you should bear in mind whenever you make video. Ultimately all of this, it’s all about your audience. So, make sure that you prep yourself even for something as ‘low fi’ as this. You see your audience has chosen to invest their time in watching and listening to you. Make sure you offer them value and you cut to the chase. People are busy. Give them what they want clearly and simply – ultimately they’ll thank you for it.
When we’ve recorded what we need and we’re happy with it, just stop recording and save the file. And the next stage is editing. There’s obviously so much you can do to make your videos look incredible in post-production, but the focus in this case is about simplicity.
- Ready for upload to your website or to YouTube or wherever. Here we are in our editing software, Adobe Rush, but there are lots and lots of different editing software, obviously on the market. But effectively, I have just imported the files, the video files into the software.
- And then the area known as the timeline and this is where you will scrub through your takes. So, all I would be doing at this point if I was starting out, is literally just clipping the footage and if there are any moments where I mess up, I then go in with my scissors. So literally all you’re doing is going through your footage, going through your rushes and just clipping up all of the good takes. And then all you’d need to do after that is to make sure that each element makes sense.
- Once you’ve got a succession of clips, which are your effectively good bits, then you set about reordering them to make sure that they make sense overall from the beginning till the end. The critical thing is to make sure that you’re getting to the point and you’re offering really, really good value to your audience. So, you maintain their attention. Really at this stage, all we’re doing is making the content makes sense and effectively what you’re doing here is what’s known in the trade as ‘top and tailing’. We’re not doing any fancy editing, we’re not doing any fancy graphics or anything like that.
- And then once you’re happy with the arrangement of your clips, you’d simply go into an exporting pane. This one you’ve happened to go through share. Nowadays what’s brilliant about a lot of the software is that there are inbuilt exporting preferences for things like YouTube, platforms like Facebook and such like. So literally all I’d need to do is choose whichever one of these I wanted, or if I just want to export a straight MP4, I then press export and then that would be my video finished.
So, that was how to make a simple video using a laptop, webcam and basic editing software. I hope you found this useful. I’d love to know your comments, or if you have any questions, just pop them in the comments section below. Also, if you’ve got any ideas about what you’d like me to cover off in future videos, I would love to hear from you, so please get in touch. Thanks for spending your time here – I really appreciate it.