Super Cheap Tricks for Engaging Videos

As you start producing your videos, you want to be sure they are of the highest possible quality and look professional, but you’re also on a budget. The cost of creating high quality video can seem high and professional videographers and editors are quite costly. Fortunately, there are some cheap tricks for cool videos that look striking and professional.

Invest in Lighting Before a Camera

Don’t worry about the camera. When it comes to creating high quality video with cool effects on a budget, the input is one of the least important factors. Instead, focus first on lighting. This is where the big difference comes in for making a highly professional looking video.

It doesn’t need to cost a fortune either. Use a three light system with one in front of you, one to the side and one behind you – this way the light is even throughout the room. The key is to use diffusive light from a shaded lamp. Paper lanterns are equally effective here. If you plan on using natural lighting at all, get a reflector of some sort that will even out the natural light on both sides of the subject.

Use a Second Camera for Additional Angles

If you have a choice between buying a really expensive camera and a second, much cheaper camera, opt for the latter. Even two phones or tablets will offer a better all around experience than a single high quality camera. The second shot allows you to cut to different angles, inherently looking more professional and “expensive” as a video.

Additionally, this allows you to go for high angle shots that can make for some very cool video effects.

Buy a Doorstop for Low Angle Shots

Speaking of cool effects, a $1 doorstop can provide a fantastic solution for low angle shooting. Placing a camcorder or HDSLR camera on a doorstop allows you to shoot from a low, floor-based angle up at your subject.

If this is a secondary shot you cut to, it can provide a powerful way to convey motion and action in your videos without having to shoot the same subject or actions multiple times.

Use a Tripod to Stabilize the Shot with a Level

A tripod is a must. Shaky video looks immediately unprofessional and is hard to follow. Your customers won’t be happy to spend money to access your video-on-demand library or recorded webinars if the video quality is this poor. But it’s also hard to ensure your tripod is perfect level if you are buying a low cost one. You can get a decent tripod starting at $20 on Amazon. It won’t have any of the digital frills or gimmicks that the expensive ones do, nor will it have a level built in, so you should also opt for a bubble level from a local hardware store. The level costs an additional $2-3 and can be attached to your tripod to ensure all shots are level and even.

Another really cool trick is to use a bag of rice to hold your camera or phone. This is particularly effective in a car where you need something stable that will hold the camera still.

High Shots with Painter’s Poles or Self Sticks

Getting up high is easier said than done, but a $20 painter’s pole that can telescope to 10 or more feet will allow you to get those high angle shots without paying for a drone or a sending someone up into a tree. You can also use a selfie stick if you are shooting with a phone and don’t need to get anything too high up.

Low Cost Green Screens

Green screen is used for a number of effects in business and DIY videos. The simplest and most effective use is the talking head video in which you won’t need to show your dingy bookshelves or the back of your office.

A good, production quality green screen can cost hundreds of dollars, but modern software can work with anything that is sufficiently monochromatic in either blue or green. There are $5 green screen options on Amazon or you can make one yourself with a table cloth or construction paper – just be sure whatever color you use doesn’t match anything the subject is wearing or using.

A good video can be crafted with a little creativity and some simple hacksClick To Tweet like those listed above. Don’t invest heavily especially when you’re just getting started – you can make some amazing content with what you already have lying around. The result will be higher quality video that people are happy to pay for access to and that you can use to build a store that will build a loyal, paying audience.

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