What’s up, everybody? The Dukes Movie here, and today we’re talking about five ways to instantly make better videos. Welcome back, everybody, to another episode of whatever it is that we’re doing here.
I wanna tell you guys about five ways to instantly make better videos that you can start doing today. They don’t require money, it doesn’t require buying extra gear. They’re just five things that you can do, five things that you can think about, just to instantly up that quality, up that video game quality. Not the actual video games, we’re talking about video, like your game in, you get it. Number one, lighting. Okay, lighting is the most important thing when it comes to photography, cinematography, film, videos, photos. Lighting controls all. I’m not just talking about forced lighting, or stuff that we’re gonna set up, or lights that we have to buy, or DIY lighting setups, outdoor light, just lighting as a whole, be it that it’s from natural light, or that it’s from something that you’ve bought that you’ve set up in-studio, nailing that and locking that down is one of the most important aspects of what it is that we’re doing here. And I’ve mentioned this before, window light is the best light for run-and-gun, get-it-done, have it look amazing, reliable. You wanna shoot near a window, okay? So, for instance, watch this. Now, this is a great example of good window light. The window is literally right here. It’s a nice, soft light coming in. It’s not too harsh, but it illuminates me nicely, makes me nice and clear, which means it’s easy for you to understand, and concentrate, and focus on what it is that I’m saying. Now, because this shot is so clean, and the light is so even on my face, it really gives me a good, wide range of capabilities when it comes to color correcting this footage and grading it, because it’s lit so evenly and so nice. Opposed to if I moved away from the window in this same room, you can see how that light loss is significantly different. It’s much darker over here, which means you’re gonna lose detail, it’s gonna look a little bit more muddy, opposed to just standing close to the window and having the whole scene well-lit.
This is also, this clip right here, is gonna be more difficult to color grade, and it’s probably gonna come out a little bit more grainy because we don’t have enough light on the image as a whole. You see what a difference that makes? We’re in the same room right now, lit by window light, but just by moving closer to it, or moving further away, or shooting in the corner of a room opposed to closer to the window makes all the difference in how the quality is gonna be perceived in your videos. And the same thing goes for if you’re actually setting up studio lights or using the light that’s just in your ceiling. The difference is substantial. If you wanna see more on how to do a DIY lighting setup, I’ll link the video below that I did. Super budget, you can go to Home Depot, buy everything you need for less than $50. But being able to lock that down and just think about where you wanna shoot in your house, where you wanna shoot in whatever building that you’re in ahead of time, it’s gonna make your videos easier to watch, it’s gonna make that color grading easier. The overall outlook of your videos will be tenfold better if you just think about the lighting first. Use those windows. Point number two is proper music and sound. Now, don’t worry, I get asked about 500 times a day where I find my music, how I get music for my videos. I’m going to do an entire video on that, so don’t worry guys, it’s coming. However, having the proper music and sound effects will 100% change the way people view and see your videos, yourself included. If you use the wrong track for some incredible footage, that footage could be very well perceived as not as good, or not as epic, or not as sad. It’s all in the song choice. If you’ve got some home footage of a baby crawling across the floor and it’s some gangster rap, probably not gonna set the tone as well as something a little more family-friendly. And vice-versa, that works as well. If we’ve got footage of an R8 ripping down the streets, or some people skateboarding, some soft, happy piano might not be the way to go.
So song choice is a huge factor when you’re thinking about your videos. If it’s a cheesy song, your footage is gonna be viewed, and the piece as a whole, is gonna be viewed as cheesy. If it’s a really, really epic song, but the footage doesn’t match the epicness of the music, then you’re gonna have a disconnect. That brings me to my next point is, you wanna actually edit to the music. A lot of times, in music, there are some incredible things that happen audibly. If you match the visuals to the audio, you can enhance that tenfold. It’s one thing to have great music, it’s one thing to edit to the beat, but when you have sounds of the forest, or if you have the ambient noises of cars going, or you have that egg cracking, the typing, the shuffling of cards, paper being ripped, it doesn’t matter. When you have those extra ambient sound effects on top of the great music and great footage, it’s the full package, it’s the full experience. They’re things that are often overlooked, but having proper sound effects makes all the difference. Okay, so what I’ve done here to show you an example real quick is plug this Road Video Micro. I’ve mounted it to this external monitor arm that I’ve clamped to the desk. So in a second, I’m gonna bring that camera closer and plug this directly in, to give me a more rich sound source to show and prove a point to how much better even something random and mundane or normal of a task can sound a lot better when you have good, rich audio to it. Now I’ll show you a few of the same clips, but without a microphone to show you that you don’t have as much immersion into the clip that you’re watching when it does sound as rich.
Point number three is learning your software. Look up tutorials, watch different videos, attend seminars, buy training, find training, free training, friends that know how to use the program better than you, ask questions, do everything that you can to learn that software, because that’s only gonna help you when you’re shooting in the field, and what I mean by that is you wanna plan those shots ahead of time, so that you know how you’re gonna edit. So if I think to myself, okay, I’m going to film my friend walking by the screen, and then I’m gonna do a transition that masks him out into the next clip. So I’m gonna shoot accordingly to get those clips, so that I can bring them into my editor, and then edit that transition to make it actually come to life and happen. Now, if you don’t know how to do that kind of stuff in your editing software, you might not know that you need to shoot those clips ahead of time. Or, if you have a mistake, maybe something happened where you forgot to pan up and pan down, you can do that in your editing software. Maybe you forgot a slider, but you can digitally fake sliding moves in the software. So when you know your editing software as best as you possibly can, and the skill aside with a camera, it really, really helps you figure out how to get the most out of what is is that you just shot. So learn that software, people. Just get into it, dive in. Lock the door, crack a Red Bull, and just go.
Point number four is motion in your shots. This is one of my favorite things, and probably one of the most overlooked things by people who are just starting or more beginners. A lot of people will just set their camera up on a tripod, film whatever it is they need to film, and then move to the next shot. But then you’re left with a sequence of static, still shots. They may as well be images. Or, if you’re filming an event, a lot of people just throw the camera on the tripod, they hit record, they record for five minutes, they move the tripod to somewhere else, hit record again. But you’re really not filming anything. You’re not inviting us in to that atmosphere. I don’t know how it feels, I don’t know what it looks like, I’m just watching it from a distance. I may as well be an outsider just looking in, trying to see what’s happening. Oh, that looks fun. Does it look fun? No, not really. Motion in shots is so important. It could be the most mundane thing, but if the camera’s moving, it’s helping move the story along. More motion is gonna give you more cinematic results, more motion is gonna look more professional. When you have moving shots, it looks like you put more work into it, and that’s because you did. And the results are definitely a massive improvement over someone that just puts the camera on a tripod, or you’re only cutting from static shot, to static shot, to static shot. Point number five and the last point for this video is the location and time of day. Now, obviously with locations, if you have an incredible landscape in front of you, you’re standing at the outlook over the Golden Gate Bridge, if you are in the mountains, if you’re canoeing through Lake Louise, if you are at the tip of a volcano or deep in the jungle, yes, that footage is gonna look good inherently because where you are is just insane. It’s a magical landscape, it looks incredible. However, these rules still apply to even if you’re just shooting in your own office. Now, the angle of those shots in those locations is important as well. If you’re in a nice jungle and you’re shooting way too low but you’re missing all the nice trees above, that’s stuff you gotta think about. If you’re in your office filming a talking head sequence, like what I’m doing right now, if I was on a low angle, this just doesn’t look as good. It’s just fact. There’s way too much space above. There’s nothing interesting enough above to justify why my camera is at such a stupid angle.
If the angle was too high, you would all instantly be like, “Okay, pause one second, why is that camera “so freaking high?” All of these little adjustments make a big deal. Another quick tip that I’ve seen a lot of people do that drives me nuts is, clean up the background. Take the stuff off your desk. If you’ve got boxes in the corner, move them out of the way for the shot. Move them behind the camera. So many people just leave (censored) and garbage hanging around everywhere, and that stuff just looks messy. It looks cluttered. It doesn’t look like you took the time to actually set this up nicely. That kills the level of professionalism. That kills some of the cinematic or the quality feel of the video that you’re putting out. And the time of day is also very important when you’re choosing a location and what you’re gonna shoot. The best times of day, for me, I like to shoot early in the morning or in the evening to later at night. Early in the morning and the evening because the light is usually the softest. The sun hasn’t come all the way up, the light isn’t harsh yet, the colors are usually really, really nice, and in the evening, you get that nice sunset, you’ve got golden hour right after sunset where that residual light is still kind of illuminating the sky. You’re not gonna have any shadows, but the colors you’re gonna get are gonna pop significantly better than they would if you were shooting at 12:00 or 1:00 pm on a really sunny day. Okay, so to wrap it up, we want good light. Find that window light or set up some studio lights. We wanna have good music. We wanna edit to the beat. We wanna keep those sound effects in mind for ambient noise. We wanna know our editing software so that we know what shots we wanna get when we come back and edit. We wanna pick good locations, good time of day, and we wanna keep motion in mind with our shots.
Try these tips. If you’re filming anything in the next couple of days, change up the location, change the time of day, film it near a window, look up a little bit more on your editing software and learn how to do a couple extra nifty things and think about those things when you’re shooting. Your stuff’s gonna go through the roof right away. I 100% guarantee it. So thanks for hanging out, guys. Hit that like button, share if you aren’t already. And, and, I’ll see you guys in the next aritcles. It’s gonna be a busy week.