VIDEO KIT: Your essential kit-out-your-team-for-video-for-around-sixty-quid guide

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Cost has always been a factor in helping to train comms people into how best to use video.

Gone are the days when a video production company could come and shoot a five grand video for a conference of fifty people.

Sure, there’s still a place for an externally-made video. But when you have the technology on your smartphone that’s in your pocket the smart thing to do is to look at ways to use that.

Over the past three years, myself and my colleague Steven Davies have trained more than 1,000 people. It has been a delight. Often people think the kit will be expensive. Not true. You can just use your phone or tablet if you like. But for a small investment you can improve what you do.

The sixty quid kit

If you have a device and you want the basics, a Rode clip-on microphone and a mobile phone tripod will cost you around £60. That’s roughly an Americano a day for a month. But if you want some extras, you can pay your money and take your choice.

A tablet or mobile

You can get a video camera if you must. But then you have the faff of keeping it charged, keeping it in a place where people can find it and hope that people will remember how to use it. Or you could use a smartphone or tablet. You are more likely to have that with you, have it charged and know what the buttons do.

Use your own phone if you can or your office device. But don’t use Windows or Blackberry. There isn’t the editing or social media software for them.

If money is no object, I’d reckon my colleague Steven suggest a Google Pixel 2 phone. Cost: Around £700.
Pixel 2 Phone (2017) by Google, G011A 64GB, 5″ inch SIM-free Factory Unlocked Android 4G/LTE Smartphone (Just Black)

I’d recommend a Samsung Galaxy S7. Cost: Around £400.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 32 GB SIM-Free Smartphone – Black

Or if you are after a tablet, the ipad will suffice. Cost: Around £300.

Apple iPad 9.7″ 2017 32GB Wi-Fi – Space Grey

Sound and shooting extras

A tripod is a good idea. A pocket one will work just fine. Cost: around £10.

Rhodesy Octopus Style Tripod Stand Holder for Camera, Any Smartphone with Clip

A Rode Smartlav clip-on microphone is handy to improve noise and has been roadtested by Steven. Cost: Around £50.

Rode Smartlav+ Lavalier Microphone for Smartphone

As an optional extra, a cable extension for the Rode Smartlav clip-on mic is an idea. Cost around £18.

Rode SC1 Cable

Shooting video can be a drain on your phone battery. So, a powerbank you can plug in to top-up your charge is always a good idea.

Anker PowerCore 10000, One of the Smallest and Lightest 10000mAh External Batteries, Ultra-Compact, High-speed Charging Technology Power Bank for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and More

Editing

You’ve a choice of editing software. For ios, you can use imovie which is free. Or you can go for kinemaster which is ios or android. There is a free version. That’ll do great things and if you can live with the kinemaster logo in the top right corner even better. But the Pro version gives you extra resources to draw from and is worth it, frankly. You can get it for £23.25 a year if you pay upfront or about £3 a month pay-as-you-go. Cost: From free to up to £23.25 a year.

Music

There are sound libraries available that charge a subscription. But there are also creative commons options which allow you to use for free so long as you fulfil some simple criteria. Crediting at the end, for example, is common. I’ve blogged about this here. Cost: free.

Workshops

Our workshops help you to plan, shoot, edit, add music and text and post at the right length and in the right place. Give me a shout for more @danslee on Twitter or dan@comms2point0.co.uk.

ESSENTIAL VIDEO SKILLS FOR COMMS

Birmingham on January 22. More here.
Manchester on January 24. More here.
London on February 1. More here.

SKILLS YOU’LL NEED FOR LIVE VIDEO

London on February 2. More here.

Pic credit: Kurt Clark / Flickr



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