If you look around this site you’ll no doubt notice my face popping up from time to time. I wanted to make video a large part of what I do, not just for the initial launch, but moving forward.
I feel video is a great way for an author to reach out to their readers. It adds a new dimension, a new way to connect, and a different angle to your author platform. It might not be up your street, but then again, maybe it is.
I’m by no means an expert when it comes to shooting or editing video, and was a complete novice when it came to lighting. However, I feel I’m a perfect example of how anybody can shoot decent videos with a little further reading, trial and error, and modest investment.
Below you’ll see a video (on my iPhone, so excuse the shaky camera work) explaining my set up. I suggest watching it (8 minutes long) as I go through everything I use, what you need, and what I plan to improve in the future.
If you don’t want to see my face on camera, though, scroll on down and I’ll provide you with some links for the things I used, and resources that helped.
Hopefully you’v now watched the video, but if not, don’t worry. I now want to offer you the links to what I used, and a brief descriptions about what it all means…
I purchased a Cannon 600D, which cost me slightly over £400. I wanted a camera that would shoot both video and take pictures, and wanted the quality to be high.
I did some research, compared cameras, and asked some friends. In the end the Cannon 600D was the best option, both for price and function.
I set up a mini studio in my apartment (for both cost and logistics), which meant lighting was a consideration. I wanted to shoot videos with a crisp, white background, so there were a few things I needed.
First up was the a plain white sheet. I bought one from Amazon for £15, and overall it does a great job. I hang it from my ceiling when it’s not in use (see video) and comes in handy for videos, photos, and Skype conversations. Well worth the money.
Then came the lights. After doing some research, I came to the conclusion of needing some directional lights, and some backlit lights. For the front lights I bought a simple mounted light (which clips onto the camera) for £15 and a table/floor light (£30). These are positioned in front of me, and therefore light the face. I love both of these and considering buying more in the future.
The backlit lights are bigger and come at a much larger cost. Budget was key, so I went with a standard set up for £75, and although it does the job, I’ll need further investment some day.
Overall, I’m happy with my set up to begin with, and although I need to add to this collection in the future, it’s given me great value for under £150.
There were loads of places I turned to for help. The Internet is full of advice, and the best thing I can suggest is spending some time searching for videos, blogs, and articles. To get you started, here are a few that were helpful for me:
As you’ll see in the video, there are certain things I intend to improve in the future. I’m happy with my videos, but always looking to improve. These improvements include:
- Better Backlit Lights
- More Camera Mount Lights
- Invest in a Black sheet to minimise natural light
- Improve Audio with something like this
I hope this helps you in your quest for Author Stardom. I’m by no means an expert, but feel video can have huge benefits for Writers. It connects you with your readers and helps showcase your voice.
What do you think?
Can you become a Youtube King or Queen?
Do you use Video in your Author Platform?
Share your thoughts below…
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million