Capturing video doesnt cost the earth, you've probably got what you need right now

The equipment you need is probably staring at you, if you're reading this off a screen that was made in the last 5 years ... chances are its got a camera with it as well, your laptop / phone / tablet, even your old digital camera will suffice ...  Think of all of the ridiculous, very poor quality videos that have gone viral they still conveyed the message (as poor as it was in most instances).
Recording video doesn't need to be expensive, you don't need to have amazing quality footage to convey a message ... as long as the content is good, they will see past the quality of the video! Stop letting perfect get in the way of better and get going with what you've got.


If you've got a camera phone ... that will do. If you've got a fairly modern smartphone, you've got near broadcast quality, even the audio that's recorded off them is amazing these days. Did you know that a lot of the video on the Oscar winning documentary Searching for Sugarman was actually filmed on a mobile phone (if you havent seen it, I highly recommend it). That's all I use, here's an example of one I made completely using my phone. The great thing about using your phone is that you can instantly capture stuff, creating masses of content that you can edit at a later stage. It's also a lot less intrusive than "proper" video cameras. There's also a plethora of software/apps out there that helps to edit it. Got a shaky hand, theres an easy way around that too. There's free software to take away the shakes, this guide by Digital Life - The Sydney Morning Herald gives you a good overview on how.
Want to take it a step further? Get your phone onto a tripod with these (I love them both!):

The Joby GripTight Mount for cameraphones


This little guy is how you tripod mount your phone, insanely useful and very quick to attach. The grip is spring loaded so you can quickly "snap" it into position. Its easy to attach to your keyring, and more than small enough to fit in your pocket. I actually keep mine permanently attached to my gorrilapod (the next item) ... to allow for "quickdraw" video recording! Its not quite small enough to stick in your pocket, but will easily fit into a bag.


The Joby Griptight Gorrilapod Stand for smartphones

This combination is the daddy if you don't have a tripod to mount your phone to.  This pack comes with both the griptight and the gorrilapod (obviously both can be purchased separately but this option is cheaper). The gorrilapod works like a tripod but it can be wrapped around things too, so you can attach it to quite a lot of stuff. Joby also offer a magnetic legs version, which means you can "attach" it to metal parts, but beware. I purchased it, thinking it would be useful, took it on holiday and packed it with all of the rest of my stuff, near my memory sticks ... and it wiped everything off them! (if you didn't know, strong magnets and memory devices don't go well together). I've since purchased a non magnetic gorillapod and use it all the time. 




 If a lot of the services / products you promote is computer based, screen capture some of the work you do! There is a lot of free software about to help you do that, the one I use is screen capturer  it allows you to select the region, window or screen you want to record, and its very simple to use. The only thing you need to do for the freebie is provide a valid email address so you can receive the activation key.
Cam studio is good ... and I used to use it a lot, but I found the recent updates required a lot of tweaking before it captured the right amount of frames ... it does work well when you get it right, and there are a lot of youtube videos out there to help you get the settings right ... this one is probably the most thorough.

If a lot of the services / products you promote is computer based, screen capture some of the work you do!

Prezi is a great presentation tool, it moves away from the traditional power point style and uses some interesting panning rotating and zooming transitions in one very large image.  There's are some 3D options available if you want to take it a step further. The basic version is free to use, but it has a prezi watermark in the corner ... the paid for version removes this (I highly recommend it). One thing I find really annoying with it is that you cant actually download the presentation as a video ... you can screen capture the presentation rolling in 4 second  or 10 second delays ... but the problem with this is when you don't want a 4 second delay ... so you need to edit it out on the video.
Movie Maker - the most basic, but free software. No over complications ... it just does what it says of the tin. The drag and drop interface is very simple and intuitive, to add videos or images all you have to do is drag them in. Double click on what you've just dropped and it brings up the additional settings for that "section". You can pan and zoom your still images, speed up / slow down and trim your videos. You can add text in all the fonts you have in windows and even animate them. Exporting into most of the commonly accepted formats is very straightforward as well!
A few other recommendations I highly recommend signing up to (again, they're free!) ... I'll get into them in greater detail when I get chance to revisit this post. Drop box and Powtoon
oh ... and fiverr ... if you want a bit of narration (not free).
Don't want to do it yourself? I can put one together for you, have a look at some of the ones I've completed. 

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