Even great ideas or scripts for videos can end up looking distinctly amateurish without the right experience. Here’s how to make your videos look more professional.

Don’t take shortcuts on the preproduction

Making your videos look more professional starts with the preproduction. Creating a script, storyboard and shot list are vital preparations that give structure not just to your video but the production itself, preventing you from going over time or over budget by improvising on set. If you know what you’re shooting and when, it puts you in a much better position to create a professional video.

Use proper sets and locations

Unless you are shooting a behind the scenes or brand video, then your office is not likely to be the most convincing setting for your video. Unless your script calls for a workplace setting, your video will look much more professional by either hiring a location or by recreating the setting in a studio.

Wherever you shoot your video, be aware of the space you have so that you can manoeuvre the camera and get all the shots you have planned, otherwise you’ll be stuck with close-ups exclusively. Also, make sure that you are shooting against a clean backdrop; a messy background can be distracting and take the viewer’s attention away from the action.

Use professional actors rather than just your employees

Your employees may be an affordable option for the actors in your video, but they are often not the best choice if you want to make your videos look more professional, particularly if dialogue is involved. Professional actors will make your script come to life in a much more convincing way, without the dialogue sounding too forced or wooden.

The exception to this is if you are shooting a behind-the-scenes video or even a product demo, when your employees are in their comfort zones and can share their knowledge without it being too much of a ‘performance’.

Make proper use of lighting

Proper use of lighting can make your videos look much more professional. This will likely mean hiring set lighting, as the standard overhead lights may make the scene bright enough but won’t allow you to play with light and shadow in a way that creates a cinematic look. Good on-set lighting also gives the editor more to work with when it comes to colour correction and grading.

Use high-quality recording equipment, not just handheld smartphones

Proper videography equipment, particularly a camera and a dedicated audio recording device are key in making your videos look more professional. The clarity of the sound and the richness of the images they produce are on another level to even the best smartphones.

Smartphones these days do have much better cameras than they have had previously, so you could do worse if you really don’t have the budget to hire videography equipment or a professional videographer. However, make sure you are adept with all the video settings and make use of stabilising equipment such as tripods or Steadicams to make any movements (or lack of) look more professional.

Frame shots using the rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a film composition principle for framing shots in a professional and aesthetically-pleasing way. Imagine there is a 3×3 grid over the image you are framing (many digital cameras have a grid display that can be toggled on or off) and try to place the subjects in your shot along the lines of the grid. The places where the lines intersect are the strongest points of focus, so try and place the action of the scene there.

Use multiple angles

Using multiple angles will make your videos look more professional than sticking with the same static shots. Different shots work best for conveying different types of scenes or action, but try and include wide shots, mid shots and close-ups, as well as some basic movements such as tracking and panning shots. If you can shoot entire scenes from multiple angles, it gives the editor more to work with and ensures smoother cuts.

Use proper editing software

Just as you can’t skip over the preproduction process, you need to invest in postproduction as well. Good editing software that allows you not just to cut shots together and add music, but also to alter the colours and exposure, work with multiple video and audio tracks and impose various transitions. This gives you all the tools to pull your video together and can be the difference between an amateur and professional-looking video.

Hire a professional videographer who can handle all of the above

If you want to make your videos look more professional, then this really is the best and only tip you need – hire professionals. This way, you don’t need to worry about any of the technical aspects of making your video look professional, you can take it as a given. Trusted professional videographers will be able to assist you with the entire process, from the initial planning and scripting phase to the final audience-ready video.

If you are looking for professional videography or editing services, please get in touch and see how we can help.