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Tips and tools for video editing and recording

There's no need for a professional setup to get top-quality recordings. Take a look at these top tips, tricks, and tools to learn how to achieve professional-quality videoasks on a minimal budget.

If you've got your own recording process down to a tee, but you're struggling to get testimonial-quality recordings from your respondents, check out this article on how to manage the quality of your video responses.

Recording tips

Good natural light is your best friend: This is key and doesn't cost a dime! If it's available, natural light will work wonders on your recordings. Try filming with a window directly behind your camera to avoid any unwanted shadows and to ensure balanced, even lighting across your face.

Supplement natural light with warm, lit lamps if needed. Avoid fluorescent, overhead lighting as it can leave you looking washed-out.

Here's an example of a recording making the most of natural light from a window directly behind Andrew's camera:

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And here's an example of a video filmed with the same equipment at the same time of day, but in a darker room with no natural light:

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Find a quiet location: This might sound obvious but it's crucial for the perfect recording. Before starting to film, pick a spot where you'll be free from unwanted distractions or car horns honking in the background. 

Act natural and be genuine: If you're not used to being on camera it can feel a little awkward, especially at first. The more you practice the easier it gets and the more confident you'll become. Don't worry if you trip over your words a little, or things don't come out exactly as you planned. You're human and your audience will appreciate your genuineness. 

💡 Tip: Use the notes feature to jot down the key things you'll be covering in your video. We recommend keeping these notes brief and using them only as a prompt. You want to sound like you're addressing your viewers naturally, not like you're reading from a script.

Keep your eyes on the camera: Make sure you keep your eyes on the camera as you speak. If you're looking down at your screen your audience won't feel connected with you and you'll quickly lose their engagement. If you're struggling to maintain eye contact with the camera, try placing a mirror directly behind it and looking yourself in the eye!

Here's an example of Jeremy looking directly at the camera to address his respondents:

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But here he's not maintaining eye contact with the camera and is more likely to lose his respondents' attention:

2021-11-15_16-16-09.pngThe perfect backdrop: Your background choice can depend a lot on the type of image you're trying to convey, and it's worth playing around with your setup to see what works best for you. If you want to play it safe, avoid distracting colors and patterns and stick to neutral shades.

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💡Tip: Consider creating a DIY green screen if you're planning on adding effects and background images after recording.

Place yourself in the center of the frame: Aim to have your nose in the center of the frame. This will ensure that no matter the size of the window your videoask is being viewed on, the main action will always be captured.

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This is important because VideoAsk dynamically crops your videos depending on the size of the viewer's window or device.

As a general rule of thumb, it's always best to upload in Full HD landscape mode (1920x1080 px) to cover all cases. 

The tools

Camera and microphone: You don't need to invest in expensive equipment to achieve expensive-looking recordings. We recommend steering clear of your laptop's in-built camera in favor of the rear-facing camera on your phone (it's nearly always much better quality than the front-facing camera). We love the Camo app that allows you to use your phone as a webcam.

Alternatively, you might want to invest in an external webcam. For example, most of our Support team uses the Logitech Brio 4k

If you're looking for something even more professional-looking that won't break the bank, consider using a DSLR camera with an external microphone like Rode.

That's what we used to film the footage for our VideoAsk templates:

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Filters: Check out Snap Camera to add fun lenses and filters to your videos.

Screen recording and editing: If you're going to be recording your videos outside of VideoAsk, take a look at Wistia Soapbox or Descript for screen recording and editing tools. Once you're happy with how everything looks, use our Wistia integration or Descript integration to export your video directly to VideoAsk in a few simple clicks.

Alternatively, take a look at the Videoleap Editor app to apply a green screen, add effects, and edit footage, all from your phone.

💡 Tip: Download the VideoAsk iOS app to create and edit videoasks directly from your iPhone.

➡️ Head over to our recording and uploading FAQ for more tips and answers to your most common questions.

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