Shoot­ing video is real mag­ic. This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­vey your thoughts and feel­ings to the world. But from an idea to a fin­ished prod­uct is a long and thorny path. You need to think through every­thing to the small­est detail, care­ful­ly plan the process, shoot parts of the video and process the mate­r­i­al. If you want to make a beau­ti­ful video, check out our guide for begin­ners. We have described all the impor­tant points in this arti­cle.

Shoot­ing a video is a seri­ous job that requires a whole team. Pho­to: fool.com

Action plan
Sto­ry­board for oper­a­tor
Shoot­ing video
Size of plans and their com­bi­na­tion
Objects in the frame
How to set up a cam­era
Cam­era move­ment
Do-it-your­self video edit­ing on a PC

How to start shooting a video: a plan of action

  • Come up with an idea and a goal (what you need to show the view­er).
  • Define your bud­get and under­stand your options. For exam­ple: there is no mon­ey for cos­tumes, but we can sew them our­selves, and we will rent a cam­era.
  • Assem­ble a team. Min­i­mum: screen­writer, direc­tor, cam­era­man (video + sound), actors. Bet­ter to hire pro­fes­sion­als. If it is too expen­sive, you can call those who have the appro­pri­ate skills. For exam­ple, a per­son has com­plet­ed the­ater cours­es or is engaged in ama­teur pho­tog­ra­phy.
  • Write a script.
  • Decide on the actors, cos­tumes, film sets.
  • Make a plan for the oper­a­tor. Pre­scribe in advance his move­ments or what kind of plan (large, medi­um, gen­er­al, etc.) will be at a par­tic­u­lar moment. A clear sys­tem­ati­za­tion of actions helps even pro­fes­sion­als. For a begin­ner, this is gen­er­al­ly nec­es­sary so that the video does not turn out to be chaot­ic.
  • Buy or rent equip­ment. What you need is described below.
  • Select dates and times for shoot­ing.
  • Remove all videos.
  • Cre­ate a video edit­ing plan
  • Mount roller.


What kind of video to make to please the audi­ence is a pop­u­lar ques­tion. Every­thing depends on the goal. What is the roller for? For exam­ple: to post it on a pop­u­lar plat­form (YouTube, Tik­Tok, etc.), as a gift (for a wed­ding, birth­day). Or maybe you decid­ed to make a video for a young tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion.

Video may vary. For exam­ple:

  • edu­ca­tors — it is impor­tant to talk about what is close and under­stand­able. Incom­pe­tence will be quick­ly exposed by the audi­ence;
  • a review of a prod­uct, a prod­uct;
  • adver­tis­ing;
  • in the form of an inter­view.

Video idea selec­tion cri­te­ria:

- the real­i­ty of the incar­na­tion. For exam­ple: you want to film a flight in a hot air bal­loon, but now it is win­ter and it is impos­si­ble to orga­nize it. Instead, you can cap­ture a trip on skis, snow­board;

- rel­e­vance. Impor­tant for both com­mer­cial and cre­ative videos. For exam­ple, in 2022 it will be more appro­pri­ate to make a video about the new series “House of the Drag­on” than about the “Game of Thrones” released in 2019;

- com­pli­ance with the inter­ests of the tar­get audi­ence (CA). For exam­ple: a cat own­er will be inter­est­ed to learn about pet nutri­tion, hair care. And for a teenag­er who is fond of shoot­ing video, about cool film effects.

Impor­tant: the video should have an idea, a clear main idea. For exam­ple: the prod­uct of this com­pa­ny is worth try­ing, this coun­try is not suit­able for win­ter hol­i­days. Pho­to: rollingstone.com


A well-thought-out plot is need­ed not only for series, films or short films. Even adver­tis­ing has a script. Great if the bud­get is enough for a pro­fes­sion­al screen­writer.

But if you need to make a video on YouTube (or anoth­er plat­form) your­self, it is impor­tant to remem­ber that you need:

  • plot — some­thing hap­pens and attracts the view­er;
  • devel­op­ment of the plot — we talk more about what attract­ed the view­er;
  • cli­max — the peak of pas­sions;
  • denoue­ment is the result.

It’s a good idea to find pop­u­lar videos with a sim­i­lar theme. You can peek:

  • chips that attract the view­er;
  • win­ning angle, man­ner of pre­sent­ing the mate­r­i­al.

We do not encour­age copy­ing. But it is impor­tant for a begin­ner to eval­u­ate the strengths and weak­ness­es of oth­ers, to notice the best. This will help to avoid mis­takes and imme­di­ate­ly do well.

Ques­tions to help devel­op the con­cept of the video:

  • Who is this mate­r­i­al for?
  • what actions he should push, what emo­tions to evoke;
  • how to evoke the expect­ed reac­tion in the view­er (with the help of light, sounds, phras­es of actors, voice-over).

With this can­vas, you can write a short and capa­cious script from scratch.

An inter­est­ing, capa­cious and dynam­ic script is half the bat­tle. Pho­to: uclaextension.edu

The next step — choose a place for shoot­ing and cos­tumes. For YouTube, a video can be record­ed in a spe­cial stu­dio or at home. But for a short film and a full-fledged film, more seri­ous scenery is need­ed: a spe­cial pavil­ion or an open area. Clothes can be rent­ed, sewn, bought or cho­sen from your wardrobe.

Storyboard for operator

To make a high-qual­i­ty video, it is not enough just to pick up a cam­era and start shoot­ing. Sto­ry­board — help the oper­a­tor and the whole team. Even a schemat­ic draw­ing will help to under­stand:

  • what frame is it?
  • what should be in it.

Read also:

Sto­ry­board for a pho­tog­ra­ph­er: what it is, how and where to do it



How to make a video with your own hands and what to shoot it with is one of the main ques­tions. The qual­i­ty of the pic­ture and the puri­ty of the sound depend on the equip­ment. When choos­ing a cam­era, pro­ceed from:

  • tasks (it makes no sense to buy equip­ment for 500 thou­sand for one short ama­teur video);
  • acces­si­bil­i­ty. For exam­ple, is it pos­si­ble to buy or rent such a cam­era in your city.

You can take a pro­fes­sion­al cam­corder (Canon EOS C300 Mark III) or a cam­era with a video record­ing func­tion (Nikon D500). The main thing is that the equip­ment copes with the task.

Good cam­eras for video were dis­cussed in a sep­a­rate arti­cle. We rec­om­mend to pay atten­tion to such mod­els: Pana­son­ic Lumix DC-GH5 Body, Black­mag­ic Design URSA Mini Pro G2. If you are look­ing for a bud­get option — Pana­son­ic HC-VX1.

The choice of cam­era should be tak­en seri­ous­ly. Pho­to: zekidemirkubuz.com


The type of equip­ment depends on the loca­tion, time of shoot­ing and bud­get. If there is lit­tle mon­ey, and the action of the video takes place on the street, a reflec­tor is enough. It is not need­ed for dynam­ic scenes, but for sta­t­ic shoot­ing of the host or main char­ac­ter, it will help to cor­rect the shad­ows.

Uni­ver­sal set of light­ing equip­ment:

– 2 monoblocks with racks;

– 2 light mod­i­fiers;

- a set of reflec­tors 5in1 80 cm in diam­e­ter (uni­ver­sal ver­sion).

This set is more rel­e­vant for work­ing in the stu­dio, but the light with mod­i­fiers will come in handy on the street. For exam­ple, if the shoot­ing takes place in the evening or there is not enough light­ing. You can add dif­fer­ent equip­ment to this set:

  • col­ored gel fil­ters;
  • equip­ment for spe­cial effects (fan, smoke machine, etc.).

Read also:

Noz­zles for stu­dio light: what are and how to use. Detailed guide

How to use col­or fil­ters for stu­dio light­ing — dia­grams

Smoke machine: how to use, life hacks


High-qual­i­ty record­ed sound is half the suc­cess of a video. For blogs, reviews, you can choose USB and XLR micro­phones. For exam­ple: Rode Pod­cast­er, Elec­tro-Voice RE20.

For shoot­ing inter­views on the street — radio loop sys­tems, recorders (in this case, you will have to mix video and sound sep­a­rate­ly). For exam­ple: Sennheis­er EW 112P G4‑A, Zoom H1n.

Can­non mics can also be used. They pro­vide high qual­i­ty sound, they can be mount­ed on the cam­era or on a spe­cial stand. For exam­ple: Rode VideoM­ic Pro Rycote.

Details about micro­phones and how to choose the right one are described in a sep­a­rate arti­cle.

The Rode micro­phone can be mount­ed on the cam­era. This is con­ve­nient — you do not need a per­son who will addi­tion­al­ly con­trol the sound. Pho­to: the-wunder-store.com

Tripod, stabilizer or monopod

They help save the frame from the shak­ing of the oper­a­tor’s hands, make the pic­ture sta­t­ic. And they allow you to cre­ate many inter­est­ing effects. For exam­ple: sim­u­late a drone shot or apply unusu­al tran­si­tions (from the chest, with over­lap or soft focus). How to shoot a cool video using a mono­pod or sta­bi­liz­er has already been described in the blog.

Read also:

How to use a cam­era mono­pod

How to shoot with a sta­bi­liz­er — tricks for film effects


It will be need­ed in two cas­es:

  • shoot for a blog at home or in the stu­dio. Then you can choose any plain back­ground;
  • decid­ed to make a video using com­put­er graph­ics. In this case, you need a chro­ma key.

Read also:

How to choose a chro­ma key

Shooting video

It is not enough to buy an expen­sive cam­era to make a beau­ti­ful and high-qual­i­ty video. The cor­rect oper­a­tion of the oper­a­tor is impor­tant. In this block, we will talk about the use­ful basics of shoot­ing.

Size of plans and their combination

Accord­ing to Kuleshov (the first per­son in the film indus­try who sys­tem­atized the size of shots), there are 6 types of size:

- “detail” - empha­sis on a small object, part of an object or body. To draw atten­tion to a sig­nif­i­cant detail;

- large — a large por­trait. There is a small space above the head, only the top of the shoul­ders is vis­i­ble from below. To con­vey emo­tion, cre­ate con­tact with the view­er;

- medi­um chest (the first) - a per­son is vis­i­ble from the waist;

- aver­age (sec­ond) — a per­son is filmed above the knees, but below the hips. The mid­dle ones (first and sec­ond) are suit­able for dia­logues;

- gen­er­al — the hero is seen in its entire­ty. There are small gaps above and below it. For dynam­ic scenes: chase, com­pe­ti­tion, danc­ing, fight;

- fur­ther. The hero is part of the big pic­ture. You can show the sit­u­a­tion in which it is locat­ed.

The size of the plans for Kuleshov. Pho­to: www.pinterest.nz

The com­bi­na­tion of plans “through one” looks har­mo­nious. For exam­ple: gen­er­al + medi­um chest, large + medi­um. The excep­tion is dis­tant and gen­er­al: they go well with any options.

Objects in the frame

There are sev­er­al famil­iar mod­els for plac­ing char­ac­ters in the frame:

- rule of thirds. It is enough to turn on the “grid” in the cam­era and 3 lines divide the screen into 9 parts. It is believed that objects should be placed on lines or their inter­sec­tions. It is these areas that draw the view­er’s atten­tion;

- cen­tral loca­tion. It should be used care­ful­ly when you real­ly need to attract the max­i­mum atten­tion of the view­er. If you use the tech­nique con­stant­ly, the pic­ture will be very heavy;

- right — for­ward, left — back. If some­thing moves to the right, peo­ple usu­al­ly per­ceive it as mov­ing for­ward. And if the object moves to the left, it returns;

- space in front of a mov­ing object. If we show the move­ment of the hero, then there should be more space in front of him than behind him. Oth­er­wise, the view­er will expe­ri­ence dis­com­fort when view­ing.

The rule of thirds is impor­tant in both pho­tog­ra­phy and video. Pho­to: behance.net

How to set up a camera

How can you make an excit­ing video? Choose the cor­rect cam­era posi­tion. After all, it depends on how the view­er per­ceives the pic­ture. Com­mon options:

- high angle — shoot­ing from above shows the hero insignif­i­cant. Can be used for both dra­mat­ic scenes and com­e­dy;

- low angle — the frame below shows the majesty and epic nature of the object;

- dutch cor­ner — a hori­zon spe­cial­ly lit­tered with 10 or more degrees. You can con­vey the hero’s dis­ori­en­ta­tion, mad­ness, ten­sion;

- at the lev­el of the hero’s eyes — a clas­sic ver­sion that uses most of the video;

- POV (point of view) — on behalf of the hero. It involves the view­er as much as pos­si­ble, makes him a par­tic­i­pant in what is hap­pen­ing.

Read also:

Dutch cor­ner: what is it and how to use it

The Dutch angle is an inten­tion­al col­lapse of the hori­zon that makes the frame more inter­est­ing. Pho­to: descargandoxmega.com

Camera movement

Not only shoot­ing from dif­fer­ent angles helps to con­vey dynam­ics and mood. This also uses cam­era move­ment. We rec­om­mend using a sta­bi­liz­er to make it smooth.

Pop­u­lar move­ments:

- col­li­sion — zoom­ing the cam­era to the hero. Can be slow, fast. Depend­ing on the con­text and speed, it con­veys dif­fer­ent emo­tions: dra­ma, anx­i­ety, hor­ror, etc.;

- depar­ture — dis­tance of the cam­era from the hero. You can show the scope of events, the envi­ron­ment or aloof­ness;

- slip - we pass by the object. Adds more dynam­ics;

- upwards — you can switch the view­er’s atten­tion, show him the char­ac­ter in detail;

- fol­low­ing — the cam­era moves with the object (behind, front, side). The pic­ture becomes dynam­ic, and the view­er seems to be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the process. A pop­u­lar exam­ple is fol­low­ing Dr. House and his team through the cor­ri­dors;

- pan — rota­tion of the cam­era around its axis. You can switch atten­tion from one object to anoth­er, make the moment epic.

The cam­era chas­ing the char­ac­ters takes the view­er to the set. Pho­to: bitsofada.wordpress.com

Do-it-yourself video editing on a PC

In the work, you can use free and paid pro­grams for video edit­ing. But before that, you need to make a plan. It will help to cor­rect­ly assem­ble the whole video from dif­fer­ent pieces. An exam­ple of table columns for a plan:

  • frame no.
  • time (from…to);
  • fine­ness;
  • sound;
  • descrip­tion.

The next step is to col­lect and orga­nize all the edit­ed videos. They can be num­bered and giv­en names.

The third step is to pre­pare addi­tion­al mate­r­i­al: voice-over, sub­ti­tles, cap­tions.

After that, you can get to work. You have to cut (if nec­es­sary) frag­ments of the video, glue them togeth­er, equal­ize the vol­ume of the sound, add music.

What app do you use to make videos? You can use the free options. For exam­ple:

- shot­cut — a full-fledged video edi­tor with a sim­ple inter­face in Russ­ian. You can apply fil­ters to sound and video, add text, logo, tran­si­tions and do col­or cor­rec­tion;

- DaVin­ci Resolve — a pro­gram for edit­ing, which will allow you to cre­ate a pro­fes­sion­al video. You can apply visu­al and sound effects, do col­or cor­rec­tion and sound pro­cess­ing. There is a paid ver­sion for 18,000 rubles, where more func­tions and effects are avail­able. But the free ver­sion is enough to make a video with music and tran­si­tions.

We hope that our guide will help you make a cool video that will impress the view­ers.