10 Tips for Creating a Compelling Video
3 minute read

The Starting Point asked Middlebury-based video producer Demetrius Borges for advice on creating a do-it-yourself video if you are a student or small business owner on a budget. Here are his top 10 tips: 

Tip 1. Story first! No matter what type of equipment you do or don’t have, none of it will matter if you don’t have a compelling story. 

Tip 2. People second! Nice shots are great, cool music has its place, but ultimately it’s the emotion that drives the story. How can your audience relate to the people on the screen? How can you create a moment that will get people to connect emotionally to what’s going on?

Tip 3. Keep it short, keep it interesting. The shorter the better. I’m not saying skimp on story to accommodate length, but be ruthless in your edit. People are taking time out of their day to watch your video. Don’t waste their time because you got too caught up in your own abilities. It’s better to leave them wanting more than bored of your film.

Tip 4. Give them a reason to watch until the end. Your audience wants something to look forward to. They want a payoff. Set up your story from the beginning so your audience is compelled to watch your whole video, and be satisfied at the end.

Tip 5. You make a video three times. The first time is when you’re conceptualizing. What do you imagine this video will look like? How can you prepare yourself for your shoot to get as close as you can to your original concept? The second time you make a video is during production. No matter how well you prepare, something unexpected always happens. Perhaps you forget a piece of equipment or one of your actors doesn’t show up. That’s okay. The third and final time you make your film is when you get into post production, or editing. You ask yourself how can you take what you have and get it as close to your original concept? Perhaps you’ve found moments that lead to a better more compelling video. It’s a fluid and ever changing process. Don’t get so tied up in form at the cost of your own creativity.

Tip 6. Limitations breed creativity. Sure you don’t have a big fancy camera, or a multi thousand dollar budget, but that won’t stop you from making a good video. Lean into your creativity, and figure out cheap and practical ways to get your message across. Some of the best, most creative films were made on shoestring budgets.

Tip 7. Create from what you know. Draw from your own personal experiences and talents, and apply that to your video. If you like making short videos on TikTok, or YouTube, ask yourself how can you take what you’ve learned there and apply it to your video?

Tip 8. Does it really need to be a video? Making a video is an arduous process. Before you begin, ask yourself why it needs to be a video in the first place. What will the video accomplish that a photo, or blog post cannot?

Tip 9. Who is this for? Knowing your audience is a crucial part of the video making process. Will this be going to college students, business owners, or parents? Consider what information your audience already knows about your business, and what you can do to get them even more interested in it.

Tip.10 Don’t take yourself too seriously! Making videos is fun! It shouldn’t be a process that you dread. Be funny, be over-the-top, even be ridiculous. It’s supposed to be entertaining and informative. Set yourself apart from the boring talking head videos. 

About Demetrius Borges

Demetrius is a dynamic video creator, editor, storyteller, and business operations manager with a demonstrated background in finding the thread of an idea, developing it into a compelling concept, and delivering a polished and authentic video. He is adept at planning and completing high-quality, artistic shots & polished in implementing various editing techniques to enhance video production coupled with meticulous attention to detail. Demetrius offers 10 years of experience in artistic creations with an eye for executing each original & authentic project with client satisfaction in mind.

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