One of the primary reasons for founding Vision House (besides the need for food) was to help non-profit organizations cast their vision.  We’ve been fortunate over the years to partner with some amazing ministries and we’re so thankful that God has allowed us to help them in some meaningful ways. And whenever possible, we provide deep discounts in order to make our work affordable, but in some cases our non-profit partners decide the timing isn’t quite right and they wait… and some of those, the bravest among them, decide to self-produce the work. This can be a great alternative and with enough effort it can yield some pretty great results. It isn’t for everyone, but if you have a knack for the work and can invest in some basic equipment you can be well on your way to making that fundraising video all by yourself! Some tips…

It is tough to teach the skills required to shoot and edit video (never-mind motion graphics!) but we have found a few videos with tips that are very practical and very easy to apply. It is all about the story you are telling, and these tips will help you be honest and focus on what’s most important.

PS – Why does the title say “Feature Camels”?  Well, watch the video and you’ll understand. It’s actually very good advice- there are 34 tips and examples in all:

How to make a video for non-profits (created for GlobalGiving) from What Took You So Long? on Vimeo.

In addition to these great shooting and editing tips, here are some other things to remember:

  1. Watch the sound quality. This is huge and when something isn’t right (echo, background noise, distortion) it is very distracting to your message.
  2. Lighting. Make sure that you have adequate light, and that you aren’t over-exposed with blown out areas in the image. It’s especially important that interviews have a key light and nice fill. You want something that adds a sparkle to their eyes while still looking natural and soft.
  3. Compositon. If at all possible, reduce the Depth of Field so you can channel the viewers attention to the subject matter that’s important to you.  Deep focus backgrounds can be distracting and detrimental to your goals.
  4. Keep It Steady. Camera shakes can ruin an otherwise beautiful shot. If you don’t have the gear to keep a camera steady then keep it on a tripod.

Other great examples of videos applying these principles: