How to Film a Recruitment Video Yourself – Lights. Camera. Action!

For decades, video has been a prominent medium used by businesses to engage with customers and consumers. Let’s not forget that even in the 1960s and 70s, corporate videos in some form were being filmed using film or reel, and distributed via Television adverts. Fast forward to today with the digital age in full flow and corporate/recruitment videos are now commonly distributed across the internet, and filmed in 4K. The common standard now rivals what was once considered ‘professional’.

Whether you’re looking to create videos to advertise jobs or show someone what your company’s culture is like, the basics remain the same.

Being knowledgeable in video production is a skill can take years to master. But to create a great recruitment video you don’t need to be a master. You can easily create a successful, attractive and captivating video in a quiet, unused corner of your office, armed only with a camera, a set of lights, microphones and a couple of tripods – and you don’t need to re-mortgage to do it.

The Camera

Obviously a camera is the first place to start when you’re looking to create a recruitment video. Researching the right camera has become even more confusing with the emergence of Ultra-High Definition technology (4K), but try not to get drawn in by the capabilities of a 4K camera. The average cost of one of these cameras can vary between $3,000 and $30,000 upwards, but a 4K camera isn’t necessary for what you’re looking to do. Stick to the basics and choose a simple 1080p (Full HD) camera, which will still give you great looking shots.

If you’re looking to buy a 1080p camera, there are plenty of options available to you. But it’s important to stick to the right brands. Sony, Canon and Panasonic are the top three and for good reason. The perfect video camera for beginners is a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR). The prices for a decent DLSR camera sit at just under $1,000, but for a little more you can get something similar to this.

A complete alternative to any of the aforementioned cameras is an up to date smartphone (iPhone or Android). Nowadays these have superior camera lenses to a lot of three-year-old professional video cameras. Do bear in mind however, that with a smartphone you will lose some of the capabilities of a standard camera, such as being able to adjust the focus of a shot.

Accessorise Your Camera – Tripod

Camera accessories are a must and there are hundreds of upgrades you can buy. One of the most important is the tripod. What may surprise you is that tripods are relatively expensive, but unfortunately they are a necessity to ensure your shot is stable and doesn’t look like something from a 1990s hand-held horror film! Prices for a good tripod can range from $100 to $450, although there isn’t a great amount of difference between the middle and high end. Key elements to look for are that is is easy to make level and the height can be quickly adjusted.

If you’re considering using an iPhone or Android phone there are an abundance of custom tripods you can choose from, with most costing less than $100. There are also adapter plates which fit onto common tripods. These can allow you to take advantage of the height and flexibility that often comes with a professional tripod.

Lighting

When choosing lights, you’ll find that your choice is essentially which LED light to choose from. Due to being safer and easier to use than Tungsten lights, LED’s have now become the industry standard for video. When it comes to lighting your set or shoot, more is always better. Using one light can often mean your background is too dark. We recommend a LED panel light kit, with at least two lights, or three if you can. This will allow you to light your subject from the front and back, as well as lighting up your background to really make things pop.

Whilst cheaper LED’s can be tempting, paying a few hundred extra dollars will most definitely pay dividends.

Microphones

Most video cameras come with a built-in microphone, but the quality is often not up to professional standard. Poor sound can risk your viewer immediately switching off and your production becoming redundant, so ensure to invest in a good microphone.

Your options for a decent microphone are extensive. The most commonly used forms of microphones are Lapel or Boom/Shotgun. Lapel microphones are best if you don’t mind the microphone being on show and are only filming one subject at a time. If you’re looking to film multiple people at the same or don’t wish your viewer to see the microphone, use a boom/shotgun.

  • A plug in Lavalier microphone which can be plugged into a second smart device. Just bear in mind the audio and video will then need to be synchronised during the edit.
  • An iRig hand-held microphone you’ll need to get a long cable or again use a second device.

Editing Software

There’s good news when it comes to editing software, as some of the basic tools are free, such as applications like iMovie (Mac) and Movie Maker (Windows), and Camtasia, which is an affordable premium product.

Above this are the Adobe products that most video editors use. Premiere Pro is Adobe’s main video editing software, but After Effects, which is used to create special effects and animations is also very useful. Adobe’s pricing plans allow users to purchase one app each time for AU$22.99 per month or complete product packages (Creative Cloud) for those looking to broaden their creative skills. Premiere Pro offer thousands of paid and free tutorials, but even for the tech savvy user, it will take a lot of time to master the basics.

The alternative to this is to film the recruitment video yourself and then outsource the editing to an agency. By doing this not only can you ensure your footage will be put together professionally but the agency can also create branded intros, text pop-ups and outros that will really make your video stand out. You could also try any one of a variety of online video tools that will provide basic editing options.

In Summary

When you’re looking for kit for your video production, there are always ways to save money. However, be mindful that in this industry, it’s often the case that the lower the cost of something, the lower its quality and capabilities are. It’s always a good idea to seek advice before you purchase equipment or sign agreements with third party suppliers. If you find yourself in this situation please feel free to get in touch, we’re always happy to share our expertise.