What Makes a Successful Video?

Most project creators struggle with taking enough action on their video, while there is still time to plan for a full fledged production. It can be hard to plan and shoot a video if you don’t know where to go or what to do, and it gets even worse if your pressuring yourself to have it on a quick time scale.

My advice:

Give yourself 4 weeks to make a great video, save money get better quality by renting equipment


Today's Lesson

  • Avoid the Mistake of Trying to “Cram it All in”
  • Make a schedule & arrange the pieces Do it all in 6-8 hours
  • Focus on Inspiration and Energy to Have A Great Crowdfunding Video
  • Your Video Needs to Cover 5 main "narrative" points
    • Issue / Pain-point
    • Your Project / Product
    • Project Reactions / Lessons learned from the solution/product?
    • Where are you at right now? What does the future hold?
    • Your Call to action
  • Find Background Music (search "popular") - audiojungle.com || premiumbeat.com
  • Film Equipment to Use in Making Your Video

Guided Video Tutorial

View examples from our past projects


Get the right DIY Equipment

we use more pro quality cameras & lenses at my Video PRoduction company,

but for low budget, the equip below is a really amazing place to start

Total Rent - $98
Tokina 16mm ($30 for 3 days) - this lens will blow your mind.  Try shooting backlit  (into the light source) for sweet lens flares. Get your wide establishers and action shots.
50mm lens ($10 for 3 days) *this lens changes everything.  Shoot f1.8-f2.8. Get  your closeups, cutaways and detail shots
Glidecam hd 1000 ($27 for 3 days)- use this with the Tokina and the 50 mm
*this takes handheld shots to the top quality (really, it's beyond imaginable how great this stabilizer is).  One of the tools that I use in 80-90% of my shots. Walk slow, even, and practice wide slow pans and follow shots, also great for stabilizing for closeups and or following characters as they move. Moving shots Make a video 10x more dynamic and interesting to watch. Combine this with "stabilize footage" in your editor for extra smooth shots.
Canon t5i camera body ($31 for 3 days).
Great looking camera image. Shoot manual exposure & manual focus (use zoom button to confirm focus),  iso 100-800, f1.8-3.5 (for background blur). Practice "pulling focus" on establishers & closeups

OR Purchase used *I promise you'll use them again:
Used canon t2i camera body   ($100-$200)  *best image per dollar in class
Used 50mm lens ($30-$100) *this lens really does change everything.

Audio tip for Interviews: use an iPhone in their shirt pocket.  Or get a nicer shotgun mic w/ internal recording. *whatever mic you use, make sure that it is much closer than the camera, positioned on a stand over their head, about 12" to 18" from the speakers mouth.  This is the BIGGEST THING to do to always have professional audio.

Plan Your Story & Production Day

Now lay out your message, your shots, your cast, & your locations

copy & paste the following framework to go big:

- - -


Your Project Name -

Campaign Video Production Document



Project Creator Interview Main Points (this is what you'll talk over during your interview, don't worry about an exact script, just have a long and natural 25 min interview and choose the right sentences during editing)



Who are the people you serve?  What are their needs?














Action Items:

-Schedule filming day for -Contact potential actress, look for availability

-Find male extra

-Practice speaking over “interview main points”


Written Video Story:

-"Somebody walks up and....then they discover X...and then someone (the founder or X) introduces us...to why they are having such an emotional reaction to the project..."

Detailed List of Visuals to be filmed on your production day:

-shot / environment / characters / their interactions
-someone playing with the project / experiencing your solution
-"day-in-the-life" documentary shots, 

- walking / entering and exiting the location
-an epic vista

Visuals to be sourced externally:

-advanced search "creative commons attribution" on vimeo and get FREE CONTENT for commercial use in your video (so long as you link back in the FAQ section)


Our Production Day:

August____  (Choose and schedule production day) -

Suburban House, etc, etc

{production start. Location 1 address: }

10:30 AM: Arrive and setup location for interview

11 AM: Main Voiceover / Project creator interview

12:30 PM:
{transfer to location 2, drive time: location 2 address:} 

1 PM: Additional Visuals scene 1

2 PM: Additional visuals scene 2

3PM: Additional visuals scene 3
{transfer to location 2, drive time: location 2 address:} 

4 PM: Addiditonal visuals scene 4



Ideas and plans for your video? Questions?

Enter your message in the comments below