Making a Great Video by student/videographer Yoichi

Making a Great Video 

By Yoichi Takahashi from Japan

CSLI student and videographer extraordinaire


Making a video – this could sound difficult. But for me it isn’t because I know it’s easy. If you know a few tips about video, then your skill will increase amazingly. Today I’m going to show you some tips to make videos. They are so useful and you can use them for a lifetime.


  1. Filming

Before you make a video, you have to film something. People film their life their own way but the video doesn’t look like the one filmed by a professional. Why does this happen? That is because people don’t know how to do it. These tips will be useful to film like a professional.

  • Equipment

You don’t have to prepare fancy equipment to start filming. We all have cellphones, I think that is enough. But if you have another device to film, that would be better.

[Recommended devices]

– iPhone


  • How to hold your cellphone

Many people hold their cellphone vertically when they film. I think that is not wrong but when you upload the film to YouTube, you’ll find out that it is wrong. Most displays are set horizontally. For example TVs, computer displays, YouTube…. If you film vertically and play with these displays, there will be a big blank area on both sides of your video. To prevent this, you have to hold your cellphone horizontally.

  • Film a lot!

Too much footage is not a bad thing. That means you’ll have a lot of options when you edit. You can remove the unnecessary parts later. Don’t be afraid of filming a lot. The best moment might come just after you stop filming.

  • Change your perspective

We all see the world from the same point – eyes. Views from eyes are almost the same as anybody. Which means it could be boring. If you hold your camera just in front of your chest, this angle could be normal. Change your camera position. Hold the camera higher or lower. Get closer to the object. Turn around when you film so that you can find a new perspective.

World can be seen differently by changing perspective!

  • Film Emotions

If you can make audience sympathize with your video, it will be a great video experience for them. The easiest way to sympathize is showing emotions. Film how people are feeling. Film smiles, laughter, tear, freaking out. Then your video will become alive.

  • Frame the world beautifully

One of the most important factors to film is framing. It is not an easy technique but if you get some knowledge your framing technique will be better. There is a nice video on YouTube to learn how to frame things. This will help you.


  1. Editing

Generally edit is underrated. But I think that is really important for making videos. Even if you film a horror movie, you can change it into a comedy movie when you edit. As the last process of video making, editing is the most important phase to color the tone of your video.

  • Set the theme

The first step of edit is setting the theme. What kind of tone do you want to make? You want to express how fun your trip was? You want to show how interesting your experience was? If you can’t decide the theme, just chose one adjective. For example, joyful, funny, exciting, sad, tired… that is the tone of your video. If you set a theme it’s going to be pretty easy! All you have to do is remove moments that don’t fit your theme. If your theme is “fun”, remove serious faces. If it was “exciting”, remove quiet scene. Removing the boring parts of life, this is editing.

  • Software options

We have a lot of software options recently. The reason why software increases is because editing is becoming more public and easy. This is good for beginners. There are very nice software for beginners and they are free! These are the software that I recommend.

[PC] Windows movie maker

[Mac] iMovie

You can find how to use them on Internet easily. You will find websites with instructions or you can search them on YouTube. There’re some videos for tutorials of these software.

  • Music selection

Music is more important than you think. When the tempo of music and the edit comes together, your video shifts to the next level. How to choose the appropriate music is the same as choosing the shot. Just choose the music that fits your theme. For example, club music won’t fit an emotional video, melancholic piano music won’t fit a picnic video. (Sometimes the opposite tone of music fits the video amazingly but it is difficult for beginners.)

Of course, you can choose music from your library but when it comes to commercial purpose, you have to care about copyright. Here are some websites that you can download royalty free music.

Free Music Archive – A lot of choices!


Jukedeck – You can create your own music easily on this site.

  • Release to the world!

When you finish editing, then you can finally release your video to the world! Now we have many ways to show your artwork to the public. YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo… Your artwork was born to be seen by every single person in this world. Don’t hesitate to upload! Your artwork is awesome!


  1. What motivates you

Making a video might be difficult for beginners. You might think like “I can only make a terrible one…” or “I don’t have any skill for that…” If you think so, I’d say you’re wrong. I think, what is important about video making is not technique but the passion. I’ve been professional video creator for years but I’m still fascinated by videos created by amateurs. They don’t have technique but they have a strong will to make the video. Just try, don’t hesitate!


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