It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to create high quality video. Your smartphone can film in HD – something that, until a few years ago, was out of reach even for most professional filmmakers.
Whether your goal is to record educational or promotional videos, or create material for online courses, you don’t have to rent a fancy studio (unless you want to).
Here are the exact, low-cost tools I used to film dozens of videos for my Recognized Expert course. Prices fluctuate, of course, but I paid approximately $234 for everything – a lot less than renting a studio, and I get to keep and use them forever. These tools may not be a fit for what you need, but I hope it provides a useful starting point and gives you some ideas about what’s possible for a basic setup.
- Here’s the lightweight tripod I used.
- You can attach your smartphone directly to the tripod with this adapter (check to make sure it works with your smartphone model, or find an analogous version).
- Alternately, you might want to attach this ring light into the tripod to brighten up your shooting location. It’s dimmable, but FYI it’s really bright, so you might want to invest in a filter/diffuser for it, depending on your preference.
- If you’re using the ring light on the tripod, then you can attach the smartphone to the ring light using this Gorillapod Tripod. It’s small, portable, and allows you to shoot video from interesting angles – like wrapped around a tree or a fence. So it creates fun options.
- This is often overlooked, but is critical – you should definitely invest in some kind of lavalier microphone that plugs into your smartphone. Clear audio makes an enormous difference in the perceived quality of your videos. Even if the aesthetics are great, if you sound tinny, people will stop watching. I was very satisfied with this one.
- Finally, you may or may not need it, but as an insurance policy, I recommend getting an extension cable for your microphone. That lets you be relatively ‘untethered’ and makes it easier to shift your shooting location to take advantage of good lighting opportunities, etc.
I hope this list of the tools I used is helpful to you. Good luck and take care!