Make Great Videos for Your Club With These Easy Tips

When you think of Operation Smile, I’m sure that at least one video comes to mind. Videos are an excellent way to move people to action, and here we’re going to give you a few tips for you to create your own beautiful and moving videos.

By Juanchi Marín, Student Programs Content Coordinator

First, we have to think about content.

  1. Have your script ready. The hardest part of any video is the beginning. Once you know what you are going to talk about, be sure to put it on paper, create a storyboard or brainstorm shots you’d like to use. This will help you save time and energy once you are actually shooting and editing.
  2. Don’t be afraid of going off-script. This might seem like a contradiction, but really we just recommend that you stay flexible. For example, if you see something cool while shooting and it’s not on your script, or you find a new angle shoot it anyway. Even if you’re conducting an interview, have your questions ready, but be present in case you find a different story than the one you were looking for. Don’t be afraid to follow up and ask questions that you don’t have on your sheet.
  3. Be creative. This is a tip that we always give, and even if it seems like a cliche, be as creative as you can be: experiment and give it a whirl, try every idea you have and see if you find something even better.
  4. Always ask yourself: “What would I like to see?” Remember that you were once a new volunteer, and you’re the best judge of what works and what moves people. Trust your instincts.
  5. REMEMBER THIS. If you want to use music in your videos, make sure the music isn’t copyrighted! You can usually find free music in your video-production platform, and YouTube is a good option as well.

Once we have everything ready, we can get to the technical matters.

  1. Think where you’re using this video and mind the shot. You’ll always hear people asking you to shoot horizontally, and it’s because most of the time you will use it in that way. But what if you’re using your video for Instagram Stories or Tik-Tok? Then you’ll have to shoot vertically or it won’t work. So always be sure to ask where this video will be used and make sure you capture the video appropriately. 
  2. Avoid shaky images. One thing that can be distracting while watching a video is a constantly moving camera for no reason. If you have one, use a tripod to shoot your images, or put your camera in a steady place. Maybe you can put the camera on top of a bookshelf or table somewhere stationary.
  3. Find good lighting. Light is almost as important as having a camera while making a video. Use what you have sunlight or artificial light but use it correctly. Avoid shadows on your face and avoid a direct light that won’t let you open your eyes; both extremes are bad for your shot. A good tip is that in the afternoon, the sun gives better light, and if you want to buy a light, a ring light is always a good option (especially those that come with a built-in tripod.)
  4. Mind the audio. Especially if you are recording your voice on the shot, too. Find a place with as little noise as possible, and try to record in a room with little echo.
  5. Look at the configuration of your camera or phone. You may think this is obvious, but sometimes they don’t adjust to the maximum resolution possible by default, so check if you can improve that to make better videos.

BONUS. Always make your videos thinking that this video may be the only way this person can become a volunteer for Operation Smile. Think of what the organization means to you and the impact it has on your life you can be responsible for the impact on someone else’s life. AND HAVE FUN WHILE DOING IT!

Juanchi is the content coordinator for Student Programs and a longtime student volunteer for the organization. He makes all the beautiful Stud Pro videos you see across our pages.