Time & Light – Get It Right!

Posted 26th March 2020
by Mark Robinson

Hello! If you have been following this short series of blogs then by now hopefully you have picked up some good tips on how to create your own content. If you have been experimenting then I am sure you are already starting to see what works for you and what doesn’t.

Remember I blogged about the kit I used here and in the following blog I mentioned making sure you get your setting right by checking your behind, hopefully you found those useful. In this blog I am talking a little about lighting. Now before your shoulders drop in defeat I am not talking about huge lighting rigs, if you’d like to learn more about lighting for interview etc then there is a lot of content out there.  This blog post from Shutterstock explains more about different lighting and that there isn’t really any hard and fast rules but remember, light can be your friend and your enemy the key is to understand it and use it to your advantage.

For the content we are looking to create for social media we would probably all agree that the cost and time taken to set up such a rig is prohibitive. Mainly because we are looking to create content as quickly and cheaply as possible as it’s not  usually evergreen content we can re-visit or re-use time and time again. The easiest way to achieve good lighting is to film in daylight hours either outside or near a window.  Not with the window behind you (whenever I FaceTime my parents they are usually sat in front of the window so I get a silhouette of them) but with the window in front of you so the light is on your face, not so much you have to squint but enough to light your face.  More light is more flattering although too much light can cause you to be overexposed – that’s a whole different tech talk, you’ll get the idea when you start experimenting.

The other thing to be mindful of when you’re creating a video is time. You may have set aside an hour to create a video post but your viewers won’t have an hour to spend watching your content, not unless it is particularly niche and they have an interest in that area. Theres a heap of content on the net about ideal duration, here’s just one recent post about it but at Bellyflop we recommend keeping videos to around two minutes if possible.  Statistics show that beyond two minutes the view count plummets as people click away from the video.  It’s easy to see why because increasingly we are all time poor so will check the duration of a film before clicking play. It could be argued that in the current Covid-19 climate we have more time so will linger longer on a film but old habits die hard. If you’re used to seeing shorter content that thats probably what you’ll stick to.

With that in mind it’s goodbye from me, if you’ve not seen this weeks video then click here (or above). If you have any queries or if you’d like me to cover something in particular then let me know, I’m happy to oblige and if I don’t know the answer I will find someone that does.

Bye for now,

Mark