Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Video

Home-made videos don't have to look amateur. By following a few simple guidelines, they can be turned into something people will want to watch. Ben Price is the manager of Agama Production, the video and audio production division of Agama Advertising. He recommended the following tips:

Frame it right:

Mentally draw a tic-tac-toe board on your screen. To frame a shot properly, always try to keep your subject’s eyes on or near the line of the top third portion of the screen or higher, even if you cut off part of his or her head. Also, try to avoid putting action in the middle square. Think of it as no-man’s land. This will help you present a balanced image and have a more professional look when you're done. 

[Download a “Rule of Thirds” guideline]

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Don’t be too quick to zoom:

The more “true-to-life” the movie you're showing is, the more buy-in your audience will have.  If you want to see something bigger on screen, try moving the camera closer.  Physically moving the camera more accurately corresponds to what the viewer would do if they wanted a different perspective of what's on screen.

Think wide:

If you have to move around while filming, keep the camera zoomed out all the way to minimize the shakiness viewers will see.  With larger TV screens in the home, every little shake or bump becomes an earthquake that will often lead to motion sickness.  The last thing you want is a room full of naseaus viewers.

See things in a common light:

Try to avoid standing in an area where the light is different from where you are aiming the camera. Don’t shoot a bright area from shadows, for example, or vice versa. Try to shoot with something other than just powerful overhead lighting.

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Narrow the sound:

Most camera microphones capture all the sound around you. If you are going to focus on what a specific person is saying, consider purchasing an inexpensive external clip-on microphone.

More is more:

If you plan to edit your video, get more footage than you think you’ll need. It’s always easier to cut video down than it is to try to get everyone back together to shoot more.

Know when to hire a professional:

Some things you might want to do just aren't safe.  Stunts, special effects, aerial shots, etc. all require specific knowlegde and experience to do safely.  If you think it's a great idea, but don't know how to do it.  Get an experienced professional involved.  They can save you time, improve your production value, and maybe even save your life.


Agama Advertising is a full service strategic marketing agency with offices in Houston and Victoria, Texas. The firm provides solutions built on a solid foundation of business metrics and the wisdom of experience to provide clients with superior returns on their investments of time, energy and money in marketing efforts.
The company includes Agama Production, which produces a wide range of audio and video materials; Agama Technology, which programs websites and mobile applications from the ground up; Agama Public Relations, which brings together clients and new and traditional media outlets for mutual benefit; and Agama Creative, which crafts appealing marketing copy backed by strategic research.

The company can be reached at (832) 426-3810 in Houston, (361) 572-3810 in Victoria, or toll-free at 800-733-3810.