How Nonprofits Can Produce Great Video on a Budget

Nonprofit video production doesn’t always fit within nonprofit marketing budgets. Luckily, nonprofit storytelling can be done with a standard cell phone.

Video was introduced to cell phones more than two decades ago. Quality has improved to allow for literal commercial use. Bentley shot a 2015 commercial series using an iPhone 5s, and celebrities like Selena Gomez have centered their video productions around cell phones.

These productions do require some setup, all fitting the cell phone’s compact size. Here are the essential basics to get ready to create Hollywood quality video from your phone.

  • Ring light
    • A ring light produces soft, even lighting on a subject. The goal is to get the camera lens in the center of the ring, making it easier to maneuver than traditional 3-point light setups (with the black umbrellas).
    • Tip: It’s best to lift the light up and turn it 45 degrees toward the subject.
    • Clip-on Ring Light
    • Tabletop Ring Light
  • Lens enhancer
  • Tripod
    • Tripods eliminate the camera shaking, and come in every height. Some mini-tripods mount on walls and mirrors to steady close-up shots, while floor tripods are used for wider angles.
    • Tip: Aim for a tripod with a built-in level to make sure the camera is both steady and straight.
    • Selfie-stick and Tripod in one
    • Tabletop tripod  
  • Microphones
    • Microphones increase the audio intake for videos. For interviews, lapel mics zero in on the voice that is usually positioned right above it. Boom microphones are perfect for displacing ambient sound around a subject. And tabletop microphones are perfect for panel discussions.
    • Lapel Mic
    • Boom Mic
  • Selfie Remote
  • Video editing software
    • Some phones and most computers have built-in software for basic video editing (iMovie for Apple products and Video Editor for Windows products). Choose an editing software based on the complexity of the project, the editor’s current expertise and long-term goals.
    • Filmora | Free
    • Adobe Premiere Pro

Want to go the extra mile? Ready for an advanced professional cell phone video setup? Try these additions

  • Video rig | to hold the phone, lens and other add-ons
  • Gimbal | for stable video while following a subject

External battery | for longer video production schedules

You may also like

Leave a comment