Hotels that present fantastic video content on their websites and social media networks have a better chance of getting traffic and increasing their direct booking numbers. There are plenty of stats available online that show video content's impact. Video is consumed online more than any other form of content because it is easier to connect to the viewer through motion pictures. Filming video for your hotel is more than just pointing and shooting a camera: one must understand the technical aspects of capturing a great shot to conjure emotion. Many small hotels may not be able to afford a professional videographer to film for them. Below are some helpful tips that will allow anyone on the hotel staff to shoot videos like a professional.
Use What You Have
A few decades ago, videographers would need an expensive digital camera and a bunch of equipment to shoot high-quality videos. Due to advancements in smartphone technology, you'll no longer need to spend a few thousand to shoot like a pro. Smartphones like the Apple iPhone 6 and The Nexus 6 are great options for filming in your hotel. Both phones come with the ability to shoot HD Videos, slow motion, and more. They also come with a bevy of apps to improve the color and look of your videos.
A lot can go wrong when filming in your hotel, so be sure to be prepared for anything. For instance, if you plan to shoot for a long time, keep a fully-charged backup battery ready for your camera. Also, keep extra memory cards and film around just in case you fill your storage devices. Keep lens cleaners handy, so your shots come out as clear as possible. Also, film a lot of back up video just in case some files are lost, or a shot doesn't look as good as you remembered when shooting.
Keep it Steady
Nothing screams amateur like a shaky camera. Walking is the number one cause of a shaky shot. Unless the camera is shaking for effect, a still camera is always better. Depending on your camera, there is plenty of equipment available to help you stabilize your shot. For larger cameras, there is the Steadicam, which attaches to the operator's body and remains motionless as they walk. There are also Steady Sticks that mount to the bottom of the camera. They are held to prevent shaking from walking. A Selfie Stick for smartphones works the same way. Keeping a steady camera is crucial if you want to do video tours or walkthroughs of your hotel. If you're going to do still shots, then using a tripod is the best option. Also, refrain from using zoom while filming. Zooming can negatively alter the quality and focus of your shot. Instead, approach your subject or edit a close-up shot into the video after you're done filming.
Filming with a camera is like taking a picture. You can't just point and shoot; you have to be aware of the emotion that you want to capture in your frame. When filming, always remember the "Rule of Thirds," which states that a shot is most appealing when it can be divided into three sections horizontally and vertically. Look at the photo below, for example. No matter which part you select, each third should be able to work as a standalone shot that produces some effect.
Photo by John R. Bailey
Good videography depends on the lighting. Unless you're going for a specific effect, lighting that is too dark or too bright can take away from the story you're trying to tell with your hotel video. The best option for lighting is one the can't be bought: sunlight. Videos filmed outdoors using natural light will come out better even on an overcast day because it's the kind of light that our eyes are used to. Be aware though, that when the sun is overhead it will cast a distracting shadow, so try shooting during dawn and dusk. If you're not shooting outdoors, make whatever room you're shooting in as bright as possible. Turn on every light available to get a better balance in your shots.
These are just a few techniques professional videographers use to capture amazing video. If you want to tell a story about your hotel through video, using these methods is sure to help you get your story across to the viewer. Once you master the basics, you can create a shooting style using different colors, lighting, filming angles, and more. A video is a potent tool for marketing your hotel, so why not shoot like the pros?