Today we're going to answer the question, "What if I can't get my video right on the first take? " This is a very common question and I totally get it!
Most people think that they can just turn on the video camera, and they should just be able to get it right on the first take.
Even after 10 years of being on video, I may or may not be able to do it. If you have no experience on video, it could be a struggle for you as well.
Watch The Video, Listen, or Read Below!
So I just want to address that right upfront. You don't have to get it right on the first take. That's not what video is all about. Video is about sharing your thoughts and your messages and connecting better with people in your audience.
It's not about being perfect. I am far from perfect, but it's about working with it and figuring out how you can do it regardless of how many takes you have to take.
Sometimes it could be a ton. It could be, it could be 10 times.
So I actually have a story for this. It was years ago. I had about 30 hours of finished video under my belt, so about six months of video experience. That's not a lot, but it was a considerable amount for me.
I wanted to make a video for a b school scholarship. Oh, that video was so hard to do. It had to be under two minutes, but I literally spent three days trying to create that video.
I wrote my whole script and then I had my script either in front of me or I was trying to read it. I think it was like one or two pages just for a two minute video.
I would read it and then I would try to turn on the camera, look at the camera, and say the script from start to finish.
There was no way!
Sometimes I would get up to five sentences and then I would forget what I was saying. I would start all over again. I kept practicing the beginning part and getting it.
Maybe I would get to four sentences, maybe I would get to three sentences. Maybe I would get to six sentences.
The point is, after three days I was never able to get all 20 sentences in one take.
So I had to do something totally different. I ended up actually just filming one sentence at a time. I would looked at my piece of paper, I read the sentence and then I looked up at the camera and repeated the sentence back.
I did that for all 20 sentences, and then I went into the editing program.
That's the beauty of editing. I sliced them all up and I moved myself around. So each time I said something I moved myself to the other side of the screen or the middle or whatever. That's kind of the way that videos are made.
That's the nice thing about video is you can do that, you can go into the editing process, so that if you can't memorize your script, which most people can't, then you can splice it up and nobody really knows.
They're not thinking that you sliced it all together when they're watching your video, they're just thinking that you added it for motion.
So that's my little story about not being able to get it right on the first take.
Now let's dive into five tips that will help you get your videos right even if you can't get it on the first try.
#1 - Take it one line at a time, using 2 cameras so you can switch views
Just like I was saying in my story. You can just say one line at a time. And then what you could do is use two cameras. I have two cameras right now.
You can also use one camera and zoom in on yourself (in the editing process) so that it looks like it's two cameras. So you're switching back and forth to the different views.
#2 - Don’t write yourself an entire script, just bullet point to spark your memory
You can if you want after you have experience, but I find the best thing to do is just write down some notes with bullet points. I have mie on a big TV screen behind my camera. So it’s just my my five tips for this video.
If they are too long then they get a little hard to read quickly. So usually three words at a time to spark the idea is best.
#3 - Try to relax and pretend you are talking to a friend or family member
This is really the most important thing. If you can do this, you're going to be much more natural on camera. When you start to feel like you can’t do it and you’re all frustrated, just calm down self and say “How would I do this if I was talking to a friend?”
And, don’t worry about not getting it in one take. You can just drop the thinking that you can take it in one take and instead just think about talking to a friend.
When you're talking to a friend, you're not thinking, “I can't do this in one take”. You're just talking, you're just chatting, you're just sharing your thoughts.
This kind of takes the focus off trying to be perfect and trying to do it in one take. It's so crazy that we even think “Oh, video is not for me because I can't do it in one take”.
#4 - Do an interview style, where you are not looking directly at the camera
This is very common. It can be done for “about” videos (or others). So, I turn sideways and now I'm talking to a “pretend” somebody that is asking me a question.
It's not as personal because you're not looking directly at the camera, but you could actually have a script that you are reading. Also a teleprompter, large tv, or written out script on a white board could work.
Just make sure your eyes aren’t jumping back and forth as you read because that doesn’t look as good.
#5 - Use a teleprompter where you read your script (like newscasters)
Newscasters do this and even presidents. I didn't know this until last year, but there are big screens in the back on the room above the audience. So they turn from side to side as they talk to the audience, but they're actually reading a screen as they turn.
This is not ideal. It's not perfect, but it's just ways to get you past the “I can't take it on the first take”.
But, if you can use any one of these things as a crutch to get you further ahead so you don't have to be so frustrated then it can help you a lot.
Bonus - Keep the camera rolling continuously even if you mess up
I keep the camera rolling the whole entire time and if I mess up on something I just say “take two”. Honestly, there's all different ways you can do this. You can clap when messing up and then it can be easier for editing.
I just watch my whole video through and if I mess up I know because I say that it’s a retake. So I'm going to listen for me saying take two (or three, or four), and then I just crop out those little pieces.
I do not turn the camera on and off because then you have way too many files that you've got to put into your editing program. So I just do it all in one go.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a 15 minute video or a 45 minute video, it's all one video file. I might end up taking out 2 to 10 minutes with the little mess ups.
This is helpful for my video editor or if somebody else is editing, too.
This works best because you keep the thought going. It doesn't matter if you make a mistake on one sentence, you just re say it and keep going .
There is no perfectionism here. There's no having to take it on one go first take. So please don't put that kind of pressure on yourself.
Eventually you'll get better.
It might be in the beginning it’s 20 takes, but eventually it might be 10 takes, then five takes. You might be really excited some days that you can do it on like two takes. And eventually it will be one take.
So don't worry about it. You will get better with lots of practice. It does take lots of practice. I'm so sorry to say that. It always takes more practice than you want, but as long as you're improving and making improvements each day, it's fine.
Now, I want to mention my Course Creators Road Map
And, I Want To Hear From You!
All right, so let's ask a question to wrap up. I was going to say, have you ever made a video where you got it on the first take? But now that doesn't work.
Instead, I want you to do is leave a comment below and I want you to say “I will not beat myself up because I can't get it on the first take”.
Let's just kind of make this commitment to each other that we're not going to be upset because we can't get it the first time around because that's not what life is all about.
It's not about being perfect right out of the gate. It's about practicing and growing and learning and doing it again, even though you fell down.
Alright, so I will see you in another video. Bye Bye.
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Hi, I'm Katrina!
I'm so glad you are visiting my blog. I hope my weekly videos inspire you to confidently share your skills and knowledge through video and in your own online courses.
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