Top 10 Videos tips

Repurpose your dishwater

When you are boondocking, your time off-grid and unhooked will be much better if you don’t run out of water.  Washing and rinsing dishes uses more water than anything besides your RV toilet, so it makes sense to repurpose your dishwater.  Use a basin to wash your dishes, and then use gray water to flush your toilet.

Use Two cameras or Shoot it Twice – Then Edit it!

Many people really want to do a training video in one long shot, with one take. More power to them. You can't run the camera and do the demo at the same time effectively, and zooming in then out to illustrate points wastes time.

  • If you choose to use two cameras, designate Camera A as your main camera, and hook the mic to that, and set up camera B for cutaways and close ups, but also record the audio from camera B to make it easier to sync the video later.
  • If you use one camera, consider doing the entire demo once, uncut, with the camera on a tripod, then shoot it again for closeups and cutaways – edit accordingly.

Use the Rule of Thirds

Whenever you’re filming anything (or taking photos), remember the “Rule of Thirds.” Imagine your shot is divided into nine equal sectors by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines, like so: Notice how the primary subject in the image is positioned where two of the four points (which are known as the “anchor points”) intersect? This technique is used to draw the eye toward the main points of interest in the shot. The viewer’s eye will naturally gravitate towards the top-left anchor point, and many people will spend longer dwelling on this area than other parts of the shot, making it a logical point at which to position the main area of interest in your shot – in this example, the face of the subject. This is a pretty standard composition using the Rule of Thirds, and although it might not seem that remarkable, composing your shot in this way makes it easier for the eye to “read” and results in a much more aesthetically pleasing shot overall. Your audience probably won’t even notice the composition of the shot, because it just “works.” The Rule of Thirds can be applied to just about any type of shot, including landscapes. Using the horizontal lines is a great guide for where the horizon line of your exterior shots should be, and where your subject should be positioned: In the example above, the upper of the two horizontal lines is the logical horizon point for this shot, as using the lower of the two would result in the shot containing way too much empty sky. Of course, this might be precisely the effect you’re trying to achieve, so think of this as a guideline rather than a hard-and-fast “rule.” Many cameras enable you to overlay this grid onto your viewfinder, making it easy to compose your shot before and during filming. However you choose to frame your shot, make sure that you keep composition in mind, especially when setting up your camera. To read more about shot composition, check out this great guide to line, shape, negative space, and other composition techniques.

Turn Off Video

To quickly turn video off/on, hit ⌘Cmd+Shift+V (PC: Alt+V).


Type a word followed by define or definition in the Bing search bar to know its meaning. Example: define anthropocentric

Closeups and Cutaways of the Action

Closeups are necessary for most training videos. Whether it's to demonstrate a techniques or show a collection of materials needed, most training videos will have some cutaways of closeup shots.

  • Don't shoot the cutaways during the demonstration, shoot them afterwards, so you know what you'll need to isolate.
  • Stay wide on the main shot, don't zoom in, pan or move the camera. This will make it easier to insert cutaways and close ups of technique or small parts in editing.
  • Pay attention to continuity by matching the movement of the shot. If your talent picks up a wrench in his right hand in the main demo, make sure he does it the same way in the cutaway.
  • Make the cut from the main wide shot to the closeup during the movement, rather than just before or after the movement. This will make the shot appear more fluid and should mask continuity discrepancies.
  • Hold cutaway shots long enough for the viewer to understand what it is you're showing.

Find location specific results on Bing Search

loc: or location: will return search results related to a specific country or region only. You can specify the country or region code directly like this — loc: India.

Find language specific results on Bing Search

language: operator returns web pages in a specific language. If you want to search for football in French, type — football language:fr

Make sure your campfire is really out before leaving it

Abandoned campfires are one of the leading causes of forest fires. Not all of these fires were intentionally left smoldering. Campfires heat the ground underneath them hot enough to reignite anything combustible in your firepit hours later.  No one wants to be “that guy/girl” so use lots of water or dirt to thoroughly smother your campfire when you are done with it. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to put your hand comfortably on the ground in your fireplace before you leave.

Add Simple Graphics

From an Open Graphic that tells the audience what you are demonstrating to a Closing Graphic that tells them where to go for more, graphics are essential for all training videos. Even the easiest entry-level consumer video editing programs can make simple titles nowadays.

  • Every How To video should have an Open – even if it's the simplest white type over a black background.
  • A closing graphic with your name and/or website ties the whole piece together, especially when video sharing online.
  • Like the backdrop for your video, your graphics should be easy to read, and not too busy. You can learn proper titling techniques from many Videomaker features.
  • Leave the graphic up long enough to read through twice – not too long, definitely not too short.
  • Make bullet point lists within the body of your video when you are prepping a tool list, like we do in this training video on "How to Make your Own Car Mount".
  • You can place graphics over video, rather than a solid background, if you keep the video simple, soft or defocused.
  • Never use a busy background with wild graphics.
  • Make bullet point graphics to drill home ideas, techniques or to emphasize steps.
  • Bullet points are also good for recaps.