Shooting and editing a great background video for your website is a lot easier, quicker, and cheaper than what you might think. This article covers the basics on how to get great professional results in your own gym without having to call Stephen Spielberg for direction.
Best Tips For Shooting Video For Your (PushPress) Website
For an example of the end result check out http://betagymdemo.com/ on a desktop or laptop. (Background video is replaced by an image on mobile)
You don’t need to rent a red camera like they do for the CrossFit Games to get good results. The iPhone 7+ has an amazing camera that is great for low-light indoor conditions like your gym may have. If you do not have the 7+, ask around. I bet a member has one you could borrow for 30 mins.
Sure enough this article will be dated with the iPhone 8 coming out next month (it will likely have an even better camera). Usually Android and Go Pros are not good in low light. It’s definitely something Apple has focused on with their hardware/software combo and the results back that up.
You can step it up one more notch by using a gimbal. A gimbal will give you the ability to do smooth panning shots. Until recently, you only saw these at sporting events or the movies. The DJI Osmo-Mobile is common one that is easy to use. You can also get ones for less money. Mine cost only $200 for a 3-axis gimbal. Again, ask around if a member has one. They are becoming more and more common these days.
The poorman’s version of a gimbal is to download Instagram’s Hyperlapse app. It replicates smooth video panning without a gimbal. You can get ok results, but it seems to compress the quality of video a decent amount which is less than desirable.
Shooting Your Video
Think about what movements you would like to show. Remember, since your website is for prospective members, so showing very advanced and complex movements are not the best. Think simple like cardio burners, box jumps, and wall balls, etc. Use a variety of different athletes that your prospective demographic can relate to. Some shots will be individual and others can be in groups.
Furthermore, consider enlisting someone to help that has basic photography skills. They will make sure shots have good composition and the athletes are well lit from whatever natural light your gym has.
Also, don’t shoot in portrait – always use landscape.
Editing Video For Your Website
Use any basic clip editor you are familiar with. If you have never edited video before, there is no need to learn Final Cut Pro. Just use iMovie on your iPhone or the phone you borrowed.
The video shouldn’t be too long as we don’t want viewers to wait before it starts to auto-play. The goal is to get a video between 10 to 20 seconds long. For each movement, select the best 2 seconds and edit to show only that much. Start stacking together your series of 2 second clips. At minimum use 5 clips, and maximum use 10.
Also, do not use any special transition effect between clips. A straight cut will be best for this purpose.
Mute all clips as we won’t be using sound output.
From iMovie, export movie and then compress in your favorite compression software