Creative Juice Vol. 10 - Top 5 Low Cost Ways to Create Videos Without Having to Hire Coal Creative

Video content is dominating the internet, and the phenomenon isn’t new — video streaming accounted for 73% of internet traffic as far back as 2017, and the Cisco Video Networking Index predicts that this metric will increase to 82% by the end of 2022.

But, statistics aside, consumers just like watching videos, so posting video content is an excellent way to connect with your audience. 

While you can hire a killer digital marketing team to help you produce consistent, high-fidelity content, you can also DIY. We asked our maestros of video to weigh in on the subject — here’s what they recommend to brands breaking into the video space. 


#1 Use the 4K Camera in Your Pocket

While you may not have envisioned making your big break in video by staring at your smartphone camera, Production Manager Alex Manganella encourages brands to leverage their existing tools instead of shelling out their life savings to buy fancy equipment: “The average person has a 4K camera in their pocket these days.”

“Interesting, engaging and well thought-out content filmed on cheap equipment can be much more effective than low-quality content created with expensive gear,” says Will McHale, Post-Production Manager. “You don’t need to break the bank to get some professional-looking shots.”

Will also recommends developing a clear picture of the message you want to send and your intended audience before you press record. Viewers are cool with homemade content — as long as you share a hot take.


#2 Tune Out the White Noise

While Alex knows viewers love a good smartphone video, he’s also sharing the hack that will elevate DIY content to a more professional, refined level: 

“Audio is the difference-maker when it comes to professional video. You can buy a cheap lav mic that plugs into your phone, and the difference in quality will surprise you.” 

A good mic can make or break your production. You can also incorporate these additional audio tips to ensure that your viewers hear your message loud and clear:

  • Ditch that distracting din by recording voice-over content in a coat closet — the puffy fabrics will help insulate the room from outside sounds.
  • Practice using your microphone — test out different settings, proximities to your face and voice levels to prevent blow-outs.
  • Always make sure to license music and other copyrighted sounds from a reliable source. Lawsuits aren’t just a bummer — they’re an expensive bummer. 


#3 Have a “Light Bulb” Moment

Post-Production Manager Will also wants to shed some light on an important topic with a truly illuminating tip (puns intended and apologies issued). 

“Take some time to research the basics of lighting,” says Will. “You can get great results using regular household lamps, natural light from windows, or some work lights from the garage.”

In your efforts to save some cheddar, don’t skimp on lighting — whether you record your content next to the biggest window in your office or channel your inner makeup tutorialist (ring lights are an awesome investment). 

For most aspiring DIY video creators, the best tool in your arsenal is right outside your window — unless it’s dark out. Or raining. (In which case a backup ring light is a good idea.) 


#4 Improvise with Everyday Items

Making video content is all about channeling your creativity — and Coal Creative’s Video Production Coordinator Jay Nguyen encourages new filmmakers to turn everyday gadgets into video-making gizmos:

“No tripod or gimbal? No problem! Prop your phone on a table against a mug or book!”

What if your content demands filming on the move? If you’re not trying to make the next Cloverfield, Jay’s got another tip: 

“If you have any skateboards or chairs with wheels, you can sit on them and have a friend push you around!” 

Turns out that Penny board that’s been gathering dust in the garage since 2009 has a purpose after all. 


#5 Become a Lifetime Learner at the University of YouTube

If making video content seems intimidating, remember the wealth of knowledge available at your fingertips — even the pros need a video tutorial now and then.

Our very own Chief Creative Officer, Sam O’Connell, is a student at the world’s largest free educational institution: 

“Don’t know how to do something? Check YouTube. I’ve been shooting and editing videos for over 20 years and I still find myself watching YouTube tutorials on a weekly (if not daily) basis.” 

Trying to envision how a smartphone and a skateboard could possibly mimic a dolly shot? There’s a tutorial for that


Bonus Tip: When It’s Too Ambitious for DIY, Call the Pros

If even the brightest ring light, coziest coat closet and longest skateboard can’t get the job done, it might be time to call in reinforcements. 

At Coal Creative, telling the stories that matter to you and your audience is what we’re all about. Our team is always thinking outside the box — because fueling creativity is everything we do. If you’re ready to supplement your brand’s story with video, check out our slate of services.



 1. Cisco. Video Networking Index.

2. Universal Production Music. Licensing Music from a Reliable Source. 

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