Making A Video

Barbara Burns

Reprinted from my blog post for The American Tapestry Alliance, May 18, 2019

Videos can be so compelling to watch. Wouldn’t it be great to have the skills to make a quality video? In a previous post, I touched on the reasons to make a video about your art, targeting your niche and where you can post the video. Here I will talk about the focus of your video, the how-to of making one and share several links to help you, including how to make a video with your smartphone. 


PLANNING: What Is Your Goal?

Who is your audience and what will they want to see? Are you trying to sell your work, increase traffic to your site, do some branding or create value. Perhaps you are attempting to widen your audience. What will appeal to the people you wish to attract? How will you make your story interesting? Will you show your process, do a demonstration as a teaching aid, talk about what inspires you or interview someone. Spend some time looking at different kinds of videos. Think about what you like and dislike? You may find a video you would like to use as inspiration.


Once you have decided the purpose of your video the next step is to plan it out. Create a storyline and script. If you are planning to have complex shots you will want to create a simple storyboard. This is like a comic strip with each “scene” roughed out shot by shot. Creating a storyboard might just sound like an extra step in the process of making a video, but it’s a step you won’t want to ignore. Here are three reasons why you need a storyboard:

It is an opportunity to organize your thoughts and keep you on track in the video process.

The storyboard is a plan of the shots, like an outline for a paper. This really comes in handy when you’re making your video, as it ensures you won’t forget any scenes, and helps you piece together the video according to your vision.

A storyboard saves you time. While it may take you a little while to put your storyboard together, in the long run, it will save you time in revisions later and it gives you the opportunity to cut unnecessary scenes and it makes the creation process go more smoothly.

Here is a link to creating a storyboard.

A video can be as simple as a series of stills strung together with zooms and pull outs (opposite of zoom) or more involved with “action.” I have made a few video interviews where I went between the speaker and still photos.

FILMING: Equipment

What equipment will you use to make your video? If you have a smartphone you already have the ability to make videos. You may even have the ability on that phone to edit your video but the best way to edit is with editing software. I use iMovie which came on my Mac.  You will have Movie Maker on a pc.  Movavi is a free video editing software you can download. There is a paid version of Movavi as well. There are other video editing programs you can find with a search. Here is one option for a pc. Whenever you pay for an app you will receive more features.

You do not need fancy, expensive equipment to make a video. Remember that content is far more important than equipment. You do need four things:

Camera: This can be your smartphone or digital camera. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a digital camera and they are great for still shots, too of course.

Tripod: There are inexpensive tripods available, new and used. If you are using a smartphone you need a way to hold the phone on the tripod.

Microphone: You can begin with the mic on your phone or camera but it pays to spend some money on a decent mic. I use a lapel mic similar to this one.

Light: Natural light works well, just make sure the light is on the subject, not behind unless you are going for a specific silhouette effect.

I have used my digital single reflex (DSLR) camera for making a video, but I have also used my Apple 6 smartphone. Newer phones have great lenses and the ability to take video. You can also buy an add on lens. You don’t need fancy equipment. A smartphone and a way to hold it will get you started. Here is a link to the basics of video with your smartphone.

How do you make a video? 

I made a series of videos as I created my Little Devil Corset. I made each video while I worked through the process. They include Inspiration and Designing, Dyeing the Yarns,  and a video I had help with about the concept of coming off the wall. Breaking up the project into smaller, shorter videos made it less daunting. Also, making the videos as I worked through the project was an organic approach that suited me. I was in the moment, particularly with the dyeing video, and able to show the process as it unfolded. I find that kind of video more appealing to watch and imagine others do too. When I did voice overs I sat in my closet with my computer. The clothing acted as a sound buffer. I rehearsed my prewritten script and did a few takes before coming up with one that worked. The music I used was either available in the video app I used or from a free online source. (See music below.)

This video is excellent at explaining the basic overview of making a video


Keep your video simple, short and engaging. The length should be as short as you can make it, so be ruthless with your cutting, removing all extraneous footage.

Voiceover and Music

Are you going to talk, if yes, will it be a voiceover, (disembodied voice with images instead of showing the speaker) or a video of someone speaking or a combination throughout the video? You can do a voiceover directly into your computer as you edit, or for better sound quality a mic. I used an inexpensive mic that came with an old recording device I have. Here is a free app for voiceovers.

Perhaps you want to use music with the visuals.  You need to understand that if you use any music that is not specified as free, or that you or someone you know has composed for you, you will be infringing on music rights and your video will be pulled if you upload it to the internet. There are numerous music sites where you can pay for music as well as sites with free music. 

Top ten free music sites:

  1. Jamendo Music
  2. SoundCloud
  3. Amazon Music
  4. SoundClick
  5. ReverbNation
  6. MP3Juices
  7. Mp3 Music Download Hunter
  8. Wynk Music: MP3 & Hindi Songs
  9. Spinrilla
  10. My Mixtapez Music

 Here is a link with more information on the free music above.


Once you have made your video you will need to download it to your computer. The process varies depending on your computer, software and the camera. If you have used your smartphone the video downloads like anything else from your phone. If you have an iPhone you can even use airdrop. If you have used a digital camera you may be able to plug your card from the camera into your computer or use a wired connection. Usually once plugged in, the downland is instinctual if not automatic.

There are three features you will find in all editing software:

Playback Screen where you view your video. (Upper right in photo.)

Video Library where all your individual clips are stored. (Upper left in photo.)

Timeline where you create your final video using all your clips. (Bottom of photo)


Editing software has information explaining how to use the software. They are all based on the ability to drag and drop your clips from the video library into the timeline then view the chosen clips in the Playback Screen. You can choose text effects and drag and drop them where you want them. You can also add transitions from one clip to another and add video effects.  Don’t use too many different styles of text and definitely do not get carried away with all kinds of transitions if you use them at all. Remember to keep things simple, short and concise. Be ruthless with your editing and remove any extraneous clips.

Making a video does not have to be a big production and you don’t need fancy equipment. It is important to plan out what you want to do and keep it short. If you have a lot to say break it up into a series of short videos. Know your target audience and know what you want to say to them. Above all have fun with your video.

In the next and last installment of this series, I will talk about what to do with your completed video.