Tips & Tricks for Shooting a ChilliByte

Yes you CAN shoot your own video, and don’t let anyone tell you different. While professional videographers with specialist gear certainly have their place, never underestimate what you can achieve with a smartphone and a bit of enthusiasm.

Shoot a series of short video clips rather than a full video

Tackle the shoot as a series of short, individual video clips, rather than trying to do a perfect ‘take’ all in one go. Don’t overthink it - just shoot whatever you think will be of interest and our team will find the best way to bring it all together in a visually interesting way.

We’ll bring the creative oomph and technical wizardry to transform your footage

These tips and tricks will help you get the best result, but don’t worry if your efforts feel a little amateur or wobbly. Much of the magic in video comes from the editing process - having an eye for what works best in terms of order, transition styles, pace etc. Our editing team have this in spades, as well as the technical know-how to give your footage a discreet face-lift that nobody need ever know about.

So take a deep breath, grab that phone, and get busy…


Shoot with the light behind you.

Try to shoot with the main light source behind you for maximum exposure on the subject. Remember to shoot with the sun behind you, and to position subjects away from windows. If you place someone directly in front of a window they will appear as a dark shape rather than being able to see the face clearly.


Use the highest resolution possible.

Set your smartphone to the highest resolution you can get. The files will take up more memory but it’s worth it for the added quality. Most phones default to high resolution settings but you can change this manually if necessary.


Provide 10 - 15 short video clips.

We’re looking for 10-15 individual clips - our editing team will trim and combine to get the best result. Shoot lots of little clips then delete those you don’t like before you upload. It’s also possible to incorporate still images (photos) as part of your ChilliByte. 


Aim for clips between 6-10 seconds each.

Ideally we like clips of between 6 - 10 seconds to work with. If all your clips are very short the finished ChilliByte may feel a little disjointed. If you supply just one or two very long clips, our editors don’t have much creative flexibility. But we are adaptable and, within reason, will work with whatever you give us.


Panning adds interest for static subjects.

If you’re shooting something static, such as showcasing a property or scenery it’s good to pan (move the camera up and down, or side-to-side) to create a sense of movement and visual interest. Panning is best avoided if your subject has lots of movement, such as a busy street or sports.


Mix up your shots.

Consider shooting from different angles to add interest. A mix of close-ups and longer distances gives our editors more scope to be creative with their editing.


Give us ‘handles’ to work with.

Where possible try to give us handles so we have scope to create transitions without losing any of your important content. Handles are the first 2 seconds at the beginning and the last 2 seconds at the end of each clip. This is particularly helpful if you’re panning - pause for a count of 2 before you start moving, then hold for a count of 2 after you finish moving.


Pick either horizontal or vertical format - not both.

You can shoot either horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait) - the main thing is to pick one and stick with it rather than switching from one to the other. Shooting landscape is more common for video, but some people are now choosing to shoot portrait, particularly if their ChilliByte is intended for social media.


Anchor your elbows to your body .

A simple trick to minimise hand-shake and reduce blurring is to anchor your elbows to the side of your body. This will provide more stability, particularly if you’re moving with the camera.


Include photos.

Up to 10 still images (photos) can be included - we will combine them with your video footage as part of your ChilliByte. These should be provided as JPEGs.


Add a logo.

Include your logo (if you have one) to improve brand recognition. This will be included as part of your outro.


Rename your files if you need them in a specific sequence.

If you have a specific sequence you would like us to use, please reflect this in the filename of your content. Each filename should end with the number representing the order you want us to use it in, regardless of file type - for example, Video1, Video2, Photo3, Logo4 etc. Where possible we prefer to have flexibility in sequence as our editors are skilled in finding the best way to combine footage so that it feels natural and is visually interesting. However we do understand that there are some things that need to be in sequence to make sense. You may perhaps just want to specify the shots to use at the beginning - if this is the case please detail your request in the comments section of the order form.


Use stock footage sparingly.

You can supply stock footage but generally we advise you not to. ChilliBytes are about authenticity, so keep it real! Your viewers want to see real people and real places so they can connect with you on an emotional level. Stock footage has it’s place, but for most small businesses there’s no substitute for the real thing.