How to incorporate lighting, music and graphics into your videos 

This week Mike and Sue are drilling down on the three creative video techniques they believe will help you create next level moving pictures. 

Yep, we’re talking lighting, graphics, music! 

This is the third instalment of this mini series, which has been created to help your produce creative and engaging videos that will have your audience glued until the very end. 

In part one, Mike and Sue looked at camera angles, movements and speciality shots. 

You can read all about them over here. 

In part 2, they turned their attention to on screen performance, voice over and narration, and sound effects. Check it out now. 

But in part 3, Mike and Sue are drilling down on the three techniques they believe will help you create next level video stories. 

Lighting, graphics and music. 

Creative video technique 1: lighting

If you watch the Moonshine Moonshot YouTube series , you may have noticed that Mike and Sue tend to stick to traditional TV lighting. It’s effective – but it’s not your only option when you roll camera. 

What are some other lightening techniques? 

For one, you could try putting your on-screen talent under the spotlight. This works particularly well if you’re filming an interview and you really want to focus on the interviewee. You might want to then backlight the interview to create a really strong contrast between the pair. 

A background colour wash is another useful lighting technique. Not only do colours represent mood, they also introduce interesting shapes or shadows into your set, which can really elevate the creativity factor. 

Noir style lighting is another nifty trick. While it’s commonly used by emerging directors fresh out of film school, it doesn’t mean you should dismiss it! Noir style lighting adds a bit of drama to your video story, making it feel as if a dream is playing out before your eyes. 

If you’re finding it difficult to visualise these lighting styles, be sure to watch season 2, episode 22 of Moonshine Moonshot. Mike and Sue illustrate each of these techniques to help you visualise the right approach for your video story.

Creative video technique 2: graphics

Graphics are a fun, affordable and simple way to inject a little more creative energy into your films and videos. They’re easy to produce, enhance your brand identity and emphasise your key messages. Plus there’s so many ways to incorporate them. 

You don’t need to start from scratch either. You probably have a whole suite of branded assets on file that you can introduce to make your videos pop. 

In short, we really rate graphics and we think you should too.

Graphics add a visual structure to your storytelling – you can use on screen title cards as ‘breakers’ to add tempo and texture to your video’s narrative.

And if you’re producing an information video with lots of pieces to camera,  graphics are a powerful way to keep things bit more dynamic and visually engaging for your audience. You might want to introduce a full screen slide with bullet points or a quote to clarify the points your talent is making on screen. 

You might want to work closely with a graphic designer to pull everything together, but you can also work with tools like Canva or PicMonkey if you’re following a strict budget!

Creative video technique 3: music

Music can seriously lift your films or videos. We like to think of it as the secret sauce. Not only does it help to set the scene, but it elicits emotions in your viewers and generally makes your videos more interesting. 

But finding the right ‘sound’ is not always an easy feat. And you’ll likely need to sift through several tracks until you find one (or more than one) that’s just right. 

That being said, sourcing the music is probably the biggest hurdle. 

If you have the budget, commissioning a composer to create something that is completely unique and specifically tailored to suit your video story is hard to beat. But they definitely come with a price tag and if your video is on the shorter side, it’s probably not all that necessarily. We tend to reserve original tracks for our bigger feature films like Conquering Cancer and Take Heart: Deadly Heart.

So if you’re making a short film, there are heaps of stock libraries that let you license low cost and even free tracks. We’ve used Premium Beat and Pond 5 before and have generated amazing results and inject some much needed creativity into your video story. 

Here’s a bonus tip for you too: If your video is more than 90 seconds long, consider using a few music tracks. It will help to give a dynamic range to your story. 

And please – be mindful of your sound mix!  If the music is too loud, your audience will struggle to actually hear what your on-camera talent is saying, which can be irritating. 

Say it with us: Lights! Graphics! Music! 

In case you missed it, these are the three techniques we recommended in this post to really up the creativity of your videos: 

  1. Introduce different lighting styles 
  2. Incorporate graphics 
  3. Don’t be afraid of music 

If you’d like to learn more from Mike and Sue, be sure to subscriber to the Moonshine Moonshot YouTube series so you know as soon as new episodes are released. 

Happy video making!