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How to Make a Promotional Video

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Read Time: 9 min

Learn how to make a professional promotional video without any fancy gear, in this free video course.

Duration: 42 mins | Lessons: 6

What You'll Learn: How to Make a Promo Video

  • How to come up with a great idea
  • How to organize your video shoot
  • How to film a commercial
  • How to edit and color grade in DaVinci Resolve
  • How to export appropriately for delivery

1. Introduction

1.1 How to Make a Promotional Video

Watch video lesson (1 min) ↗

If you need to know how to make a good promotional video right now and don't have thousands of dollars to spend on film school, the next 40 minutes is for you. I'll take you through making your own promotional video, from idea to concept, and all without any fancy gear - just an iPhone and some basic things lying around the house.

introductionintroductionintroduction

If you'd like to follow along with me on the course, you can download all the assets I'll be using, with the button below. They all come as part of a subscription to Envato Elements. They're not essential for the course though, so don't worry if you don't have them.

Download Course Assets

1.2 What Will You Get From This Course?

Watch video lesson (30 secs) ↗

If you're a beginner to filmmaking then this is a great place to start. If you've already got a little experience, then this course will help you jazz up your workflow.

"If you've never created a video before, this is a really good place to start."

1.3 Chapter Breakdown

Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

This video will give you a good run-down of what you can expect from this course. If you're not quite sure what to expect or what you'll be creating, then watch this 2-minute video and I'll tell you everything you need to know.

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    2. Ideation

    2.1 How to Come up With a Good Idea

    Watch video lesson (5 mins) ↗

    In this video, we'll look at how to come up with an engaging idea, how to analyze existing brand materials, how to interpret a brief, and how to ask the right questions if you're not given a brief. Here are some questions to think about if that's the case:

    1. What is the purpose of the video?
    2. Who is the audience?
    3. What platform will the video be on?
    4. Are there specific visuals to be included?
    5. What is the CTA at the end of the video?

    When you've answered those questions, and more that we'll address in the video, you'll be well on your way to formulating some great ideas.

    how to come up with a good ideahow to come up with a good ideahow to come up with a good idea

    "If you're tasked with creating content for a brand you work for, these tips are just as relevant as if it was an external brand."

    3. Pre-Production

    3.1 How to Organize a Video Shoot

    Watch video lesson (3 mins) ↗

    The thing that's of key importance here is getting ourselves organized to capture the content - thinking about the final product, and then reverse engineering that. 

    A 'pack shot' is a close, clear image of the product being advertised, in its packaging.
    how to organize a video shoothow to organize a video shoothow to organize a video shoot

    When you know what your end result will be and what you'll need to achieve it, you can make a shopping list.

    shopping listshopping listshopping list

    There are some things you won't be able to match with the brand easily, but I'll show you some good alternatives that are cheap and simple.

    This lesson is also one where I'll cover technical setup and lighting so that you're ready to start shooting by the next lesson.

    3 Top Product Promo Templates for DaVinci Resolve

    If you want to make a promo video for a product, then you need to make sure it catches the eye and looks professional. We can help you create video for business, with some of our favorite templates for DaVinci Resolve.

    Podium mockup - available from Envato Elements

    4. Production

    4.1 How to Film a Commercial With an iPhone

    Watch video lesson (3 mins) ↗

    In this lesson, I've set up a little production studio to demonstrate how we'll shoot the product for our professional promo video. I'll show you how to create a backdrop with a curve at the bottom so that it won't show on camera. 

    How to Make a Product Video: A curved backdrop where the join between the wall and the floor disappears is also known as a cyclorama, or an infinity curve.
    how to film a commercial with an iphonehow to film a commercial with an iphonehow to film a commercial with an iphone

    "I shot in a wide aspect ratio of 2.39:1 - Cinemascope- which offers a more cinematic feeling"

    5. Post-Production

    5.1 Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in DaVinci Resolve

    Watch video lesson (8 mins) ↗

    This is a rapid-fire tutorial with how to get started with your video production in DaVinci Resolve.

    If you don't yet have DaVinci Resolve, you'll need to head over to Black Magic Design and download the latest version. The basic version has no cost attached, so you can learn how to make a promotional video for free.

    I'll go through everything you need to know to be able to edit your product video. Most of our time will be spent on the non-linear editor.

    everything you need to get started in davinci resolveeverything you need to get started in davinci resolveeverything you need to get started in davinci resolve

    5.2 DaVinci Resolve Easy Keyboard Shortcuts

    Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

    In this lesson I'll show you some of the most useful shortcuts to make editing that little bit easier in Resolve. We'll look at how you can quickly scrub through your footage, how to select for easy dragging around of your elements, how to add an edit, and much more.

    A Few Quick DaVinci Resolve Shortcuts

    1

    Play/Pause

    Space bar

    2

    Scrub Through

    Press L for 1x the speed, L again, for 2x, again for 4x and so on.

    3

    Play Backwards

    Press J with the same principle as L, pressing multiple times to double the speed of play through.

    5.3 Creating a Promotional Video for Remedy: How I Edited it

    Watch video lesson (4 mins) ↗

    Now you know how to use DaVinci Resolve, in this video I'll walk you through the steps I did to edit my promotional video. This includes a little insight into my music choices and lining up shots with the beat. There's also a little section on making a stop motion effect by grabbing some frames from when I rotated the drinks can, and then lining those up so it looks smooth when animated.

    If you're making a stop motion effect, try to make sure lighting stays consistent and you get the object as close as possible to where it was in the previous frame so it doesn't jump around in the edit.
    creating a promotional videocreating a promotional videocreating a promotional video

    5.4  Quick Color Grading Tips for DaVinci Resolve

    Watch video lesson (3 mins) ↗

    DaVinci Resolve is the industry standard in color correction and color grading, so it's a good tool to learn if you're going to be making color edits to your footage. Here, I'll go through some coloring basics with you using the tools in Resolve including Lift, Gamma, Temperature and Tint.

    color grading tipscolor grading tipscolor grading tips
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      5.5 Creating an Easy Call To Action With Text in DaVinci Resolve

      Watch video lesson (7 mins) ↗

      If your promo video needs a call to action (or CTA) it might be provided for you, or you might have to workshop it yourself. I'll help guide you through what that process might look like, taking inspiration from the brand resources available online. 

      creating a call to actioncreating a call to actioncreating a call to action

      6. Delivering Your Video

      6.1 Best Export Settings for DaVinci Resolve

      Watch video lesson (4 mins) ↗

      Now you've learned how to make a promotional video for your company, or the skills to create a general business promo video - congratulations! The export settings and delivery are just as important as the editing process. You've put in all this effort, so it would be disappointing to export it and then not be happy with it. I'll give you the information you need to choose the right output for your video, ensuring you and the client are getting the best possible result.

      exportexportexport

      6.2 Using Handbrake for a Web-Ready File

      Watch video lesson (3 mins) ↗

      There's one last trick of the trade to share with you, to help make sure your colors stay looking great even once your video is compressed by something like YouTube. Handbrake is an encoding software, similar to what you've just used in Resolve in the previous lesson. The difference with Handbrake though, is it has some extra options that are going to help keep your video looking great for web. I'll show you how to set it up.

      handbrakehandbrakehandbrake
      We all need a little help sometimes; make your life easier with some video templates. Envato Elements has a range of professionally made DaVinci Resolve video templates available, and they're all included in a monthly subscription, so you can try and use as many as you like.

      Learn More About DaVinci Resolve

      If you'd like to improve your After Effects skills, check out some of our best free video tutorials and courses! These resources will help you learn skills that lead to:

      • How to make a promotional video for a website
      • How to make a marketing video
      • How to make a promotional video for an event
      • How to make a promotional video for Instagram 
      • How to make a commercial
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