This article includes:
- How to improve the video quality of your live stream with tips to help polish your film quality before, during, and after the event
- Production tips, including call sheets, lighting, multi-camera equipment and apps, sound, dry runs, and live production
- How to make post-production edits to give viewers watching the recorded session the best experience possible
How do I make my live stream better?
When you’re ready to take your Vagaro live streams to the next level, here’s how to create compelling content for your users.
First, let’s observe where you are:
- You’re at a great starting point with Vagaro’s professional scheduling, payment processing, and marketing platform.
- You know your way around the live streaming platform and how to use it to drive your virtual business.
- You’ve conducted your first live stream and shared your business with the world. Now you’re itching to upgrade your stream – here’s how!
Camera’s Rolling… Sound’s Rolling… Going Live in Three, Two, One!
To take your live streams to the next level, start by organizing your approach into 3 steps.
Step 1: Pre-Production
The first step to take before shooting your professional live stream is to find the perfect angle to give your audience the best view. Not just one – find three or more! Here’s how:
Find the location where you want to start your live stream. Create a list of different locations that you want to include in the shoot. Mark the different locations to help you pre-visualize how your live stream video will look to the audience.
To create an engaging live stream, you’ll want to shoot from different angles, to make it interesting for viewers watching at home. You can do this on your own by setting up your cameras in different shot locations and reviewing the live footage on your desktop. Make sure to find exciting shot locations and angles, and create a list of these shot locations, labeling them sequentially.
First, get a friend, family member, or a large object to act as your stand-in. Then you can get creative while framing the shot. Call this Location A.
For Location B, try using a behind angle, to give the viewer an over-the-shoulder perspective of your instruction or product demonstration.
With Location C, try a centered, close-up angle of the presenter’s face, looking straight at the camera.
Get creative for Location D! For example, go for a detail shot that zooms in on something the viewer might not see in the rest of the stream.
Pro tip: Don’t worry—you don’t need a film crew to do all this! By marking these locations on the floor with tape, you can position your cameras before the event to your pre-selected locations to capture all the different angles. This gives viewers the seamless experience of a well-planned and organized stream.
Now that you have an organized catalogue of locations and shot angles, it’s time to create a shot list! Your shot list syncs up what actions will be happening during your live stream with the locations you’ve chosen during location scouting, making it easier to move from shot to shot. Creating a shot list makes the organization of your production clear and easy to understand for you and anyone helping you with your filming. That way, when the camera is rolling, you and anyone who may be assisting you with filming will know the plan and be on the same page.
When creating your own shot list, the goal is to try to think of every problem that might arise during your live stream and have a solution before you need it. For example, in case a camera shuts off, plan to have a backup on site. If you’re not sure where to start with building a shot list, download a template to start, and then make changes to the template to suit your needs.
Now it’s time for the last step of your pre-production – scripting! Scripting is writing down what you’ll be saying during the live stream, to make sure you deliver a polished event to viewers. Here are the three basics of scripting:
- Outline the Event. Having what you plan to say written down before you go live can save yourself from stuttering and moments of “brain fog.” To begin your script, first plan how to introduce yourself and the service or class. Don’t worry–there are plenty of apps that can instantly make you a teleprompt wizard, ready to go live with the professionalism of a news caster.
- Solid Introductions and Exits. Introduction and end exit phrases are important to plan and pace. The more you repeat your intro and outro, the more customers will remember you and your brand, but make sure to keep it short and sweet.
- Rehearse It. Writing a script for the entire live stream not only allows you to organize the experience for your audience, but it also gives you time to practice your delivery before going live. Read the script out loud to get a better idea of how long you are going to be on camera, how to pace your speech, and how much dead air (those awkward silences) you will need to fill during the time.
Pro Tip: Create a digital script using apps! These days, iPad apps can instantly make you a teleprompt wizard, ready to go live with the professionalism of a news caster.
Step 2: Live Video Production
Now that you’re set with pre-production, it’s time to begin your live stream production! Let’s start with your call sheet.
The call sheet is your final checklist and aligns you, those assisting you with filming, and anyone who’s featured in your video to be on the same page. The more details you can provide on the call sheet, the better! Creating a call sheet doesn’t have to be difficult. Try using a template to start, and then you can adjust the template to meet the needs of your live stream.
Next up – your light rig!
One of the most popular lighting techniques is the three-light set up. It’s an effective technique to start out with, as it creates a balance of light, so there are no hard-cast shadows over your face during the stream.
Pro Tip: Use a key light and fill light for your stream. The key light is your brightest source; it hits the subject in the most attractive light. The fill light illuminates the rest of the room, creating a balanced picture.
Multi-Camera Filming Pro Equipment and Apps
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”Dorothea Lange
Did you know you can stream using different cameras other than your webcam? Multi-camera set ups are the norm for studio environments. Use whatever cameras you have access to – even if it’s a camera phone! Camera apps like Filmic Pro turn your iPhone into a completely professional video camera, and even control your camera stability. This app also has higher quality settings and functions than standard live stream settings. The app also provides the ability to lock color temperature, pick focus, monitor sound levels, even get raw color files to enhance the post-production workflows. The Vagaro video team loves this app for quick turnaround productions, and your customers will love it too!
Pro tip: If you happen to have a DSLR camera laying around, hooray! Break out all your favorite lenses. Simply plug a standard HDMI to your DSLR camera into a computer system. It creates one of the best live stream images you can get.
You can’t forget about the sound! Make sure to grab your microphone and test out your sound levels with a friend. Is your sound distorted or muffled? You can download an app like Krisp to clear out any background noise.
Pro Tip: To create a balanced sound using multiple audio sources, be sure to use a lavaliere microphone and a shotgun or gobo mic.These tools balance the room tone, so voice-over will have more balanced sound. Outside sound should never overpower the video source (your voice).
Be sure to roll through your shot list at least once before going live. You’ve done the work ahead of time, and you’re prepared. Give yourself a couple practice runs, walking through and talking out where the camera is going to move, and when that actions should happen according to the line of the script you’re reading. Your practice run is the last chance to troubleshoot. Remember, if something feels strange, make the decision to change it now.
Live Broadcast: Action
If everything feels right, it’s time to click the go live button! You’re now live-streaming video that has pre-visualization, quality audio and timing to allow questions and answers for your audience. This time, you’ll be more confident in how you’re presenting your business to the internet.
Step 3: Post-Production
Post- Production: Fix It In Post!
And for the last and final step, post-production! If something goes wrong during your live stream, there’s a silver lining. Only the people watching the live event really saw the mistakes. By recording your live stream, you can edit out the problems. There are several video editors that easily allow you to edit videos: Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and DaVinci Resolve are great desktop tools. If you’re using a mobile device, the Apple iMovie app works great and is easy to use do with proxy files (editing offline files) or even the full h.264 QuickTime files. After fixing any mistakes in post-production, post your edited and remastered .mov files to your YouTube channel or Vimeo account. Now, your business has an active library of edited live streams that are thoughtfully produced.
Now You’re Streaming Like A Pro
If you plan to make live streaming a regular part of your service menu, it makes sense to invest in higher quality equipment, apps, and even your time. A first-rate stream attracts a larger audience, which grows your client base and increases your earnings. By pairing high-quality video with superior content, you can market your live streams at an even higher price point, meaning more income for you! With the right tools and some professional tricks of the trade, you can share your style, skills, and knowledge with more customers than ever.
Lights… camera… action… and you’re live!
Vagaro’s new live streaming features make it easy for you to take your business into the virtual realm and attract customers from all over the world. Give your customers more convenient, accessible options with live stream, and you’ll discover an untapped source of income with your classes and services. Visit our support page for step-by-step guidance to get your Vagaro account set up to start streaming!
Images: Giorgio Trovato via Vagaro
Icons: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro