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How To Film A Video: My Step-by-Step Guide

~| 7 minute read |~

Before I started creating videos, I consumed hours of education about the best way to go it without falling flat on my face. I started by sitting down with my video creation guru husband and made a list of everything I should know. I thought the list was long then… but over the last 10 weeks of practice the list has gotten longer and much much MUCH more detailed. Today I want to share this unedited, unfiltered list with you!

Whether you are a content creator wanting to see someone else’s system, you want to make videos but feel overwhelmed and need a realistic expectation of what it takes, or simply want to nosey around my brain, I welcome you here. I hope this gives us all a better appreciation of what it takes to create media in any form. It’s made me much more grateful for the channels I watch!!

This document on my computer is titled “What To Do When Filming A New Video.” I left all the wording exactly as I use it, but feel free to skip over the technical jargon as I know it can get lost when out of context.

I always welcome questions and comments! If you have a constructive critique (or 10) I would love to hear them!! This is what I’ve learned in just 10 weeks and I know I have lots more to learn and am grateful to you wonderful people who want to make me better.



  • Have a plan/script
    • Know who I’m talking to (learn through analytics, comments, target audience)
    • Anticipate what my audience wants/needs
    • Bullet point outline of everything to talk about in the video (digital notes are faster and easy to template)
  • Get camera ready (hair done (or not), makeup done (or not), etc)
  • Gather items for the video, set up station
  • Set up camera tripod (make sure SD card has enough space, battery is charged, etc)
  • Turn lights on
  • Check background
  • Set exposure and white balance on camera
  • Set up audio (mic plugged in and on, correct position, input selected, etc)
  • Run a video and audio test
  • Troubleshoot (if needed, text John :))
  • Film (clap to sync)
  • Upload files
    • Camera: SD card in computer, drop files in Shared Drive
    • Audio: folders on John’s desktop, drag and drop to Shared Drive

*Quick shout out to my husband and biggest supporter! Knowing how much space video and audio files take, he created a cloud based folder that’s tethered to his desktop so my laptop is never slowed down. He did this several weeks before I even admitted filming was something I wanted to do. So grateful for him! If you want to know how he created that system, I’ll have to start another list. 😂

Back to our list:


  • Video
    • Post production editing in HitFilm Express
    • Upload all project files and drop onto editor slide
    • Sync audio and visual files, mute the camera audio
    • Delete unnecessary pieces/repeats
    • Jump cut edits
    • Insert title card (moving slide at the moment with voiceover)
      • Change title or other video specific details
    • Add visual and audio transitions
    • Add captions with white background (font size 46, background 1920×200, 20% opacity)
    • Add watermark (scale size: 14%x14%, 70% opacity)
    • Insert music track (if applicable)
    • Add anything else lol
    • Leave 10~ seconds blank (or insert image) for end card screen (make sure the file is the right size on the preview screen)
    • Review for mistakes
    • Export to Shared Drive
  • Thumbnail
    • Edit thumbnail picture in PhotoScape X
      • Grab raw file image(s) from beginning of video footage and/or stills
      • Open in editor page in PhotoScape X
      • Brighten image(s), blur background so subject pops, eliminate items, etc
      • Basically create the most alluring image(s) possible while accurately representing the video’s content
      • Download as jpeg
    • Create thumbnail in Canva
      • Use custom youtube & blog templates
      • Upload freshly edited photo(s) to template
      • Add captions (less is more)
      • Make it pretty (don’t change the angle of the slant but move accordingly)
      • Download

Uploading & Meta Data:

  • Upload video to YouTube as unlisted
  • Write title and description (greeting, important info about video, any products, links, contact info, hashtags (limit of 3))
  • Enter tags (see Evernote hashtag list for reference)
  • Upload and assign thumbnail photo
  • Set privacy settings and add to playlist
  • Under Advanced Settings
    • Select Category (HowTo & Style or People & Blog)
    • Select Video Language
  • Once complete, review for upload errors
  • Make video public

Final Additions:

  • In YouTube Studio Beta post uploading
    • Set End Card template
    • Add any YouTube Cards
    • Publish  
    • Embed video link in blog post on (which comes with all the pre established automated systems of the blog: RSS emails, Candid Class Facebook post, Twitter post)  

The document I use after this is one I’ve titled, “What To Do After Content Goes Live.” It has to do with how to promote a new video and whatnot. That list still needs a lot of work as I’ve been focusing on the creation primarily.

Thanks for reading this nitty gritty behind-the-scenes style post! If you have any feedback PLEASE don’t hesitate to let me know either in the comments, through a private message, with smoke signals…

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!