Plan Your Shots and Set Design
See how other videos in your chosen theme are filmed. Are there lots of tight angles? Wide angles? A mix of both? A static shot? Think about what you like best and what you think fits your theme, context and ability to shoot.
What is the lighting like? Is it all from one side with heavy shadows? Or very bright from all around? Is it natural light? Figure out what makes sense for your context (i.e. if you’ve chosen a video that takes place at night, don’t light the room super brightly!), and what is available to you. Take what you can from videos you like and make it your own!
Clean your set! Decide where you’ll be filming and make sure there’s nothing in the shot that doesn’t add to the video. There should be nothing distracting in your background! Colourful prints can take away from the action- but dirty clothes on the floor and your pet’s toys everywhere is even worse! If you’re using the bed, make it, and use neutral colours or else your brand’s main colour. For some videos all you’ll need is a blank wall or plain dark curtains. For others, you’ll want to use multiple shots in multiple rooms! Decide what you feel is best for your abilities and your context!
Make sure where you’re shooting is relatively quiet! Close any open windows, turn off the A/C, do what you can to limit the noise! It doesn’t have to be completely silent, and if you make sure to take a few seconds of “room tone” (record a moment of video with the sound of the room as you stand still, so you can capture the hum of your fridge, the traffic outside, etc) you can edit many things out, but when your video has dialog sometimes a super loud truck passing can kill the mood- so do your best to shut out any noises!
Gather any props you need based on your context and brand colour. This could be a schoolbag if you’re doing a schoolgirl video, or a dildo, or just some pillows in your brand’s colour. Make sure to take into account the context- if you’re pretending to be at an office for a video, don’t have your bed in the background- use a computer desk and chair if you have one, and make sure to tidy it! You might have to rearrange your house to get the perfect shot, but it’s worth it!
Hair, Make-Up and Clothes
Make sure to have something memorable about your overall style. For me, it’s that I usually have bright red nail polish and often matching bright red lipstick. Red is my brand’s main colour, so I try to incorporate it as much as I can, often also wearing red satin nighties. Your brand might work best with you dressing goth, or pin-up, or in a myriad of different ways, just make it memorable, consistent, and tailor each outfit to your chosen script’s context. (For example, if your brand’s theme is to dress goth, it might not be great to pair it with a keyword such as “Step-mom” as they generally want the stereotypical “mom” look, but a step-sister could easily be a goth!) Wear both what’s appropriate for the story’s context and your overall brand. Don’t worry about buying clothes at this point – you can shop your wardrobe for things that make you feel sexy, and just shoot video ideas that make sense for what clothes you have to wear! Or, choose video ideas where you’re just naked!
Lighting is an in-depth topic that deserves it’s own book! You can watch countless lighting tutorials, and play around with different combinations of the lights that you have, but as a starting point it’s a good idea to have 2-3 diffused box lights (refer back to the Equipment post), about 5-6 feet away from you (or just far enough away so as not to wash you out, but close enough to get rid of shadows), placed evenly at three points in front of you. If you’re not washed out and you’ve taken a test shot and don’t see any glaring shadows, you’re on the right track. Make sure you use “cool white” bulbs, as yellow light can make it look cheap and is annoying to correct for afterward.
There is definitely A LOT more to be said about lighting, and many more ways to light the set for different moods, but this is a good starting point for most videos! Here’s a quickly put together diagram:
Now take your idea and make it real! You’re all dressed up, your set is ready, your lights are placed, now all there is to do is do it! There are definitely lots of tips on how to frame your shots, and how the flow of your videos should go, but in general, just record the room tone, shoot the video and see what you like and dislike about it! See what others think about it (Pornhub is a great place for this), and strive to always get better, and more comfortable in front of the camera. It takes practice!
How to Shoot Content When You need to keep it secret!:
If you find yourself in the position of needing to make money this way while sharing living space, you might only have a bedroom, or worse, a bathroom where you can be alone. If that’s the case, I suggest you start taking long baths or showers and looking into those niches, or if you have your own bedroom, but need to stay quiet, maybe try ASMR content, or just being quiet while masturbating and trying to find niches that don’t need you to speak – you can also offer texting services or sell photos that you take in the bathroom!
I really hope this helps anyone that’s in this stressful position!
The next post will have links to editing tutorials using free editing software!