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At 12 Stars Media we share fun and informative short video production tips on Instagram, but we decided to put several together into a collection for you and dig a little deeper into each one. Hope you enjoy!

Watch your audio levels

A video posted by 12starsmedia (@12starsmedia) on Nov 13, 2014 at 11:17am PST

It’s always important to watch those little bars we call audio levels when recording video. You never want to have audio that’s hard to understand or that’s so loud it’s going to cause your audience to cover their ears. So keep your audio levels between -12 -6b for happy clean audio.

Try using auto focus

A video posted by 12starsmedia (@12starsmedia) on Oct 9, 2014 at 10:38am PDT

While keeping things in focus consistently isn’t a bad thing, we recommend switching it up by using manual focus instead of shooting in auto focus. This will give your shots that extra boost of creativity when your subject matter is slowly brought into focus, which essentially reveals that subject matter to your audience.

Test out your gear

A video posted by 12starsmedia (@12starsmedia) on Sep 24, 2014 at 9:35am PDT

Before taking your gear on a shoot, make sure you test it out and become familiar with how it works, because nothing is worse than making a fellow team member or client wait around while you figure out how to use your shiny new gear. This tip also saves you from looking like an amateur.

Choose the dolly

A video posted by 12starsmedia (@12starsmedia) on Sep 10, 2014 at 11:08am PDT

Sometimes, when zooming in your video can turn out a little shaky or even make your audience a little nauseated, especially if you’re zooming in too fast. By choosing the dolly over zooming in, you’re giving your audience that sense of realness that comes with actually moving into a scene rather than zooming in. This also makes for a clean and smooth shot. So, go with the flow and choose the dolly.

Keep it clear when using a mic

A video posted by 12starsmedia (@12starsmedia) on Aug 27, 2014 at 1:28pm PDT

When using a lavalier mic, make sure there’s not going to be anything on or near whoever is wearing the mic, because that could potentially cause a distraction in your audio. So, if your subject matter is wearing a necklace, has buttons on their shirt, or even has long hair, be aware that these things could rub up against the mic causing unwanted noises. By knowing these potential dangers beforehand, you can help save your audio (and who wouldn’t want that?).

For more helpful tips, be sure to check us out on Instagram!