Tips for Starting a Video-a-Day Project

Moira West


This past February, when all her children were sick, again, for the fourth or fifth time that winter, Sabrina Koch was struggling to feel gratitude. So she came up with a project to help her focus on the beautiful things in her life. “There were the doctors’ visits,” she shared, “but we also skated and swam and did aikido and were still so fortunate.”

Sabrina decided that, for at least a few seconds a day, she’d capture her family in motion, recording a video clip every day on her iPhone. The project was a hit with her family and, ten months later, the project is still going strong. Take a look at the video from this August that Sabrina shared with us in our Animoto Video Storytellers Facebook group, and then read on below for Sabrina’s tips for starting your own video-a-day project.

Slideshow Video Style: Classic
Song: “The Uppity Strut” by Tut Tut Child

Sabrina’s found that her monthly videos help her connect with family and friends who are far away, giving them a window into her family’s day-to-day life. It’s also given her family video scrapbooks of each month that her kids love to view again and again. Maybe that’s why she’s been able to convince several of her friends to start their own projects.

Since she’s had nearly a year’s worth of experience with her project, we asked Sabrina what she’s learned and what she’d recommend for others looking to start a video-a-day project of their own. Here are her tips:

  • Use short clips. Sabrina recommends keeping clips between 3- to 7-seconds in length, which will give you videos that are about 2 minutes long — a good length for keeping your audience interested.
  • Mute your audio. Unless you want viewers to hear something specific, make sure to mute your video clips to cut out unwanted noise and keep the music for your video level.
  • Shoot horizontally. It may take some practice, but keeping your phone or camera horizontal when you shoot will mean your video clips fill the screen and look better in your finished project.
  • Try different angles. Get down on the ground or climb up high, move in close or shoot from far away — get creative with the direction from which you shoot, Sabrina suggests, because sometimes an interesting angle can add to a moment caught on video.
  • Caption your video. To remind her of details later, Sabrina adds a short description with major events to all of her videos. And though it wasn’t available when she started the project, Sabrina suggests using the Marketing Video Builder to add dates to your video clips (since it allows text over video), if you want to add even more context.

Once you’ve created your videos, watch them from time to time. Sabrina does this herself. It helps remind her of the reason she started the project — finding reasons to be grateful for the life she has and the family that make it so rich and meaningful.

Not sure you’re ready to commit to a video-a-day project? Start with a photography project. Read up on photo-a-day projects you can try. Or, if you’ve already got a daily project in the works, share it with us as Sabrina did in our Animoto Video Storytellers group.