Hi. I'm Chris.

Welcome to my site. I document my adventures in entrepreneurship, sales, and personal branding. Hope you have a nice stay and subscribe to my newsletter!

How to produce Video for under $500

How to produce Video for under $500

I am getting asked frequently about my video set up.

On Friday my friend Mark W Guay of Travelling Cup (Link) fame sent me this Facebook message...

This inspired me to write a quick post with a few thoughts on video and some notes on my amateur set-up.

Tomorrow I bring a post on why I believe entrepreneurs and sales professionals should do video. And, I am not talking about glitzy, polished corporate stuff.

Firstly, I have to give credit to two people for getting me off my duff and starting - Dan Martell and Jeff Walker.

Here are the interactions that got me to take action.

Dan Martell - Link

Jeff Walker - Link

Dan’s post was to his private newsletter that I recommend you subscribe to if you are serious about personal branding and business growth. Link

Following a vacation to Florida in April I decided to just go for it!

I decided to throw the thought of perfection out the window… as you will see :)

In this first post I tried to work with a script. That failed miserably. The video you see is probably “Take- 30" with many F bombs in between. Talk about frustration.



The quality of the lighting is horrendous. However, I pushed forward and posted it anyway.

In this video, I threw the script out the window (actually over the patio). I wrote a blog article first and then recorded the video by just talking about the post.


My most recent posts actually have been recorded on first take PRIOR to writing the article. I think it is a true sign that I am speaking from the heart. The lighting seems to be better as well.  


Hey… I am actually losing weight. Don’t ask how much… I have no clue as I am not weighing myself :)

Actually on the topic of weight loss- one way I have been improving is EVERY day upon completion of my workout I go into my office and shoot a 2-3 minute video to myself. I simply summarize what I did well that day and something I could improve upon. This has helped me. As they say, practise makes perfect. Or, as I say, practise makes better (isn’t that more refreshing).

I like to believe I am getting better. But am far from where I will eventually be :)

A few notes on my setup...

I went for a cost effective solution out of the gate. I summarize the investment below with links to the items I bought.

Camera and Software

I am actually using my iPhone and using an app called MoviePro. I could do the recording using the camera app but MoviePro has some basic editing functionality. I can point in the area of where my face will be on the video and the program will automatically focus to that area and adjust the lighting. Powerful stuff!!

I will likely graduate to a more sophisticated camera in the coming months (a $700-900 investment) as I will be able to control the quality more from within the camera. For now I am content with the iPhone. 


I bought a mic that runs from my phone to a clip on my shirt. I had to buy a 6ft extension to the chord to get the distance I needed. 


My iPhone is sitting on a Tripod. Most Tripods cannot accept an iPhone. I bought an attachment to add to the tripod that holds my iPhone. In one of the videos above you will see that I have recorded it on the deck at our cottage. I used a selfie stick. Yes Chris Duff, a selfie stick. :)


I am using a three light system that was recommended to me. It is an economical set up and took me 10 minutes to put together. I am sure video experts would cringe if they looked at the set up and have many recommendations… PLEASE comment below. About 30 degrees to the left and right of me are two large lights. I have them pointing away from my face as I found they were just too bright; it appeared like I was looking into the sun. The third light is behind me and shining up on the back wall.

Schematic of my lighting layout:

Evernote Snapshot 20150524 091746.jpg


For quick videos like the one above taken on my patio are uploaded straight to YouTube from within the app. For videos I want to edit a bit more I Airdrop them onto my Macbook Air and edit (crop and cut), add my logo and do the transition effects within iMovie (free with a Mac). This is really basic stuff. It takes me 3-5 minutes in iMovie now that I have the hang of it. I then upload to YouTube within iMovie. I watched 2 or 3 tutorials on YouTube on how to do basic editing within iMove (15 minute investment). I have the settings set to upload in private mode so that once it is uploaded I can go into YouTube and add things like: title, description, tags, etc.

Where am I placing my videos?

Basically, I do a video for every article I write. Planted right in the middle of everything I write is a video.

Here is a quick video tour  of my set-up.

Links to products:

Note: Below I have included affiliate links to the products I bought on Amazon. I encourage you to shop around. You may find better value. BUT, do not get caught up in the details or you will never post and time is too valuable.

Light Kit:






Extension chord for Microphone:



Selfie Stick:





Canada: I could not find this one on Amazon Canada. I actually bought it at Best Buy.

iPhone Adaptor:



Movie Pro App:

I hope you have found this quick and dirty post educational. I welcome questions or comments below.

Haters back off :)

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