Gadgets on the Go: How To Create Compelling Video Content – By Grant Wickes

Thanks to my good friend Grant Wickes (@gwickes) of Wasp Barcode Technology for this insightful article on how to create great video content – while on the go.

How do you create compelling video content, ensure it looks professional, and yet do so while you’re on the go?  Thankfully, with today’s technology, most of the tools you need may already be in your pocket or easily added to your travel bag. Add in a little creativity and you have a complete set of what I call “Gadgets on the Go”.

Gadgets on the Go is the term I have coined to describes my set of content creation devices.  Its mobile devices that I own and use (e.g my iPhone 4 smartphone) combined with a few small and lightweight gadgets that provide necessary enhancements (sound and light) without bulking up my travel bag.

When I visit customers, partners or meet interesting folks at conventions or conferences, there’s a marvelous opportunity to capture their insights.  Now, with a little creativity, I’ve turned my iPhone 4 into a mobile video recording platform. I don’t always know if something interesting will materialize, but it’s fantastic to have my gadgets ready to go as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

A recent trip highlights this opportunity. I attended Harry Brelsford’s, CEO and founder of SMB Nation, SMB150 award diner in May. This award gathering recognized many of the small business IT professionals who serve small-medium businesses.   While not expecting to do any content creation, I started chatting with a few folks. Soon, the conversation became something I thought others would enjoy. So within minutes, I had my Gadgets on the Go set up and recorded interviews with 4 different personalities.  Each person had a compelling message to share.  If I didn’t have my bag of gadgets, I’d have missed this opportunity.

To give you a sense of what I use, here’s the gadgets I used to produce the videos in this article:

–          iPhone 4:  nothing unique, not even the latest 4s version

–          a 2x lens attachment affixed by a magnet to the iPhone: nice digital zoom to get a close up frame of the subject

–          Lavaliere microphone (wired) plugged into the iPhone’s headset plug (with another small adapter to so mic can be used by the iPhone): to get the highest quality sound without  background noise

–          Portable LED light: to provide a nice light fill and brighten the subject

–          Tripods – one light fold up one (like tent poles) to hold the iPhone steady and then another small one to hold the light

The picture below gives you some idea of the setup.  What’s fantastic is all these gadgets easily travel with me… and can be set up in about five minutes.  And better yet, each gadget cost less than $30 (except the phone of course), so my expenses are minimal.

Editing video is also quick, easy and mobile! With this video I edited the video on my iPad using iMovie.  Loved the ease of cranking this video out and posting to Youtube.

Naturally, creating video content back at the office can be done more elegantly.  But when I’m on the go, I’m driven by mobility, convenience and capturing spontaneous opportunities.   So, when you travel next, don’t forget to carry along a few gadgets. You might just meet a most interesting person and be able to capture and publish this content.  With an iPhone and a few gadgets, it won’t take you long to build a library of interesting content. Let me know what gadgets you use when you’re on the go!


3 thoughts on “Gadgets on the Go: How To Create Compelling Video Content – By Grant Wickes

    • Grant Wickes (@gwickes)

      The tripods are not necessarily much added bulk. Both easily folld up to fit in my bag… everything I use is a compromise between adding value and keeping the “kit” small and mobile. The one tripod is like tent poles that fold up in 8″ segments… but when deployed really help keep the camera steady (ie video that isn’t shaking). I can assure you that it wouldn’t be in the “gadget on the go” kit unless it was highly useful. Thanks for the comment!


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