5 Must-Have Tools to Produce Video Like a Hollywood Director

This blog post is part of our June Deep Dive: Video, which is the fourth unit in our DEEP DIVE: Learn, Create, Win! Presented by Your Southern Ford Dealers. This is a free 6-month program focusing on content creation because 2018 is the Year of the Creator!  



With the Right Tools, Video is Your Masterpiece


Recorded video can be both wonderful and daunting. It's wonderful because you've got an open "canvas" to create a magical, compelling story using video. It's daunting because, well... you've got a blank canvas that you've got to fill!

Whether you are using a pro camera or your smartphone, be sure you have the right lighting, mount, and mics to capture your video adequately. While we've listed tools with links as suggestions, there are no affiliates included, so we suggest you shop around to find the best price.

1. Tripods and Monopods

Yes, you can simply hold your camera, but phones tend to show "shake" in an even greater exaggeration that pro video cameras that are designed for stability. So, we suggest always using some type of mount to still your hands. At the very least, you can set your hands on a counter or a shelf to help steady your camera, but a tripod is an affordable way to stabilize your video. 



A tripod with flexible legs makes mounting your smartphone in unusual or hard to mount places easier. 

Traditional Tripod


Lots of traditional style tripods can be found, but you might want to make sure the head has smooth and easily turnable action.



A monopod can offer mobility that a traditional tripod can't, and so might be a good option for creating content on the go.




For moving shots, a gimbal will stabilize the video for a smooth shot.

2. Smartphone Mounts

Once you have your tripod, you'll need a mount to attach your smartphone. They range from simple to complex. 

Basic Mount


A basic mount (think selfie stick) is very affordable and adjusts to most size smartphones.

All-in-one Mount


An all-in-one mount provides slots to attach lens, lighting, and even mics.


Clip On


Clip on (or screw on if you have the right mount) are an easy way to clearly zoom or add stylization to your video.



An OloLens provides zoom or fisheye, but you generally cannot use a mount with it, as it fits snugly over the smartphone sans a phone case.



Believe it or not, sound is everything in video. Poor visuals will be forgiven, but poor audio won't.



The Rode brand lavalier plugs right into a smartphone and clips to the subject on video. It is for up-close interviews.



A handheld mic is excellent for back and forth interviews between two or more people. We've found the the iRig brand provides excellent sound quality.



A shotgun mic captures sound from a short distance. It'e excellent for grabbing audio from a conversation while blocking out ambient sound surrounding it.


Small Halo Light


A small clip on halo light is good for up-close video, especially for faces.

Large Halo Light


An easy way to provide light for up close interviews is through a halo light.

Attached Lighting


Remember that smartphone mount? Ideally you have a slot to attach this adjustable lighting!

Professional Lighting Kit


A professional lighting kit is surprisingly affordable but not very mobile. It is great for indoor and low light settings.