3 Steps To Shooting A Short Video Ad

Kseniya Rusakova

Kseniya Rusakova

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So there has been this sort of debate that I’ve seen happening in not only the martial arts industry but in a lot of industries. And it revolves around the question, “Can’t I just use my phone for all my video needs?”. Yes and No. And thats the truth. What you should be asking is, “what works best to get the result desired?”. Theres a little quote that sums up this perfectly. “Its not the tool the carpenter uses but how skilled he is with it”.
Meaning the technology is everywhere but its your ability to apply it that matters. Now I am not going to beat a dead horse with this point but knowing what shots to get and why matter a great deal when it comes to putting a quick video ad together for either your academy as a whole or maybe certain specific aspects to your academy.
So lets dive into, what I believe are the 5 steps you can learn and implement to create a variety of video ads for your academy. (plus save you $1000’s of moo-la!)

Step #1: Decide what result you want and what emotion is going to give you that result.

This step is so massive and so underutilized that its insane people “just shoot” videos to shoot videos and think that it will work.
You need to write out or have a power-planning session (20min long) with your team to decide what result you want or what action you want the viewer to take.
Next you need to decide what emotion (this is soooo huge!) you want them to feel that will inspire them to take action. We are emotion driven buyers. And this will directly feed into the next step which is planning your shots. If you do not know WHY you are shooting them then it will be very challenging to get the emotion to et the action to take place.
I have a natural “eye” for this type of preparation. But I still sometimes get stuck with just shooting the same type of video getting the same type of emotion and response.
So ask yourself the following to help you nail down the emotion and result/action you want.
Q1 – What key pain points is your target audience feeling/experiencing?
Ex. For martial arts academy adults: Decreased energy, lower back pain, not sure how to work out, low-self confidence.
Q2 – What problem are you solving for your viewer?
Ex. They feel out of shape and not sure how to fix it.
Q3 – How are you going to solve it and how will it make them feel when they have the solution?
Ex. With guided, fun and easy to do martial arts classes. This will make you feel 10 yrs younger; impress your spouse and kids with new energy and a new sexy confidence;
you’ll feel and look so healthy that it will surprise your closest friends; you’ll feel so confident in or out of your clothes so summer will once again be your favorite time of year.
Q4 – What will they feel when they watch your video? What action will they take next?Ex. They will feel like someone like them can get in shape. They will feel like its easy to join and get started. They will feel excited to “finally” do something that sounds fun.
They will want to get started now and not wait till later. Cause they desire those
feelings, they desire becoming a better version of themselves.
Do you see how when you understand WHY you are shooting these videos, it will be
easier to shoot the correct style of video. And in turn create an action from your exact customer avatar.

Step #2: Plan out your shots.

Weather you are using your smart phone or a SLR/DSLR camera you need to plan out
the shots you want before ever turning it on. Using the above step as your guide for who and what to shoot will help make these planned shots the most effective possible. There are hundreds of ways to shoot and thousands of variations/styles. So depending on what kind of video/commercial you are shooting will depend on the shots you need. But after you write out the above emotions and actions you want the viewer to feel. Now you plan WHAT to shoot. Let me give you some general suggested shots that you can use, tweak, add too, subtract from depending on what emotion you are trying to evoke. Meaning, if I am making a video commercial to show how effective my
martial arts life skills are, I am not going to use fast-paced action shots. I would use more close up (personal) shots of the kids eyes, them responding back. Them using the life skill in there everyday life. So the shots I would need change.
That being said here are the suggested shots for making a short highlight reel of your academy in action:
1 – Shot of your academy from the outside for the parking lot. Time: 3sec
3-5 – Action Shots – Make them all different. i.e. kicking, bags, rolling, drilling. Time: 3-4 sec clips.
3 – Close Up Shots – This can be a kid looking at the coach smiling or a specific move or board break or takedown. Time: 3-4 second clips
2 – Mat Chat Clip – 1 Clip should be facing the Instructor and then over the shoulder clip but showing all the kids sitting and listening. Time: 3-4sec clips
2 – Bowing Out Clips – Show this from 2 different angles of the whole class. Time:
3-4sec clips
*Option: 20-30 sec Interview style shot of Head Instructor talking about the benefits of their academy and what makes them different.Now I gave you my suggested amount of time for each shot but you need to make sure you CAPTURE the correct moment you want. So if you need to run the camera for 10-20sec to get that shot then fine but you’ll need to cut more time off each clip when editing it.
So write out what shots you need to get BEFORE turning your camera on or paying
staff to be at your business. This will save time, money and create a better result.


Nothing makes videos (like these) harder to watch and like an amateur took it, then
shaky footage.
So walk slower, turn slower, use a tri-pod, mono-pod, gimbal… whatever you need to
make the footage smooth and clean.
I can not stress this enough! I have made this mistake countless times thinking, “I can clean this up when I edit”. But not only could I NOT use the footage but I usually had to re-shoot it.
Which is a complete waste of time.
How to hold the camera for smooth footage: walk steady, slow and bend your knees
slightly as you walk. Like if you are tip toeing around a dark room or sneaking up on someone.
This will take some of the shakiness out of it.
But the BEST way is to shoot with a gimbal, mono/tripods or some type of stabilizer.
This will get the smoothest footage possible for when you is down to edit.
Well I know that was kind of a lot. But hey…theres a lot that goes into really great video content.
If you need any more clarification or have any questions please feel free to drop it in the comments below.
So tell me what is your biggest hurdle with video and/or content creation? Id love to hear you out! ❤