House Party makes it easy to have a party in your own home and get exclusive access to awesome products for you and your friends. We provide the fun, you provide food, your friends and feedback and promise to have an amazing time.

How to: Take awesome videos

Videos are just plain fun - both to watch and to take. When it comes to videos from parties and social gatherings they rarely get better. Though there's plenty of research out there on the topic of online video, we don't need any more evidence of how captivating it can be than the fun we have perusing the videos you upload during a House Party campaign, Chatterbox program or even simply observing the way time melts away when we watch YouTube or Vine videos. Here at House Party we encourage members to upload video and try services like Vine and even Instagram - with it's new video feature.

Why do we want videos? Well, just as with photos of your House Party experience, videos add layers that the entire community and the sponsors we work with can enjoy and feel a part of. The creativity that you've displayed never ceases to amaze us, whether it's completing a video for a particular campaign sweepstakes entry or a shout-out to the community from you and your guests on Party Day. And it's the gift that keeps on giving, too. While recording the video can be reward in-and-of-itself (especially with friends and family!), the brands that we work with - who bring you the awesome House Parties, Party Packs and Chatterbox programs - love to see the fruits of their labor and showcase them to their communities as well.

So, we've crafted this "How to" post to give you the tips you'll need to make the best videos possible and, in turn, create sharable moments for which the community and our sponsor brands can't wait to press play!

Number 1: Steady as we go! Video is most easily taken these days by simply grabbing your smartphone and letting it rip! While this makes recording video more How to: Take awesome videosconvenient than ever, one of the things that videos taken on smartphones suffer from is "Seriously Shaky Syndrome" (commonly diagnosed as "SSS"). So, what can you do to ensure that your viewer won't need to take Dramamine to watch the video? Simple: Set the phone down on a surface, prop it up or, better yet, use a mount! If you're taking a video of someone while moving, try to move slowly and fluidly in coordination with the subject(s). While the background might be moving, the primary shape(s) won't be and it makes viewing much more comfortable.

Number 2: Light it UpThis one may seem obvious, but surprisingly, we see many videos where a brief check of the lighting prior to filming could make all the difference between a good video and a stellar one. Before you record, just check the display to see how the lighting appears. Have a couple shadowy spots? Flip an overhead light on or flick a lamp on that will brighten up the ambient glow. Have a television or bright light in the field of view? Be sure to pivot you and your subject away from this, so that the contrast of the video isn't over-saturated with light (the same principle that you see when looking anywhere close to a bright light or the sun. Everything else gets washed-out!)

How to: Take awesome videosNumber 3: Say what?! Not all video requires sound, but if you're looking to pick-up conversation, make sure that the mic can both pick-up the voices and not be drowned-out by background noise. Now, we of all people realize House Parties can occasionally get boisterous, so be sure to shoot a couple sample seconds to see if you need to ask folks for a few minutes of quiet while you film or find a quieter spot! We want to be sure we can hear the fun, not just see it.

One of our very own readers, Bernadette, said she, "Make[s] a brief advanced announcement letting people know that I plan to record the event. This is helpful in avoiding unwanted situations (i.e. people covering their faces at the sight of the camera, people using profanity or offensive language, people not speaking loudly/clearly, etc.,)." Nicely done, Bernadette and thanks for the tip!

Number 4: Get creative and social This is our favorite tip. Your creativity is what truly can set your video apart, garner kudos from friends and get your video showcased by us and the sponsor brand! Whether it's trying some stop-action animation, a one-on-one interview format with guests or even a time lapse, each technique shows us a bit more about you and what makes you special! Lately, we've found the most creative way to play with your video is with the Vine or Instagram mobile apps (the latter of which recently added a handy video feature.) Both are now available on iOS and Android devices and make the creation of short-format video fun, user-friendly and addictive!

The best part about these apps is that beyond the communities in Vine and Instagram, these apps make it incredibly easy to share your creation with all your existing friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. And there are tons of great intro posts for Vine and Instagram video to get up-and-running quickly. Just remember to include the appropriate House Party or Chatterbox hashtag so we can easily find and enjoy it, too!

(Here's a little example of a vine: It's a six-second journey from my desk to go get coffee. Just imagine, your Vine about a House Party will be so much better!)

Number 5: Have fun! The title of this tip says it all. If you're having fun taking the video, chances are so will your subjects and the community who'll be viewing it. Your excitement doesn't just show the community, us and the sponsor brand how much fun your having, but inspires others to jump in and get filming, too. This just means more fun videos to watch for you (and who'd say 'no' to that!)

This is our third "How to" post in the series and we've got more fun "How to" posts coming down the pike. Be sure to visit our two previous posts on "How to: Make the strongest application possible" and "How to: Take great photos" to round-out your skills. We're always looking for tips from you, the community, as well!

Have a tip for taking videos that you live by? Let us know in the comments below!

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