How to produce champagne videos on a beer budget! (Did I get your attention?!)

This year our motto for Brenham ISD is "I Choose Brenham,"  (Thank you Jeremy Johnston for the awesome graphics!)

As I started dabbling in the PR efforts of our district, I wanted to begin a "Why Choose Brenham?" video campaign to show potential staff, students and parents our best offerings.  We have a lot of good stuff happening!  We need to shout it from the mountaintops!

I started a list of all of our wonderful programs and clubs and organizations and slowly I have been producing our video series.

Now, in case you didn't know ... Brenham is quite rural and we don't have money out the wazoo.  So, I had to get creative on how I was going to produce quality videos at a VERY low cost.  Two tools have really changed my life (in terms of video production!)...
  1. SmartPhone holder mount for tripod
  2. Cell phone lavaliere mic
I realized that the best recording device I have is right in my hand (all the time!)  My Samsung Note 3!  It takes excellent quality video, uploads my videos directly to Dropbox for easy retrieval, and it's easy to transport!  I bought the tripod mount, external mic and gave it a try.  Here's my first video...

Admittedly, I did use my fancy personal MacBook along with iMovie to produce the finished product, but this could easily be done in Movie Maker or even WeVideo.  For me, it was about starting with quality video and audio.

I did have to overcome some obstacles such as disabling the annoying autofocus zooming in and out on my cell phone.  And, after making a few videos, I was running out of options for background music, so I started researching free background music.  I finally landed upon  This site has great options for royalty free music with proper credit for the creator.  They offer pro licenses, as well, for more options.

So really ... for less than $50 I am making videos that I am proud of.  I already had the tripod, the cell phone and the laptop with software ... add in a $20 mic, $12 mount and some great royalty free music and we're in business!  Oh, and don't forget good talent!  A big heartfelt thanks to the students and staff who have GRACIOUSLY hopped out of their comfort zone to show the world what Brenham ISD is made of!  :)

Find the other videos in our series here!