How To Shoot and Edit Short-Form Video For Instagram Reels & TikTok

Like it or not, short-form is here to stay. Create viral videos and high-production value Reels or TikToks with these tips.

How To Shoot and Edit Short-Form Video For Instagram Reels

Do you want to extend your reach, increase engagement and build your community? Short-form content is the ideal way to do that, specifically Instagram Reels and TikToks.

Their undeniable popularity and viral potential can be a powerful tool in your social media arsenal. In this guide, we'll show you how to harness the power of short-form content, create your own, and provide tried-and-tested advice for making them even better. We'll chat about the gear you need, software programs to make your life easier, and other knowledge from our creative filmmaker team and community.

Drawing upon our expertise, you'll soon produce reels that boost your reach, engage your followers, and help grow your community.

Let's get started.

What Is Short-Form?

First, what the heck is short-form content anyways?

You've probably heard this term thrown around more often this year than ever, so let's break down what it is and why it's a better strategy than YouTube.

TikTok: The viral app birthed from pandemic blues and late-night dance moves. What was initially ran by teenagers and young adults for lip-syncing, dancing, or comedy skits — it's used by everyone these days. Beyond the silly audio tracks and hip thrusts, this app is a fantastic way to showcase everyday creators, tutorials, or other means of innovative pursuits. It's a great way to discover new trends, connect with people, and express yourself creatively.

Instagram Reels: Think of it like a mini TikTok; with Reels, you can record and edit 15 to 90-second vertical videos set to popular music, plus add filters and text. The best part? Your content will be suggested to users based on their interests, allowing you to reach a whole new, engaged audience.

YouTube Shorts: Often regurgitated cuts from Reels or TikToks, these clips populate the Youtube feed as another platform to place short-form.

Short Form — The Better Content Strategy

Like it or not — short-form content is a better social strategy than YouTube in 2023 & beyond because of the growing trend of people wanting to consume content quickly and conveniently.

Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and even Twitter, allow users to watch videos for 15 seconds or less, making it easier for them to fit into their busy schedules. Additionally, users on these platforms are more engaged than those on YouTube, with a much higher audience engagement rate.

Transparently, we often see some of our 90-second gear tutorials perform better than our long-form content on Youtube. We place the same gallant effort behind both platforms, mind you, with short-from single handily beating out the beautifully produced 10-minute production every time.

Lastly, TikTok and other short-form content platforms are more cost-effective for businesses or influencers looking to advertise quickly and reach new audiences.

Creating Short Form In the Apps

Creating short-form clips or content can be as easy as making it in your app of choice, uploading, and done. Here's how:

Instagram Reels:

1. Open the Instagram app and tap the plus icon in the top right corner of the screen.

2. Select the "Reels" option from the menu at the bottom of the screen.

3. Choose a background or audio track for your Reel.

4. Record your video by tapping and holding the circular record button. You can record up to 90 seconds or add clips from your camera roll.

5. Once your video is recorded, you can add effects, text, and stickers.

6. When you're happy with your Reel, tap the "Next" button in the top right corner of the screen.

7. Add a caption and tags to your Reel, then tap the "Share" button in the top right corner of the screen to share your Reel.

TikTok:

1. Open the TikTok app.

2. Tap the “+” icon in the bottom-center of the screen.

3. Select the type of video you want to create. You can choose between a "React" video, a "Duet" video, or a "Video."

4. If you selected "Video," you can now record a video or upload one from your camera roll.

5. You can also add music, effects, and text to your video.

6. When you're done creating your video, tap "Next."

7. Enter a caption and hashtags for your video.

8. Tap "Post" to share your video.

Creating High-Quality Short Form

Or better yet, here's how the Moment team makes our Reels and TikToks.

If you're a creator who wants to elevate your social media game, then these tips are for you. The truth is, short-from is going to be around for a while. It's wise to get ahead of the curve and succumb to quality work that matches your brand.

Your phone is a perfect tool for most short-form. However, filming or vlogging is difficult when you want the premium quality of the smartphone's back camera (the selfie camera is NOT that high quality). In that case, it might be time to upgrade to a camera with a flip-LCD screen.

Sony ZV-1F

This little camera is the perfect solution to that problem.

The Sony ZV-1F is the perfect camera for short-form creators and vloggers because it is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry around, and its flip-out LCD screen allows users to monitor their shots and make adjustments if needed quickly.

You can't beat its reasonable price point, $499, making it accessible to creators on a budget. The camera carries features such as the Product Showcase setting and the Background Defocus mode, allowing users to create professional-looking videos easily. It even has a Smooth Skin feature, mirroring the popular built-in filters on Instagram and TikTok.

Additionally, the ZV-1F is compatible with a wide range of accessories, such as a microphone and a lens adapter, making it easy to customize the camera to suit individual needs.

Think of it as your phone — but with a noticeably better camera quality, the ability to see yourself more efficiently, and a step-up in production quality with mountable mics or lights to make your videos that much better.

Hot Tip: The best settings are 4K Ultra HD in S-log at 24 FPS — such juicy quality footage for such a tiny little camera. 

Best For Content Creators

The Sony ZV-1F

The compact camera made perfect for social media content creators.

Compared to DSLR cameras, the ZV-1 and ZV-F are lighter, more affordable, and fit into a pocket or purse. Sony's wireless app makes it easy to transfer footage directly to your phone for quick editing and posting to TikTok. Both cameras offer the best quality possible, whether you prefer to edit on a computer or straight from your phone.

Read more

Brand: Sony

Type: Photo & Video

Best For:

Creators who need an upgrade from their phone in terms of quality, production value, and overall manual features.

Buy Now
Moment Sony ZV1 F B Sony ZV 1 F Vlogging Camera thumbnail

Sony

Sony ZV-1F Vlogging Camera

Dip your toes into content creation! The Sony ZV-1F is designed to be easy to use and to produce great video and audio results.

Buy for $499.99


Small enough to hold with one hand.

Other Accessories

If you're new to the filmmaker or video world, don't let additional accessories intimidate you. Gear, like mics or lights, help push your content that much farther in quality. Brands like JOBY or Lume Cube foolproof these products by making them accessible for beginners and professionals alike. Spend more time shooting! Work smarter, not harder.

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JOBY

Wavo - Affordable Shotgun Microphone

Looking for a high quality on-camera mic that doesn't break the bank? The Joby Wavo is a unidirectional, shock-isolated mic that focuses on the subject

Buy for $79.95
Moment Lume Cube LC RING18 18 Ring Light black thumbnail

Lume Cube

18" Cordless Ring Light

Lighting makes all the difference! Get control of color temperature, brightness, with the Lume Cube 18'' Bi-Color Ring Light. Batteries included for portability

Buy for $179.99

Editing

If you're a serious filmmaker, YouTube creator, vlogger, or someone who wants to take their editing to the next level, you can use a computer-based program to edit your videos. The apps only go so deep; it takes just a smidge more effort to craft higher-quality videos into a software's timeline.

Here's how:

1. Import the video footage into your choice computer-based editing software program (Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve, or even iMovie).

2. Drag and drop the footage onto the timeline.

3. Trim the video clips to the desired length and adjust the hook speed for a faster-paced cut if needed.

4. Add transitions between clips to make the video flow.

5. Add graphics, titles, and music as desired.

6. Export the video in the 9:16 ratio optimized for social media platforms. 7. Upload the finished video to the desired social media platform.

Personal Tips!

I like to invest more time and money into higher storage and faster SD cards to ensure smooth operation. After recording, I transfer my footage onto hard drives, perfectly organized for easy access. Editing is a breeze with Davinci Resolve and Lightroom - I can easily create something unique and special.

The 4K Ultra HD capability on the Sony ZV-1F allows me to crop and resize with no loss in resolution; this opens up the possibilities of making both horizontal and vertical videos, ideal for Instagram reels or YouTube productions.

As soon as I export it, I can wirelessly transfer the finished product to my phone and post it anywhere - TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. Although uploading to YouTube can be more complex, I only use my desktop for this task. With such ease, I can quickly move through a project and have it uploaded within a few hours.

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SanDisk

Extreme Pro Compact Flash Memory Card

Looking for a cinema-quality 4K video recording capable CF card? SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash memory card delivers with a sustained write speed of 65 MB/s

Buy for $39.99
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SanDisk Professional

G-Drive SSD

Need a tough portable data storage solution? G-DRIVE™ SSD has IP67 water/dust, up to 3M drop, 2000-lb crush resistance, and 1050MB/1000MB/s read/write speeds

Buy for $159.99
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