When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

How To Shoot Prank Videos? (A Detailed Guide)

Spread the love

The world is full of pranks and practical jokes. If you have a sense of humor or are interested in filming for YouTube, then this post will be perfect for you! Pranks are fun and these videos on YouTube can get millions of views. But how to shoot prank videos or what is the best way to make these videos?

In this blog post, we’ll walk through all the steps so you can shoot your great prank video! We’ll break down everything from how to choose your prank, where and when to film it, what equipment you need for filming (and why), editing software recommendations, and more!

Moreover, we have added a section to provide you with 9 tips that can help make your prank content engaging and fun. So, why wait? Let’s start the filming!

9 Easy Steps to Follow for Shooting Prank Videos

Pranks can range from mildly annoying to downright cruel. But don’t worry–we’re only going to discuss harmless ones here. Follow the 9 easy steps mentioned below sequentially. You will definitely receive satisfactory results along with incredible prank videos worth sharing!

Step 1: Decide the Theme of the Prank

First of all, you have to prepare the theme of your prank. To do so you must know what type of videos you can make. Henceforth to help you know about the different categories of pranks available, we have made this section.

Prank videos can be classified into many types. However, to keep things simple, we will let you know about the two basic categories of prank videos.

Types of prank videos

  • Staged prank
  • Candid prank
Staged PranksCandid Pranks
Filmed with one or more actors in a controlled environment for an audience.Tend to be shot in public places. Such places include restaurants, mass transit, or at large gatherings like music concerts
For a staged video, the goal is to create an elaborate setup to lead up to your big reveal.

You can use anything from a fake spider in someone’s bathtub (yes–this one works!) and hiding behind doors with a camera on the other side waiting for someone to open them to a fake birthday cake with lit candles

The candid video will take more preparation. This is because you have no control over what’s going on around your victim.

Moreover, you can’t always be sure how they’ll react when something goes wrong (or right!).


The first step is to decide what type of prank you want to do. Do you want it to be staged or candid? Once you’ve decided this, then the sky’s the limit! There are two types of setups for candid pranks and staged ones:

  • With a hidden camera
  • Without hidden camera

Now that you have a basic idea of what type of video you can shoot, you have to create a narrative plot for your prank. It can be anything funny! However, if you are lack ideas for your prank video, don’t worry as we have got you covered up.

Here are 6 ideas of prank plots that you can use for your videos:

  1. Fake Ghost: Make an object move by attaching a piece of fishing line to it. Keep the room dark and your camera hidden. The victim’s response will be really funny and a memory to cherish
  2. Rat in the Microwave: Put a fake rat in your microwave oven. At the same time, start filming from another room with a night vision camera.
  3. Leak Fixer for Ghosts: Fill up two glasses with water and put one inside an ice bucket. Put a few drops of food coloring in the water that’s outside. Afterward, you have to add some baking soda to make it bubble up like crazy.
  4. Wrong Number Prank: Send a text message to the wrong number and see how they react! You can make it funny by texting “Help, I’m being held hostage” or you can prank your friend by sending them this picture of Justin Bieber with McDonald’s fries in his hair.
  5. Doorbell Prank: Text your friend that you’re at their front door and then hide while they come to answer it. Then surprise them with a clown standing at their doorstep or someone in a Halloween costume.
  6. Fake Lawn Prank: Put fake grass on the ground and film people’s reactions as they step in it!

Well, these were few ideas that you can use for your videos. We are pretty sure that you can film videos with way better, funnier, and crazier prank plots. Now that you have your theme and plot ready, let’s get into the next steps that you have to follow for completing your video shooting.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Equipment.


panasonic lumix fz1000 ii digital cameraThe camera can be said to be one of the most important pieces of equipment for filming prank videos. What’s great about these devices is that they can be controlled remotely from a distance. Prank cameras are designed to look like everyday devices, but they’re hidden cameras. They can be used for all sorts of things like cheating spouse surveillance or catching thieves in the act. However, when it comes to shooting your pranks, these little gadgets have tons of benefits!

Besides that, these cameras help you to film from different angles. Moreover, you can pan around easily while filming using a camera with at least a 1080p resolution or higher. This way your viewers won’t miss anything! Therefore prank cameras are incredible tools for filming great videos. Now if you are willing to grab some amazing prank cameras for filming videos, have a look at the 10 best cameras for filming pranks.


Smartphones are a popular option for people who want to shoot their own footage. Moreover, if you have a low budget then smartphones can be an ideal choice for you. However, you won’t get the best video quality if your phone doesn’t have enough resolution or is difficult to use with one hand. We recommend you to use smartphones with cameras that have a resolution of at least 1080p.

Selfie Stick

A selfie stick is an easy way to get the camera out farther. Moreover, they help you to have more angles to choose from without having to use your hands for filming. Selfie sticks with remote controls make it even easier to film while in motion


You will need a Tripod to make sure that the camera is stable and doesn’t shake while filming. This will help to avoid getting any motion blur in your video, which can occur if the camera moves too quickly or isn’t supported well enough.

Boom Mic

If you’re going to use a camera without audio capabilities, such as your phone or a digital camera, you must have some sort of boom mic for sound. This will help the video seem more professional. In addition, it will help provide viewers with all the information they need about what is happening in the prank.

Lens Kit

A lens kit typically includes at least one wide-angle and one telephoto lens. You can use them for filming different types of scenes. This will help you get in close when recording and zoom out for larger shots


A good microphone can really improve the quality of your video. If you’re going to shoot a candid video with a hidden camera, you should use wireless microphones for the audio recording.

Moreover, if there is noise in the background like traffic or people talking, then this will have an impact on how clear of sound quality you’ll be able to hear. For staged videos, professional boom mics are recommended.

Editing software

Editing software is a must when it comes to editing and creating the video. This will help with adding sound effects, music, titles, transitions between scenes, or anything else you might need to complete your prank video. Henceforth you must have access to good editing software such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere Pro.


For more experienced pranksters, a camcorder is the recommended option. You can use it to film and record footage at custom intervals or camera angles that are hard to do with other equipment. It’s also good for shooting in low light if you want to get some extra spooky effects!

Step 3: Choose a Location for Shooting the Prank Video

The next step is to think about where and when to shoot your prank! This step is hugely important and should be thought about ahead of time. If you do not know where to shoot the video and are pretty confused, check out the suggestions below.

Well, the location will depend on what type of camera you have chosen: If the camera is not noticeable, then go out in public. If you’re using something more noticeable like a GoPro, then you’ll have to find somewhere with fewer people. Such settings include the middle of the night or at work when no one is around.

The best place for filming a candid video would be in public at an event with lots of people around. Henceforth we can say parks or malls are perfect if you plan to shoot a candid.

For staged pranks, it’s usually better if you want your victim to take a long time to notice what’s going on before they realize it was a prank. Therefore you can choose any auditorium or open area.  Moreover, you can shoot such videos right at your home by hiding the camera. Don’t know how to hide a camera? Do not worry; we will get this topic covered in the coming section.

A few extra tips for choosing the location: Don’t shoot in a place where you’re going to get caught. In addition, you have to make sure people in front of the camera can’t see what you’re doing off-screen.

Step 4: Make Some Necessary Preparation

Here are some essential steps you need to follow before carrying out the prank:

  • Plan out the whole plot of the prank. If necessary, note down the expectations you have from the prank.
  • Make sure each one of the actors has a thorough idea about the storyline of the prank. Moreover, you should assign proper dialogues to them.
  • Work on getting your actor’s outfits to match the concept of your video
  • Coordinate a script with all actors involved.
  • Make sure they’re comfortable talking for long periods without being scripted or fed lines.
  • Consider adding some ad-libs if needed!

Along with making the aforementioned preparation, do the following:

If you’re planning on filming a staged prank, your actors must be all in sync with what they’re supposed to do and when. You should also make sure that their costumes don’t give them away before the big reveal! If possible, have someone off-camera feed lines so that there is no dead air.

If you’re planning on filming a candid prank, your actors must be able to improvise. Moreover, you should be conscious of how the camera will look. Remember to position yourself so that it doesn’t show anything but what would naturally be seen in the situation!

Step 5: Adjust the Camera Position

Now comes the most crucial part. Setting up the camera. Well as mentioned before, you can either hide the camera or keep it revealed. If you choose to film the prank without hiding the camera, the steps are pretty simple. Just place the camera on a tripod or a stable position and hit the record button! Moreover, you can carry the camera itself in front of your victim if the narrative of the prank demands it.

However, you can choose to shoot the prank by hiding the camera too.

Here’s how to hide a prank camera:

Three things to remember while hiding cameras:

  • Select a hidden spot where you can place your camera.
  • Remember that the lens should not be visible on the screen!
  • Make sure that there is enough space in front of the actor so they don’t get caught

You may need to get creative if your subject is around other people, but there are always ways of doing so! For example, we used an iPhone wrapped in tin foil with our battery pack inside. Afterward, we placed it on one of those rotating desk stands. Creative right?

Well, if you cannot get such creative ideas for hiding your camera or if your victim is too sly, you may use some of the techniques below for hiding your camera.

Tools you can use for hiding cameras:

A plant pot

To hide your lens, you can put it inside an upside-down plant pot. Then fill in with soil so there is no sign of anything unusual.

Underneath furniture

Place the camera under any piece of furniture. At the same time, you have to make sure to place it at a height that will capture the full frame of what is happening.


Cover your camera with any piece of cloth. However, you have to make sure you leave some space for the lens! You want to be able to see everything on screen when filming. If you don’t, then it’s likely people might notice something isn’t quite right.

Coffee cup

Sometimes an upside-down coffee cup might be the perfect way to hide your camera lens! Simply place it on any surface. Then pour some water over. Keep your camera behind the cup. Henceforth you will have a barrier in between the camera’s lens and what is happening.

Tinfoil or wrapping paper

A really sneaky way to hide your lens is with tin foil or wrapping paper. Simply place the camera behind it and make sure you have enough coverage so that no one can see what’s going on! However, you must be careful not to cover too much though, as this may result in a lack of visibility.


Find a high place and put your camera on the top of a billboard. Make sure to use an angle that won’t be seen by anyone below! This definitely sounds like a tough one. However, it is a very promising one. As the camera will cover a lot of angles from that position.

Bicycle basket

Place your lens behind a bicycle’s handlebars. Make sure you don’t cover it with anything or too much will be blocked out when filming.

Up trees

Another great option for a high place is up in the branches of a tree. Make sure to be mindful about what will and won’t be visible when filming!

Step 6: Adjust Audio Quality

You have to be conscious of the sound and take it into account when shooting a prank. This could be anything from having people talk at specific intervals during setup all the way to creating an elaborate soundtrack. You can keep the audio quality high by doing the following:

  • Consider wearing headphones to reduce outside noise so that you can hear your voice or anything else off camera!
  • Make use of mini microphones or attach boom mics to the actor’s costume. This will help to record the audio of the actor and the victim clearly. This way, their dialogues will not go misheard. Henceforth the prank will be more enjoyable to watch.

Step 7: Shoot the Prank

Now is the moment when you can do what you have been willing to do for so long. Yes, it’s prank time! Execute the prank just the way it has been planned. Do not be nervous and just go for it. Also, make sure you do not do anything that makes it obvious to the victim that you are trying to prank them.

While shooting the prank, you should follow these steps if you want a beneficial outcome:

  1. Don’t start shooting with an extreme closeup. It should be easy for people to understand what is happening, not confusing.
  2. You should be conscious when composing your shot. Therefore, key moments can be seen without cutting back and forth too much.
  3. When filming, keep in mind what will be funny when it eventually gets played back to the subject. For example, if you’re using a hidden spycam, it’s best not to film anything too incriminating (like illegal activity) or personal things!
  4. If you’re filming candid pranks, be aware of where the camera is at all times so that nothing can give away what’s happening before it happens. Make sure there are a few backup angles in case something comes out blurry or unexpected!
  5. If your prank is an elaborate one like this one we did where we put on a gorilla suit and snuck into our boss’s office, then you’ll need to film the whole thing from beginning to end.
  6. Do not forget to take quite a few backup shots!

Step 8: Editing the Video

Once you are done with filming the video, you have to edit it. The editing process is an important part of the video. It would help if you focused on what’s important in editing. This may include cutting out extraneous shots. Moreover, you have to make sure there are plenty of close-ups and reactions from every angle.

You can use editing software to do the work effortlessly. Well, how to choose good editing software for the prank video? If it’s just for you, then iMovie or Windows Movie Maker will do the trick. If it’s for everyone to see, then you’ll want professional editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro – they’re expensive, though. Hence, a great alternative is Video pad Video Editor!

While editing, we will recommend you to follow these steps:

  • Add some dramatic effects or engaging background sound.
  • When editing, keep an eye on the sound to make sure it’s not too loud or obvious what’s happening.
  • In editing, be mindful of cutting out any extra parts. Besides that, you should omit unnecessary shots that don’t serve a purpose to the story.
  • Moreover, you have to make sure there are closeups on reactions from all angles! When editing, keep an eye on the sound to make sure it’s syncing up with the video.

Step 9: Post the Video

Lastly, you need to take it through to publishing once the video has been done filming- that means taking care of any final edits, adding music, and sound effects.  The best place for posting candid pranks is YouTube or Facebook because they’re more likely to be shared with friends in a group chat! You can also post on personal blogs or websites.

That was it! We are done with discussing the nine steps to be followed for shooting effective prank videos. Well, since you have read this long, we would like to provide you with 10 secret tips that can increase your prank’s value!

Top 10 Secret Tips for Shooting Great Prank Videos

  1. The last thing you want when shooting prank videos is boring footage. You should not film something that looks like something from an instructional video. The first step to interesting footage is to make sure you have comfortable people in front of the camera.
  2. The second thing to keep in mind pranks that involve talking is how much information can be conveyed without words. Your viewers must know what’s going on and how they’re supposed to react. However, it’s also important that you don’t overdo it.
  3. Make sure the camera is pointed down when filming. This will help you to not catch somebody’s reflection!
  4. Don’t walk up to somebody and start shooting. Besides that, it is better if you talk to people before recording.
  5. If filming on a bus or car, ask permission from both driver and passenger before recording.
  6. If there’s someone in front of your lens that would know what you’re doing, DON’T film! They might reveal your prank and ruin the fun.
  7. Make sure to use caution when filming from a car window.
  8. Don’t use too many close-ups to avoid any glare from the glass. Don’t change angles too often!
  9. Have some backup plans if something goes wrong or is unplanned. Moreover, you can make a few different versions so that if one doesn’t work out, then there’s always another to fall back on.
  10. Make sure sounds are recognizable in editing. If people don’t know what’s happening, they won’t laugh!


Now that you know the steps and tricks to shoot prank videos, it’s time to get out there and start filming! If you liked this post, feel free to share your own pranks with us on social media. We love seeing what people think is funny and would be thrilled if we could feature them in our next blog post. Happy Filming!

Leave a Comment