In early March, a colleague shared with me that media giant Turner Broadcasting was going to have on a huge presence at the #2011 SXSW Music + Film Interactive Conference. And from what I heard, that they did. Coincidentally, I got a Facebook update from another colleague who was selected as one of a handful of #CNN IReporters who would cover the festival. From their perspective and literally their own lens (Canon 60Ds I believe), they would shoot broll of what makes the #2011 SXSW experience so fascinating. The finished CNN piece was an elegant 2-minute snapshot that uniquely showcased one of the largest digitainment conventions known to man, in the purest of forms. Clearly a spin cycle of media, technology, knowledge, music and hangovers, immediately you’d think overload and excess. But yet the opposite was showcased. It was demystified, brought down to the simplest form of storytelling through storytellers who put aside the obvious and concentrated on essence. No voice over, minimal transitions and a sweet music cut. I’ll say it again till I’m blue in the face… more doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to video production. I’ve directed, written, produced enough to witness this first hand. Here are 5 Ways On How To Simplify Your Online Video Making Process and engage your viewers through simplicity and honesty as opposed to abundance and over thinking. Oh yeah, no fancy equipment needed and kudos to the folks at #CNN.
- Be organic in your thinking. Unfortunately, deadlines are sometimes the rudimentary cause for an ineffective video presence online. If a client allows or if its a promotional presentation for yourself, tackle the process like an artist building a clay statue. Build in small increments, filling in as you literally feel your way through the creative process. Non linear editing software (Final Cut, Premiere, IMovie, Movie Maker) offers that luxury, letting you edit at any point or location in your timeline. Take advantage of that freedom and let it evolve organically. You’ll be surprised that editing the end or middle first, might kick start a project quicker or push it another way creatively. The front to finish shotgun approach is a thing of the past. Bottom line, edit when and where it feels right.
- Don’t let technical hurdles slow you down. Take advantage of the Internet with an abundance of video and audio resources available free of charge from blossoming content producers. Scour YouTube and Vimeo for detailed multi part instructionals. For those who have a leg up with Final Cut and AfterFX experience, try Video Pilot for stock footage and easy to transfer time lines. For audio, sites like Audi0Jungle offer royalty free audio tracks and Jamedo even provides “free and legal music downloads.”
- Follow Three C’s With Video. Clarity, cohesiveness and composure are the glues that keep audiences visually focused. Let your brand and reputation shoulder the load offline as you focus on the pin point importance of delivery and composure in front of the camera. Rehearse, practice, rehearse and repeat. Avoid lingering shots (hover on .5- 1.5 seconds), utilize transitions that translate smoothly online and utilize interspersed cuts of subject and cover video for variety. Please spend the $100 on a tripod and by all means avoid “boxed” effects. It’s so 1985.
- Treat Audio As One Takes. I alway shoot video with one rule always top of mind. ”Bad video will stall your project, badly recorded audio will end it.” Unfortunately, audio that’s way past the red levels or is lost in environment noise is 9 out 10 ten not correctable. Invest in something as simple as a Rode Video Microphone ($149) or a Zoom H1 Recorder ($99) to isolate as well as magnify your source when interference is present. Be aware of your surroundings, listen for wind when outdoors and master your external mic’s limitations. Would it be more beneficial to shoot cover as well as one on one interviews afterwards in a more secluded setting? Do you have enough suitable bites to carry their weight in edit, especially if it’s sales related? Remember, you only get once chance with audio.
- Focus On Your Core Message. Remember, easy to digest messaging will be easier to “buy” than lengthy broad stroked promises. Studies show that two to three minute segments as opposed to lengthier all encompassing :10 minute marathons retain audiences far more effectively. Plus, your reputation as a subject matter expert is enhanced with frequency and a posted schedule. Like chapters in a book, create a series of webisodes that’ll cultivate your tribe and direct them forward. Start and close each segment with brand reinforcement and client value. Lastly, always tease what’s coming up next.
What are you thoughts on my 5 Ways On How To Simplify Your Online Video Making Process? What are you doing to drive your video messages with as much efficiency and reach as possible. As always, if there questions I can answer, I would love to hear from you.