Finding your “Comfort Zone” is a beautiful thing. There aren’t too many things on the planet that can better dictate one’s professional routine or have as much effect on personal life like comfort. From your 9-5 surroundings, friendships you nurture daily and workflows, finding your zone is business efficient, cost effective and maintains peace in the ranks. Maintaining your online video brand is no different. Comfort zones, as I had mentioned allow for streamlined, cost saving processes, real big check marks on a line producer’s clip board.
Familiarity with what works also opens up for what I call “production spaces,” small blocks of time that lets you investigate diverse creative arcs or on the fly production enhancements with little disruption. As we all know, in any business, having a tool belt with minimal second guessing is what makes clients giddy.But there’s also a flip side. Comfort can be limiting. Staying within your creative strikezone in your videos is exactly that, throwing at bullseyes that is small in range. What happens then if your client asks for creative options even if just on paper or worse, in casual conversation? Would you be able to provide stylistic options or just fall back on what you currently know? Would that in turn position you as limited or one dimensional?
The point is successful storytelling and video engagements is also about options. And sometimes that requires navigating your uncomfort zone. Even with straight point and shoot HD cameras like The Flip or Zi8, creative variety only improves your experience behind the lens as well as sets you up for learning opportunities. Here are 6 Simple Ways On How To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Create Better Video. For pros like Dan Perez The South Florida Filmmaker, these are nothing new. For beginners, great ways to enhance their video product. But first a piece I recently put together that utilized what I’m suggesting.
- Go Big. It’s the beauty of HD. Higher resolutions (1080 and above) on standard definition timelines allow for unique cropping opportunities and efficient use of source clips. Who say your shots have to be centered? For reference, check out a Sprite Step Off production that I edited.
- Be A Reality Director. My favorite by a mile. Utilize well grounded tripods, manual focus and quick zoom hits to deliver that “24″ journalistic feel (yes the Fox show with the guy from The Lost Boys). It’s that subtle popping motion, often utilized by news magazines, that adds a layer of realism. This takes a little practice. A jerky hand is not what we are going for here.
- Be Quiet. Very, very underutilized. In tv promos or movie trailers, music or audio drop outs at strategic moments heightens emotion. Why not online for your value testimonials? Timed correctly and your selling points resonate just a little more.
- Use More Stills. Don’t be afraid to incorporate more stills (epecially black and white) into your video. Not only does it break up stagnancy, it adds a layer of production value. Look through your video lens with a photographer eye and you’ll be amazed how you isolate on key moments.
- Break The Flow. Often annoying to many editors, I find some value in jump cuts as long as they are strategically used. For those who don’t know, a jump cut is “two sequential shots of the same subject taken from camera positions that vary only slightly. This type of edit causes the subject of the shots to appear to jump position in a discontinuous way.” Utilized with the right transition such as a “flash,” your piece can showcase some creative style.
- Use The Body. Take advantage of what your subject offers up. Broll of active hands, scenery and facial expressions keeps your audience engaged and not to mention breaks up viewer monotony. Always keep your viewer’s attention span top of mind. Plus they serve as effective masking agents when your video quality is poor at certain points.
Not everything above is for everyone. But once you utilize one or a combination of some, your production value increases. 6 Simple Ways On How To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Create Better Video. It’s what people remember you by. But please run your creative by the clients first. No need to have constant slow motion and white doves like John Woo if it’ll break your budget or worse, your client could care less. As always, if you have any questions, please send them my way. Happy to help.