Here’s a resource that’s a little different. The folks over at shutterstock put together some great examples from modern cinema to talk the importance of pacing in video editing. While you may not be creating the next blockbuster, there are certainly great takeaways and inspiration in this article! https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/video-editing-pacing-your-film
Now that you have all your tools, it’s time to frame your perfect shot.
FRAMING A TALKING-HEAD SHOT
As you choose your frame look out for the following:
Check if the lens of your phone on the same height as your eye line (for details see video below)
Check what is inside the frame: you can cut off the top of your head, but be sure to leave enough space at the bottom for closed captions and graphics (never frame a shot to be right on your chin, go to at least mid-chest)
Put yourself slightly off center in the frame, it’s a more pleasing composition
Make sure the light source is behind the camera. If there is a window in the room, you should be facing it – don’t have it behind you or the background light will make editing a nightmare. It looks even better if you turn on a 30-degree angle and have the light source hit your face halfway from the front and side
Don’t stand under a headlight – it will cause shadows under your eyes and nose
If you’re not comfortable with lots of editing, shoot until you have an entire run-through that’s good and can be used as is
Do not use a cheat sheet – the camera will pick up your eyes shifting back and forth
If you need to, make sure you powder or blot your face between takes
If you’re using a ‘natural’ background make sure there’s nothing weird: like a plant that appears to be growing out of your head or a book shelf with embarrassing book titles, etc.
Find out more about framing by watching this video:
SHOOTING A TALKING-HEAD SHOT
Be patient and follow these tips and you should be all set:
This might sound basic but, don’t forget to hit record! I just recently did a GREAT shoot, only to realize that I never recorded it
Talk slowly and be aware of your filler words. I tend to go nuts on “ahems”… a nightmare to edit and tedious for the listener
Err on the side of authenticity and a longer natural shoot, rather than a fully scripted and prompted one or a stiff-from-memory-delivery
Record a first take and then immediately watch to make sure everything looks and sounds great
Between takes turn the recorder off and back on again it makes finding stuff easier later than having to slosh through a massively long take
If you take notes (and I suggest you take notes!) hold up a post-it with consecutive numbers for each take. Write down which takes are the best and refer to the numbers on the post-its – this will make editing later so much easier
Upload your clips immediately after shooting (I use airdrop – which is much faster than uploading to Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud)
The following video has tips on how to look and sound your best on-camera:
The videos above were all shot with an iPhone 7 using a clip-on microphone and edited on Adobe Premiere. The graphics were prepared in Adobe Photoshop and then imported into Premiere.
Altogether, it took me about 50 minutes to shoot four 2 to 3.5-minute-long videos. That time does not include scripting beforehand and getting ready in terms of wardrobe and makeup – everyone has a different threshold for preparation.
WHEN IT COMES TO B-ROLL
Keep it simple and get lots and lots of coverage
B-roll is the footage or the clips that support the story you are telling, often things like establishing shots of a building or the room you are in. So, if you own a bike shop, your b-roll might be interior shots of the shop, the mechanics at work, customers shopping, a cyclist pulling up to the store with her bike, etc.
You might ask yourself what b-roll is for? Let’s say you give an interview and you’re talking about your bike shop it’s a hundred times more interesting to see images of the bike shop than hearing you talk about it. The principle is: Show don’t tell. If you are a service provider this is – obviously – a bit harder, because you don’t have a physical product to show.
Don’t try to follow the action, let the action unfold in the frame (following action is for pros)
Keep the camera as still as possible (see above)
Get as close to the action as possible
Shoot in short concise spurts
Don’t attempt to “cover” the entire event or happening: Choose key moments and concentrate on those
If you shoot your product (i.e. bicycles) go slow and steady and keep camera movements to a minimum. You can always create movement in editing or jazz the footage up with upbeat music
There are many variables to any shoot. If you’re starting out with DIY video marketing, keep it simple and short. Give yourself time to try out what works for you and what doesn’t.
If there’s anything else you’d like to add to these lists, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments.
We tell stories, we invent stories, we share stories, and we make stories up. Some stories are small others epic, but they all are a constant in our everyday lives.
So, why are so many business owners petrified of corporate storytelling, especially when it comes to video marketing?
We’re just sharing what we’re up to, right?
This is what gets in the way:
Overthinking the storytelling process
Getting tangled up in industry jargon
Talking about concepts rather than telling a story
Being attached to looking good, rather than real, like-able, and authentic – there, I used the “a” word
Trying to pack too many stories into one video
And the list goes on.
So, how do you remedy being stuck on telling your story on video?
If you’re selling a product, show the product while you tell the story about why you are selling it.
If you’re selling a service, you are the product! People are buying working with you.
Show them the product: You! And, tell them your story.
Most of my clients are service providers and when they ask me what kind of story to tell, I recommend a couple kinds:
There’s “The Classic”: i.e.This is my passion and this is my business. Chances are, that you have the content for that video already. It’s what you talk about when you meet new people and introduce yourself.
Blow a sample: And a note to reader: if you have any samples of your own, I’d love to feature it here and replace the below video!
And here a video that talks about finding content for those kinds of videos:
I also love any kind of expert tip series, especially if you are a service provider.
I was hugely worried about coming up with content, but once I found a chapter structure for the 22 videos, it was so easy to come up with expert tips, because I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping small business owners.
And, if you sell a product you can even do a tip series on that product: how to take care of it, use it, and work with it. Or you can talk about something related to the product.
So, if your product is road biking gear, you could talk about bike maintenance tips, race training tips, and bike routes.
No matter what kind of video you’re putting together, my advice is:
Keep it simple
Keep it short
Work with what you have
Stay clear of jargon
Be yourself, and
What are your storytelling-challenges? I’d love to hear from you!
Happy Friday the 13th… I know it doesn’t mean anything, nor do I find the combination of a random day of the week paired with an equally as random number scary.
What is however a tad scary, is that I entered into a 30-day video challenge.
My challengers and I are all producing a video a (business) day for the month of October and posting daily to our YouTube channels. So that’s 22 videos in 30 days.
I’ve survived videos one through 10 so far and have made some discoveries for myself. Notably:
Routine makes things easier (duh)
Organizing upfront pays off later (double duh)
Plans to re-invent the wheel (i.e. the video style) every week NOT going to happen if the task is 22 videos in 30 days and not winning a beauty contest.
Finding video content is the easiest part
If you’re sloppy with ANY step of shooting, organzing files, editing, rendering, and uploading to YouTube you’ll pay for it dearly during the following step(s)
Here a link to video #8: Storytelling, Finding Content. Find out how super easy it is to get to content consistently!
And, since you’re at it, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel!
I have another challenge going with my nephew as to who will have more subscribers by the end of the year. And although, currently ahead of the curve, I don’t trust those digital natives. One viral video and I’m toast!
Video Tech Specs:
All videos are shot on my iPhone 7 with a Sennheiser clip-on microphone, edited on Adobe Premiere. The graphics are produced in Adobe Photoshop and then imported into Premiere.
You know that awesome feeling when you teach something and it totally lands? Yeah, like your dog finally sits without getting a treat each time you tell him to, or a swimmer finally puts a stroke together that you’ve been showing her for a while, or a student has that awesome “aha” moment.
That’s how I felt when I watched this video:
I had taught a class at a Bronx high school for an EDsnaps summer program run by Susanne Cappendijk, and her daughter Lisanne, listened to my class and then went off and made this video; from scratch. I love every frame of it. Continue reading →
A few years ago, as I started focusing on video marketing for small business, it all seemed crystal clear to me. There were only five stages of video marketing:
As you can see, these five steps did not include strategy, distribution, or analytics! The above categories were what I knew as a filmmaker. I have come to realize, that what I knew about back then was video PRODUCTION, not video MARKETING.
The moment we talk about video marketing, versus video production, we also need to talk about strategy, distribution, and analytics.
As you can see below, video marketing is a circular affair: Strategy starts with being clear on distribution channels.
The first question when you start with video marketing, is: “For which [social] media channel am I producing my videos?” – or at least it should be the first question, once you get over the fact that “Which camera shall I shoot with” is NOT the first question to ask.
The challenge is that the social media distribution channels change constantly. The blogs I wrote on this topic (less than 6 months ago) are big-picture still relevant, but the details, such as video length and format, are already helplessly outdated (see links below).
For instance, for SEO the former all-important key words no longer hold the weight they did only a few months ago and Twitter now allows for videos 140 seconds long, where before they capped it at 60 seconds.
This means, you will find yourself – most likely – re-doing, finessing, re-shooting, and re-editing the same content repeatedly. Reacting not only to channel changes, but also to overall trends, and consumer behavior. And you, as a small business owner, will need to pivot much more often with your content and offerings as well.
You might find in your analytics that your viewers jump ship at a certain spot in one of your videos and moving things around, or supplementing your video’s content with text, or a graphic is needed so the viewer doesn’t miss the most essential information.
Whatever the data may show you, the one thing that is certain is that video is no longer that one big investment asset that stays the same for a long time.
Video today is either built for a very short consumption time frame, or in constant flux. And this is especially true for small business, and even more so, for content produced for social media.
So, what has changed since last fall? Well, first it’s all about Facebook and secondly, it’s all about mobile.
This means that small businesses (and big ones too) look for their clients on Facebook over Google ad words and over any other social media platform. And, video is the highest ranking asset on Facebook. Meaning, if you reach out with Facebook ads to prospects, you better have video.
Here the key take-aways:
The Facebook algorithm delivers relevant over recent content, prioritizes friends’ over page content, and prioritizes heavily shared posts over recent posts
Video should be posted natively (i.e. directly to Facebook, and not linked from YouTube or any other hosting service so it gets preferred treatment from Facebook (YouTube is Facebooks’ nemesis)
90% of all FB users sign in on mobile, and 85% of those are watching videos on mute!
The video advertising platform default is for video to auto-play, on mute
This means: Use text overlay, captions, logos layered over footage
Show your brand or product within the first 8 seconds of video (this gives you 3x more engagement)
Keep your videos super short and “snackable”
Use hashtags as you would on Instagram, but don’t overdo it – it allows for easy search of your content by a few keywords as it does on other social media
For more in-depth reading about video for social media, video hosting and SEO check out these links:
As major social platforms evolve to better accommodate audience demand for video, it’s even more necessary for video content to be built to succeed on each platform. This Wistia strategy guide with start you off right. https://wistia.com/library/social-video-strategy