A VIDEO GUIDE
             FOR SMALL BUSINESS
                                   By
                             Pesi A. U...
2

SUMMARY OF CONTENTS
Video Production Explained: How a well-designed video fires the imagination, engages
emotions, focu...
3

Video Production Explained

A well-designed video fires the imagination, increases the energy level of the
audience and...
4
   •   POST-PRODUCTION includes recording of guide narration (using an
       edited script, which may change from the s...
5

Creating Top Quality Video for Your Web Content
Home made Web video used to be kind of a joke. Unless you were either p...
6



Creating Voiceovers for Video
If you are marketing on the internet, you cannot have failed to notice the
enormous gro...
7
For example, an empty room with bare walls will give off a resounding
echo/boom which degrades sound quality. The soluti...
8



Software for Web Video?
Web video is here to stay, specifically Flash Video. Today there are more than 1
billion Inte...
9
The Secret to Writing an Infomercial Audio Script like
a Hollywood Pro
There are basically two kinds of script:

   1. A...
10
Infomercial Production - Record with Feeling - Your
Audience Will Love It
If you know that you have total control over ...
11


How to Submit Videos to Video Sharing Sites
To really benefit from having your videos viewed as much as possible you ...
12
you have recorded and have the rights to. Also if you have video or slides with
no soundtrack then this too can be gene...
13

 Tips for Shooting Video
The secret of good video is quality not quantity. Here are some tips and money
saving ideas.
...
14
   •   Don't forget a backdrop
   •   Keep props down to a minimum
   •   Shoot as many takes as possible – you never k...
15

How to Shoot Short Subjects
(No, we’re not talking about discharging firearms at the little people!)

Think about it t...
16
   9. Storyboarding – Here’s a simple way to write it: Describe each scene –
      or change of camera position – in CA...
17
Be Self Aware When Using Video to Present
Yourself in the Best Light…
It’s hilarious to watch someone using video to se...
18


A Video Production Tip: Have Better Eye Contact
The Eyes Have It
Do you remember your high school elocution classes? ...
19
             with a tendency to rush or develop a "sing-song" delivery that
             destroys its effectiveness.

 ...
20

How to Interview on Video
When doing an interview there need to be at least three people involved.

   1. The person b...
21
This preliminary meeting can be part of your research and enables one to
establish the views of the person being interv...
22
feel has been inadequately dealt with. It is quite remarkable how often you will
get an excellent and usable response f...
23
MediaPower New Media Communications
Since 1993, we have been progressively engaged in the development of Multimedia
Com...
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A Guide to Streaming Video

  1. 1. A VIDEO GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS By Pesi A. Unwalla MediaPower New Media Communications STREAMING VIDEO POWER FOR YOUR WEBSITE MAKING YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD! www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805 info@mediastreams.ca The purpose of this preliminary guide is to educate and familiarize small business owners and professionals with some of the processes and techniques which go into the production of digital video for use in their promotional products. Future issues will contain other techniques & methods & expand on the ones in this guide. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  2. 2. 2 SUMMARY OF CONTENTS Video Production Explained: How a well-designed video fires the imagination, engages emotions, focuses attention and is a powerful marketing medium with the ability to communicate concise, precise and controlled information with a positive effect… Creating Top Quality Video for Your Web Content: Whether you need to create short commercials, full-length infomercials, teaching/training pieces, entertainment with a message or testimonials, the technology and skills you need are easy to acquire… Creating Voiceovers for Video: Often, it is the quality of the audio, especially the spoken word that pulls marketing videos down, which is why it is so important to learn how to create voiceovers for video… Software for Web Video: Flash video technology has surpassed the capabilities of QuickTime, Windows Media Player and Real Player and is available on over 98% of broadband users and on 100% of new computer systems being sold. The good news is that there are some extremely powerful and inexpensive software options in the ‘video to flash’ conversion marketplace… The Secret to Writing an Infomercial Audio Script like a Hollywood Pro: It is important to write any script so that it doesn't sound as though it's for the written word. The trick is – write it like you you’d say it! Infomercial Production: If you know that you have total control over how the end result is going to sound, you’re going to feel a bit more confident in making your recording… How to Submit Videos to Video Sharing Sites: To really benefit from having your videos viewed as much as possible you need to submit them to as many video sharing websites as you can. But which sites will give you the best results? Tips for Shooting Video: The secret of good video is quality not quantity. Here are some tips and money saving ideas. How to Shoot Short Subjects: These days, armed with a video camera and some digital editing tools, you can create many of the same powerful effects as major movie producers. Using Video to Present Yourself in the Best Light: Video is such a powerful medium and it is far more effective than any sales page ever written. But if people want to make it do its job successfully, they are going to have to learn the art of body language. Video Production Tip: Have Better Eye Contact: One important key to effective video marketing is to establish good eye contact immediately and maintain it throughout your video shoot. How to Interview on Video: Interviewing for video is a skill that can be perfected with practice. The key to successful interviewing is research, research and yet more research. A Promotional Offer from MediaPower: Visit our website at www.mediastreams.ca MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  3. 3. 3 Video Production Explained A well-designed video fires the imagination, increases the energy level of the audience and ensures that all feel part of your event. It engages emotions, focuses attention and enables individuals to visualize their role clearly. It is a powerful marketing medium with the ability to communicate concise, precise and controlled information with a positive effect. Videos strength lies in its simple ability to transport people to locations, illustrate concepts and convey far more than mere words, spoken or printed, ever can. Video is an effective and memorable way of communicating. Core messages and themes are reinforced using other forms of communication. Video footage has a long shelf life when used imaginatively in multimedia CD- ROMs, Websites, DVD and CD-Brochure formats. Video has been revolutionized by the onset of digital shooting and editing. Shooting in broadcast quality used to involve cumbersome and expensive camera equipment, combined with analogue editing which required the copying of sections and consequent loss of quality with each successive generation. The process was time consuming, complicated and linear. Modern digital cameras are capable of shooting in near broadcast quality and editing is now carried out in non-linear editing software on desktop computers; changes may be made at will, stored and reviewed at any time and in any order. The advantages are similar to those gained by using a computer word processor over that of a mechanical typewriter and carbon copy paper for duplicates. Not only is digital editing highly flexible, but the medium enables an ever-expanding range of graphical effects to be applied – without loss of quality or corruption of the original footage. Consequently, the costs associated with producing a video have fallen dramatically. What was once the preserve of the large corporations is now available and affordable to small companies and individuals. The stages required to produce a video vary depending on the style and content; generally: • PRE-PRODUCTION involves briefing, research, location finding, administration, booking of facilities and writing a treatment outline (video content, description and approach to be adopted). After approval a shooting script or storyboard, including both narration and camera shots will be written. • SHOOTING follows the approved script and involves a camera crew and a director going to location/s to interview participants and shoot footage to illustrate, illuminate and reinforce the script. If required studio shoots are undertaken where controlled lighting and effects are employed - a product demonstration, for example is typically shot in this way. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  4. 4. 4 • POST-PRODUCTION includes recording of guide narration (using an edited script, which may change from the shooting script because of interviewee’s comments etc.). Footage is edited to the guide narration, graphic and video effects generated and music and titles added. The resulting edit master is then client approved and amended as necessary. A final “voice over” is then effected incorporating final changes. The final master tape is complete and ready for duplication. • REPLICATION is the transfer of masters onto the final format – which can be all or any of VHS, Betacam, Laserdisk, Digibeta, DVD, Mpeg, Avi, Streaming Video and more. The final product is then packaged and presented in an appropriate way with print material for labels, inserts and sleeves. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  5. 5. 5 Creating Top Quality Video for Your Web Content Home made Web video used to be kind of a joke. Unless you were either putting up a home video for folks to laugh at or you were an aspiring pornographer, most of the content was low quality, badly framed junk with scratchy sound. Those days are past, with the explosion of YouTube, affordable digital video cameras, microphones for Web content and user-friendly software to put all the parts together. Now, just plain folks can create quality video content. Whether you want to create short commercials, full-length infomercials, teaching/training pieces, entertainment with a message or testimonials, the technology and skill you need is easy to acquire. While there are now plenty of folks willing to grab a big chunk of your cash to show you how, you can do a bit of your own research and weed out the "overpromise and underdeliver" types yourself. You'll need to understand the basics of why you should use video, common mistakes in making one, cameras, lighting, microphones, composition and editing. Once you have a decent understanding of the basics, you'll have an easier time of getting from idea to finished product if you plan out your work. Creating a screenplay may seem daunting to the new director/producer, but it's nothing more than a plan to make what you do easy and effortless to do and view. Just watching television, with an eye to what the folks who created what you see did to prepare, will help you understand the process. Every show, commercial, PSA (Public Service Announcement), etc., began as a written description. The technical part of compressing and decompressing your video for the Web (codecs) may seem difficult to master, but a bit of common sense and practice will get you where you want to go -- online! Without getting too technical here, what you want to accomplish will help you decide which format and codecs to use. Screen resolution, bit rates and the like will make more sense once you've tried a few combinations and can understand the results. Whatever your goal in making video part of your online presence, it's nice to know that things are much easier these days to get you there. Advances in digital video for the Web, some of them appearing in just the last six months, mean that you could be ready for your close-up in no time flat! Quality video content is the future of the Internet -- make your move to multimedia before you miss out! MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  6. 6. 6 Creating Voiceovers for Video If you are marketing on the internet, you cannot have failed to notice the enormous growth of video. Whereas in the past it was just text, and later audio, video has exploded onto the scene as THE medium of choice for creating interest and driving traffic to your website. With sites such as YouTube allowing people to upload their videos at no cost, there has never been a better time to climb onto the Video bandwagon and begin using it as part of your creative marketing arsenal. Of course, the video needs to be professionally created, if it is to create the right impression. Often, it is the quality of the audio, especially the spoken word that pulls marketing videos down, which is why it is so important to learn how to create voiceovers for video. The first step in learning how to create voiceovers for video is to realize that a lot of the competition is not that great either. Even some of the household names in internet marketing – folks who normally produce impressive products which are praised by their peers, have been known to produce products with audio that just sounds downright amateurish and are even difficult to hear. Very few marketers really have what it takes to become their own voiceover artists, and doing a good enough job to produce professional sounding audio. By learning how to create voiceovers, you can gain an enormous advantage over your competition. With the great boom in video being used for marketing, everyone it seems is now creating their own videos, and the audio quality, overall, is to say the least, quite terrible. That means opportunity, if you can learn to produce clean audio that sounds professional. You will need to obtain the right equipment, especially the right microphone, or else you are doomed to fail from the get go. You will be happy to hear that this does not mean rushing out and buying the most expensive equipment there is. A very decent microphone can be had for under $100 and is a good investment which will serve you well for years. If you are recording directly to your computer it always helps to have a better than the run of the mill sound card – again not a huge investment. Another critical factor in learning how to create voiceovers for video is getting your recording environment set up properly. Even if you are using the best microphone, and equipment you possibly can, it still makes a huge difference if your microphone is not correctly located or if there are defects in the room which lead to unwanted noise, echoes or other effects. These are the areas in which so many people don't take enough care, or simply don't have enough knowledge, to get things right. Take the time to learn the skill properly, and you will have a big competitive edge. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  7. 7. 7 For example, an empty room with bare walls will give off a resounding echo/boom which degrades sound quality. The solution to this is not to build a sound-proof room with expensive acoustic tiles. All you need to do is wall off a small area of your studio with blankets, where your mic will be located. This will get rid of all bounced sound waves. Once your audio is recorded it can be imported into your video editing program as a sound file (typically a WAV format will produce better quality than an MP3, which however is also suitable). Good sound will make you stand head and shoulders above your competition. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  8. 8. 8 Software for Web Video? Web video is here to stay, specifically Flash Video. Today there are more than 1 billion Internet users worldwide with the ability to stream video but less than 1% of websites are incorporating this powerful medium. This is bound to explode and you want to get in there before it does. Flash video technology has surpassed the capabilities of QuickTime, Windows Media Player and Real Player and is available on over 98% of broadband users and on 100% of new computer systems being sold. The good news is that there are some extremely powerful and inexpensive software options in the ‘video to flash’ conversion marketplace. A quick search on Google for “Video to Flash conversion software” will bring up as many programs as you like. The one I have used often in the past when I wanted to do a ‘quick-and-dirty’ conversion was AWISHvideo among others, though now there are a number of them with far more functionality, Flash based video software is definitely the present and future of web video as it results in a much smaller file while retaining great quality. This results in a more enjoyable viewing experience, less glitches and no significant issues based on internet connection speed. Whilst some would argue that there are free web video players available which are competent enough, and Adobe (previously Macromedia) Flash CS3 (www.adobe.com) is still king of the castle, there are definitely benefits in considering purchasing your own web video software. Here are some additional software resources for you to check out… Adobe Premiere Elements is a video editing software application for non-linear video editing, published by Adobe Systems. It is a scaled-down version of Adobe Premiere Pro – a more professional package with a steep learning curve. www.adobe.com/products/premiereel/ V2F (Video To Flash Web Video Software) easily creates web videos and video ... www.easywebvideo.com Ulead Software for video editng, DVD authoring, digital imaging, and web design. It includes trial downloads and support documentation. www.ulead.com Jumpcut.com - Jumpcut is a free, web based video editing software and now it's even part of the Yahoo! family. www.labnol.blogspot.com/2007/01/free-video-editing-software-for.html Video Editing Software - Top Video Editing Software Reviewed, 2008. www.video-editing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ All-in-one audio and video editing software, converter (CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, AVI, MPEG, WMV, etc.), CD/DVD burning, CD ripper, etc. www.blazemp.com/ MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  9. 9. 9 The Secret to Writing an Infomercial Audio Script like a Hollywood Pro There are basically two kinds of script: 1. A simple outline. 2. A complete word for word script of your presentation. Naturally, there is less work involved in an outline script. Because basically all you do is just write a simple outline in point form of the topics you’d like to talk about. This is quite effective for some people especially if they really know their subject and have the gift of the gab, because they can jot down the highlights and keep focused on what they want to discuss without rambling and getting off on a tangent. For the less gifted, there is the word-for-word style of script writing which requires the use of either a Teleprompter or maybe even a laptop. You start the preparation of both scripts in the same way… 1. Tell them what you’re going to talk about (introduction) 2. Talk about what you want to talk about (the body) 3. And then tell them what you talked about (the conclusion) But whatever you do, remember - it is important to write any script so that it doesn't sound as though it's for the written word. The trick is – write it like you you’d say it! MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  10. 10. 10 Infomercial Production - Record with Feeling - Your Audience Will Love It If you know that you have total control over how the end result is going to sound, you’re going to feel a bit more confident in making your recording. Well, guess what... You DO have full control because I’m going to show you how to edit down to the syllable. In other words, yes, there’s always the erase function, but let’s say that you’re on a roll and you’ve laid down a long audio track and then you discover you’ve make a major mistake. Since you know that you have the ability to simply edit that one syllable, word, or phrase, rather than erase the whole recording you just made, you’re going to be a heck of a lot more confident and not as worried about making mistakes. There is no fire. Now what do we mean by that? Well, lots of people, because they are afraid of making mistakes, just rattle off their speech really fast in hopes of getting over the pain quickly. Take your time. Slow down and relax. Breathe!!!! Remember, you control the edit function. Rapid speech makes your presentation sound nervous, out of breath and amateurish. So BREATHE…. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  11. 11. 11 How to Submit Videos to Video Sharing Sites To really benefit from having your videos viewed as much as possible you need to submit them to as many video sharing websites as you can. But which sites will give you the best results? I certainly don't know and I doubt that you do as well unless you are spending hours of your valuable time monitoring your traffic figures. You need to submit to as many sites as possible. Its logical to assume that if you upload to 6 sites will you be getting six times more views than from just one site alone - and if you upload to 20 sites will you be getting twenty times as many views? Maybe not - because the biggest video sharing sites get the bigger slice of the viewing audience, but one thing is for sure and that is you need to submit to a goodly number of sites. With over 250 such sites online at the moment there is certainly a lot to choose from. However according to Compete.com, the top 10 sites (YouTube and Google count as one site) own nearly 80% of the online video share. So while it is possible to upload to 220 sites on the list, at this stage in their development it is better to concentrate on the top twelve to fifteen sites. Google/YouTube had almost 150 million viewing sessions in March 2007, nearly 47% of the market share but even Pure Video's share of 1.5% amounts to 4.8 million viewing sessions from almost 3 million viewers, certainly enough available viewers to keep your website real busy. So how do you upload to fourteen sites without spending hours visiting each site individually, completing the submission for and uploading the video. The same way as submitting articles to many article sites, by using state of the art submission software. By using such software you can be assured that all the hard work has been done and you are submitting your video as efficiently as possible. With a program like Video Upload Pro, you can easily upload your videos to multiple sharing sites and drive responsive targeted traffic to your own website. It will work automatically, even when you are away from the computer. Currently submitting to 15 video sharing sites, with more being added, it works in auto and manual modes. It accepts multiple profiles so that on each video sharing site the video could have different titles, descriptions and keywords. One other great advantage that this program has over it's competition is that it can be purchased for a single, one-time fee with no monthly subscription. Now while all this sounds like a great idea and you see the advantages of sharing videos, what if you do not have any video content? This is not a problem when using services like Traffic Geyser - where you can have a video generated for you from a slide show, using your own images to accompany audio files that MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  12. 12. 12 you have recorded and have the rights to. Also if you have video or slides with no soundtrack then this too can be generated and added to your video. Now that your video is ready you can easily submit it to up to 30 video sharing sites. Traffic Geyser also has the ability to send your audio files to dozens of Podcasting sites and if that is not enough it can also strip out the audio from the videos in your account and submit those as Podcasts! At the time of writing this article, this service was provided at a monthly fee of $47 which allowed you to make 375 submissions per month. That equates to 25 videos to 15 sites or more videos to less sites – your choice. If you are already producing video clips and not yet submitting them to video sharing sites or you can see the advantages that sharing your videos can bring to your online business and have not produced them yet then you certainly need to start considering how you will submit your videos, the time consuming manual method or the smart software method. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  13. 13. 13 Tips for Shooting Video The secret of good video is quality not quantity. Here are some tips and money saving ideas. • Turn off Date Reference • Switch your camcorder to Auto • Use SP mode not LP • Use effects sparingly, if at all. • Do not use unnecessary zooms, pans or tilts. Too distracting, even annoying. • Close your eyes. Check for odd sounds. If you hear a hum, buzz or whatever, locate its origin and move away or turn it off. Fridges hum so do computers. Clocks tick. Dogs bark. Etc. etc. • Get your microphone as close as you can to the sound you want to capture. • Always wear headphones to monitor what the camcorder is hearing. • If necessary, have an extra person along so you can wire your mic to a long cord or use a makeshift boom ( paint roller kit or broom handle) • Don't skimp on batteries – keep spares handy • Don't use the built in microphone – they’re usually terrible. Invest in a Lavalier (lapel) or Shotgun mic if you’re going to be doing a lot of recording. • Don't forget a tripod – remember you’re not shooting The Blair Witch Project! • Don't turn on special effects – they are annoying & distracting unless used for a specifically designed purpose. • Make your own “steadicam” – buying one will bankrupt you! • Don't forget the rule of thirds in composing your shot. • Break the rule of thirds if you know what you’re doing and why! • Get more than you need on tape – it can always be erased. • Make sure anyone you use in the video is available for some after shoot in case of blank areas. • Make sure you over deliver if creating a video for someone else • Never ever pay retail – eBay, Costco et al. • Don't make arty videos – or if you do, keep them to yourself. • Always carry extra light bulbs • Always carry a flashlight • Keep an eye on the time for daylight hours - dusk is no good for resolution. • Make your own light reflectors with kitchen foil and cardboard. • Don't use any copyrighted material (music or footage) without permission – you will be sued! • Make sure you carry gaffer tape & duct tape in your bag • Plan all your video scenes on a rough storyboard before shooting – “shoot” your video on paper and use stick figures if people are involved MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  14. 14. 14 • Don't forget a backdrop • Keep props down to a minimum • Shoot as many takes as possible – you never know which one you’ll end up using. • Follow the KISS formula - Keep It Simple Stupid • Use a key light, Hair (back) light and a fill light • Check all your equipment twice before you start out. • Check wardrobe and makeup requirements • Shoot a rehearsal if you can – it warms up the talent and allows you to check and change • Have fun - your video will be better for it. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  15. 15. 15 How to Shoot Short Subjects (No, we’re not talking about discharging firearms at the little people!) Think about it these days, armed with a video camera and some digital editing tools, you can create many of the same powerful effects as major movie producers. But good video – like a good speech – begins with the writing and here are some to assist you with writing an effective one to five-minute presentation. 1. Keep to a single theme – For any short, non-fiction video, focus on a single, basic theme. There’s no time for anything else without muddying the waters of your message. Every element in that video should relate to that one single subject. 2. Start with the End – What viewpoint do you want the viewer to draw once they’ve viewed your presentation? Next to your basic theme, the conclusion is your most important component so you need to introduce it early on. 3. End with the Beginning – repetition is key – leave them with your most important point. 4. In the body of the presentation, make at the most three points (remember the power of three) – In a short informational video, it’s difficult to make more than three points before launching into your conclusion. Develop three strong statements that are easy to dramatize and easy to remember and will connect the viewer logically to the conclusion. 5. Think visually – Video generally relies more on the picture than on the dialog to create major points. Consider this as you write the script. Think about a visual image that will enhance the impact of each point you make before writing the audio script. 6. Study commercials – Some of the best presenters in the world are TV commercial writers. Take a look at several 30-second spots or one-minute television ads for tips on how cinematographers convey their messages to the brain by leading the eye to their conclusion. 7. Choose your talent – Casting your video takes special skill. For instance, if you’re writing a video on high school teaching techniques, perhaps a teacher or student – or perhaps both – should star in your video. Or, if your movie contains a series of still photos, you might want your audio to be only narration, which you might want to record yourself. 8. Flow – How do you want the scenes in your video to flow? Logical linking of one scene to the next is less confusing the viewer and makes it easier for viewers to follow your argument. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  16. 16. 16 9. Storyboarding – Here’s a simple way to write it: Describe each scene – or change of camera position – in CAPITAL LETTERS. Underneath each scene, write the dialog or narration in caps and lower case letters. 10. Shoot the video – Make sure you’ve planned visual elements like camera angles, positions, and lighting. 11. Edit the video – There are several very good video editing programs on the market – some high end with a steep learning curve and greater functionality and others with liower functionality but easy to use. You can transfer your footage directly from your camcorder onto your computer, and edit onscreen. 12. Preview your video – Before completing your project, show your video to a few friends, and ask them for suggestions on how to improve it. 13. Finally – Show it off! MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  17. 17. 17 Be Self Aware When Using Video to Present Yourself in the Best Light… It’s hilarious to watch someone using video to sell us something and their body language does not match their words. You see examples of this everywhere – even on TV commercials, where business owners represent their own products without caring how they project themselves – sometimes over-exuberant and sometimes downright morose and dull! Video is such a powerful medium and it is far more effective than any sales page ever written. But if people want to make it do its job successfully, they are going to have to learn the art of body language. In online text and especially in sales letters, there will be exaggerations and even outright lies - and the writers often get away with it! However with video, body language always gives the game away when they are lying and the product they are promoting isn’t really what they claim it is. Mind you, that’s often a good thing because it saves us money and wasted effort and we can have a good laugh to boot. While motion is an essential component to make a video interesting, some folks would be better off if they just clasped their hands behind their back. People get carried away when they are ‘enthusiastic’ (real or feigned) and overuse their hands – which is funny and awkward, or they pay little attention and use them ‘normally’ which gives their motives away and tell quite a different story than what their words are saying. A large amount of Human communication is by body language. We watch eyes, facial expression, body positions and lots of other even more subtle movements that while almost imperceptible are subconsciously registered in our everyday interactions. We watch these movements unconsciously and only become aware of them when they don’t match the spoken word. Video conveys this synchronicity (or lack thereof) perfectly and even exaggerates it and that’s what makes it such a powerful medium of communication. This can help or hurt, depending on how much attention you pay to it – so be self aware and make sure your body says what your words are trying to say. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  18. 18. 18 A Video Production Tip: Have Better Eye Contact The Eyes Have It Do you remember your high school elocution classes? Your teacher must have told you that eye contact is extremely critical to making a good speech. The more you look down, or over your audience's heads, or to the side of the room instead of eyeballing them, the less effective your speech, presentation, or monologue will be. This doesn’t mean staring aggressively into your audience’s eyes but by and large one should keep one’s gaze directed at your audience. The 4 second rule is a good one to follow – try and hold your gaze at an individual for 4 seconds or so – no more, no less. One important key to effective video marketing is to establish good eye contact immediately and maintain it throughout your video shoot. The 4 second rule doesn’t apply here though. You want to direct your gaze continuously at the camera – a casual gaze and not a frightening stare, remember, only glancing away occasionally while gesturing or referring to something off-frame. Tips for Improving Eye Contact Here are a few pointers to help you along the way toward creating dynamic video marketing clips. 1. Get used to looking directly at the lens of the camera. It's may feel strange at first, but you’ll soon get used to it. 2. Imagine yourself chatting with a good friend, and that the camera is his or her eyes. Keep to a natural and conversational tone and your video will come across natural sounding as well. 3. Avoid those dreaded Uhms and Uhs on camera. Many people do this only when they are intimidated by the camera. Two or three brief pauses in which you are silent are a hundred times better than saying "uh" even once. When in doubt, pause and breathe – it will add weight to your words and that cannot hurt. 4. Have a good idea of what you want to say. The best videos you can produce are when you consistently look right into the camera and speak from the heart. Once more, practice will make you better and better at extemporizing. 5. If you have trouble speaking off the cuff you could: a. Memorize your script. This can be very effective but difficult. You need good memory or practice enough to get your wording "down pat." The danger is that you will miss some words or points and have trouble getting back on track. Another danger is that you will remember all your lines, but won't be able to deliver them naturally MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  19. 19. 19 with a tendency to rush or develop a "sing-song" delivery that destroys its effectiveness. b. You can use Cue Cards or a printed script. You can look down, briefly to remind yourself of the text and then look into the camera again. Many news anchors use this method. If you develop the art of casually glancing down briefly and only occasionally, this method can still be fairly effective. c. You can create a script that you are reading off the computer screen as it scrolls just below the camera. Affordable Teleprompter software is available on the web. If the laptop is sited directly below the camera lens, it is almost impossible for your audience to realize that you’re reading it off. d. You can also purchase a teleprompter that enables you to read your script as it scrolls right in front of the camera. The advantage of a teleprompter is that you can read and look at the camera simultaneously. The disadvantage is that teleprompters can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Hold 'Em with Your Eyes Whichever option you choose, you will find that as your video production experience grows and your eye contact becomes more frequent and more natural, your video marketing will double and triple in its effectiveness. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  20. 20. 20 How to Interview on Video When doing an interview there need to be at least three people involved. 1. The person being interviewed 2. The interviewer and 3. The Videographer. (Arguably, an extra person to handle the sound is a benefit but not always possible). Interviewing for video is a skill that can be perfected with practice. The key to successful interviewing is research, research and yet more research. Before you interview a subject you need to know as much as possible about the person you are interviewing and you need to read everything that anyone has ever written about the subject. This is what the Internet is for - typically it contains everything written about any subject in recent times. The more information you can get and the more research you do, the smoother your interview will go. Having said that it is vital that the interviewer both asks questions and more importantly, knows when to shut up. The problem sometimes arises when the interviewer knows more about a subject than the person they are interviewing which leads to the temptation to show off their knowledge. This is a fatal error – remember, the viewer is not interested in your views. It is the person being interviewed who should remain the center of attention. Be prepared for interviews that go smoothly and some that get a bit ragged. Write all your questions down and create a supplementary list of questions just in case a suitable answer is not forthcoming. Avoid questions that invite the single word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. For example the question 'Are you in favor of premarital sex?' will probably elicit a yes or no reply, which is not the idea at all. Instead you can ask “What are your views on premarital sex?” To avoid a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer use the tried and true journalist technique of asking who, what, why, how and when questions. None of these can be answered with a straight 'yes' or 'no'. Phrase your questions so that they lead the person being interviewed into expanding their views. Before starting the interview, the interviewer and subject should get together to establish rapport. Interviewers who can go in cold and get a good result are few and far between. MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  21. 21. 21 This preliminary meeting can be part of your research and enables one to establish the views of the person being interviewed and their ability to express themselves and to answer questions. It is possible that this preliminary talk might even prompt one to modify some of the interview questions. In this preliminary conversation avoid raising the specific questions you will be asking in the interview. Instead, indicate general areas of interest or it could give the impression that the interview had been rehearsed. Before starting on the interview, have your key questions laid out and ready. You need to have a certain amount of flexibility but most of the time you will find that your primary question order is much better than if you were just winging it. There are two main ways of handling an interview. The first is where the question is not heard and the interviewer is off-camera and not seen. You merely record answers that are obviously directed at someone who is out off-camera. A series of answers like this can be edited together from either one person or several, to provide the effect of a continuous interview. In this type of interview, the interviewer asks the question and then stays silent while the subject responds. If some sort of reaction is needed a nod or shake of your head or an encouraging smile are enough to keep the flow going. If the interviewer does speak it may have to be edited out afterwards and that’s not always easy. The other type of interview is where you both interviewer and subject are on screen (either in the same frame together or separately in alternate shots) engaged in the manner of a normal conversation. This sort of interview can easily be covered with one camera, but a second camera or third, to capture close-ups can be very effective. For single camera work one can shoot the interviewer's questions first and then shoot the subject separately, answering exactly the same questions in the same order.. At the end of the shoot one shoots a series of 'noddies' that are used for cutaways and reactions. The key to making such an interview work is to get the subject completely relaxed. Try to shoot the interview in a familiar and non-threatening environment and keep the camera work and the lighting as unobtrusive as possible. Don’t forget to do a sound level check with the first question and keep it totally innocuous. Start the interview gently in a casual chat mode and always move from soft to hard questions imperceptibly. Do not start like gangbusters or the interviewee will clam up or, in the worst case, walk off – yes, it happens! At the end of the interview always ask if there is any question one may have missed. This allows the subject to expand on a point or deal with an area they MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  22. 22. 22 feel has been inadequately dealt with. It is quite remarkable how often you will get an excellent and usable response following that last question. It’s a good idea to start off with a wide shot of the person being interviewed facing the interviewer. The interviewer's back then appears, which gives a three- dimensional aspect to the shot and gets the scene in context for the viewer. Change the shot sizes in rhythm with the questions. New question - new frame. Another form of interviewing on video is ‘vox pop’ – from the Latin vox populi (voice of the people). These are quick short interviews with people on the street to demonstrate public opinion on any subject. What you want to end up with is a series of statements that can be cut rapidly together and which give a clear indication of the current attitudes on that topic. Once again, to make the interview more visually interesting, change the shot size as a new question is asked – e.g. from mid shot to close-up, and then resume filming again. Use different backgrounds and different eyelines as well. Be aware that subjects can move sideways or backwards and forwards when making a point and may even wave arms around in the air and you need to be prepared for this so they remain in the shot. Make sure the camera does not cut off parts of their bodies. Armless interviewees may be harmless interviewees but headless interviewees are dead! MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805
  23. 23. 23 MediaPower New Media Communications Since 1993, we have been progressively engaged in the development of Multimedia Communications for other businesses, empowering them to project their image and message in a professional, sophisticated and highly effective manner. We have always recognized the need for creating effective yet affordable promotional and instructional applications using cutting edge digital technologies, specifically geared towards the needs of small business. With us it’s business first with an extra creative twist. It’s all about SOLUTIONS! And more often than not, its one that is far less costly than you may think and our creations are geared towards your business solutions - whether they be marketing, sales, education, information or motivation. Since 1994 we have been working toward being able to distribute multimedia over the internet, but till recently this was not feasible due to bandwidth limitations. However, when bandwidth finally caught up with us we were one of the first companies to put Streaming Video to work on the Internet and Mediastreams.ca was created to deliver cutting edge and affordable streaming media for businesses large and small. We've put together an experienced team of professionals from every area of New Media production - from script writers and translators to videographers, photographers, audio experts, web designers and programmers - 'anything you want, we got it!' Like all companies, you probably have a business issue which is unique to your industry or your business - and we’re here to tell you that we have the perfect Solution! This offer valid till May 15, 2008 only. CALL 604.926.5805 or Toll Free 877.936.8377 TO SEE HOW WE CAN HELP PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS IN A WAY THAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD! Visit Us at: www.mediastreams.ca to see Streaming Video in Action. When "Art meets Business" it can only be to your advantage… …that's the MediaPower Advantage! MEDIAPOWER NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS www.mediapower.ca www.mediastreams.ca 604.926.5805

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