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Top 5 Ways to Shoot Stronger Videos


Published on -- Any online marketer will tell you the best way to organically improve your company’s digital visibility is with video content. However, gone are the days when a webcam video would suffice; the online viewer is more sophisticated and expects a higher [...]

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Top 5 Ways to Shoot Stronger Videos

  1. 1.  Top 5 Ways to Shoot Stronger Videos 4, 2011By Joseph OleshImage courtesy of Cinegear LtdAny online marketer will tell you the best way to organically improve your companys digital visibility iswith video content. However, gone are the days when a webcam video would suffice; the online viewer ismore sophisticated and expects a higher level of quality. A sound online video strategy is not only aboutquantity, but quality that will speak to the integrity of the brand it represents.Google rewards sites with video assets a "Page One" ranking more than traditional web pages. The wayto get Google to recognize your video requires one of two exercises: Upload your video to YouTube, orupload your video to your site. (If uploading to your site, be sure to employ sound video SEO tactics toensure Google sees/indexes your video.) Video SEO is a discussion unto itself. For this post, well focuson producing strong video content.It may seem obvious, but these shoots should be planned and taken seriously. Looking to have onlineviewers take your brand seriously? Do not take your video production lightly. Pay attention to the details,make sure the messaging is clear, and deploy a launch strategy that will give your videos the highest viralcoefficient (the variable that assumes your videos chances of going "viral").  
  2. 2. 1. EquipmentDont worry about expensive audio/visual equipment. Youll need a camera, lights, a mic, and a computer. • Per cameras, I highly suggest dSLRs -- Canon and Nikon offer inexpensive, high-quality solutions. Many television shows and independent films are using Canon 5Ds and 7Ds. These cameras are nice, but the lower-end EOS Rebel T2i will work for most cases. The other advantage for a business to invest in a dSLR video solution is that youll also have, by default, a high-end stills camera. • Most cameras come with external audio inputs; youll need this with an external mic. I recommend the RODE Shotgun Microphone. Itll grab sharper, clearer audio than any on-camera mic. • Finally, proper lights. Photo lights are fine, so long as they are constants (meaning they stay on, rather than flash.) For best results, position lights above the eye-line of your speaker. (Well go into lighting a bit more later.) As for kits, most any basic setup will do, so long as they employ some sort of softbox.2. LightingLighting can make a poor camera look strong, enhancing the video quality and the message it carries. Atthe least, employ a strong key light. The key light is the primary light source illuminating your subject. Thislight is usually positioned behind the camera and always above your subjects eye-line. Aim the light atthe bridge of your subjects brow and adjust your cameras aperture accordingly (raise/lower your f-stop/ISO until properly exposed.)This technique will brighten the eyes, making that visceral connection between video and viewer thatmuch stronger. Bringing in a fill light (light to "fill" in the side of your subjects face) and an edge light (lightfrom behind to "edge" the subject from the background) will add further sophistication to your videosaesthetic.3. ShootingPer "Shooting," well focus on twoitems: Composition and CaptureSettings. Composition is key,whether youre shooting on a REDor iPhone. This is the easiestvariable to control and one that canmake or brake your video. For ahead-and-shoulders setup, look tocapture the eyes of your subject atthe upper-third of the frame. Do notcrop too tight, but create a framethat is close enough to see the lightin your subjects eyes.As far as your settings go, pay specific attention to three items: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. Yourshutter speed should be double your frame rate. If shooting at 30 frames per second, your shutter shouldbe set to 1/60; if at 24 fps, set shutter to 1/50. As a rule, try to keep your ISO as low as possible, ideallybetween 100 - 400. The greater your aperture, the greater your focal range. f/2.8 will give you a veryshallow depth of field, where f/8 will give you a much broader range. For head-and-shoulder setups, I liketo be around f/4. Thatll give me a soft background, while still giving my subject some room to movewithout falling out of focus.  
  3. 3. 4. Length & EditShoot for 1 to 3 minutes. If you have more content, post multiple videos -- each video can then beoptimized. I find that cutting to b-roll during a video presentation increases engagement and adds contextto the subject matter. For basic videos, iMovie and Final Cut Studio X will do the job. Final Cut Pro, Avid,and Adobe Premier allow for more detail in your edits, but do require a greater learning curve.5. GraphicsIf you incorporate your logo, BE SUBTLE! I suggest the lower right or left corner, depending on theorientation of the logo. Titles, too, should be placed creatively within the negative space your compositioncreates. They should be legible (use a sans serif font like Arial or Helvetica) and as unassuming aspossible.Each of these items are summarized, but the objective of each should set you on the right track. If nothingelse, please take away the fact that online video is absolutely vital to the success of any website movingforward. As internet speeds increase, videos value as a commodity will increase in kind. Looking forproof? An estimated 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute on YouTube. Use these videos for"digital" eye-to-eye contact with your customer. Theyll live and work for you online, around the clock.http://www.Tier10Lab.com