Andy Green's Blog

A web-workers world…

Adding a Personal Touch to Your Videos

Your marketing video is not successful unless someone watches it! The ultimate success is a video that someone watches and then watches again. What are some of the best personal touches you can utilize to achieve this? Remember that your video is artwork. Video is a series of moving, talking pictures, so let’s talk about what makes up good pictures.

First, obtain the proper equipment and know how to use it. This does not refer to a specific brand. If you are buying a camcorder, just remember to look for an aperture ability or f-stop number around 2.4 or so, and you want a smooth multi-step zoom. You also need to have a tripod. You can purchase a lightweight, fluid-head tripod for under fifty bucks. Another item you must have is a good light source. A reliable lighting umbrella kit, again, can cost less than fifty dollars. Otherwise, make certain your room is well lit. For outdoor filming, be sure you have bright daylight for at least a couple of hours. Whatever light source you utilize, do not place it directly behind the person who is talking to the camera!

Practice with your equipment. Where are the buttons on the camera that will zoom in and out, cut in special effects, and so forth? How do you manipulate the tripod so that you can slowly pan back and forth? Can you switch focus smoothly? One of the most effective techniques is to begin your video tight on your speaker-a nice close-up shot of a clean, smiling face-then zoom out slowly. Just in case you’re holding the camera instead of using a tripod, be certain not to walk around unless you’re dispensing motion sickness medicine! Pause the camera if you have to move.

Next, frame your shot. What is in the background? Don’t rig up a cloth backdrop if you cannot make it look professional. If it’s a kitchen item, use a clean, well lit kitchen. If you are selling business services, make certain the background shows a professional office setting. Are the books evenly spaced? Can you see dust on the shelves? Put a plant in the background. If you are outdoors, avoid windy days. And before you press the red button on the camera, center your subject squarely against this nice background.

Your subject should know the script, but memorizing sounds unnatural. Write a script, and then reduce it to keywords listed on index cards. The subject should practice his lines as he flips rapidly through the cards. If he cannot remember the script without them you can use a table- or desk-top item to conceal the hands, or just don’t zoom out far enough to show them. Also, your speaker should practice speaking slowly. When people talk, their voices always sound slower to them than they do to other people.

Don’t use graphics or music unless you are really good at editing them into your video. If you do, however, it is useful to time any changes of shot with the beat of the music-the visual cut seems smoother when it takes place with the beat.

Now that you actually are filming, this is the hardest personal touch: keep it short. This video is your baby, but anything longer than two minutes will lose your viewers’ attention. If you really believe that you need five minutes to describe your product or service fully, break it up into several one- or two-minute segments that you can rotate on your website. And by keeping it short, you give your viewer time to watch it again-the ultimate success!

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December 27, 2008 - Posted by | Video Marketing | , ,

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