This is the second of a 3-part blog series that will share information from several recent webinars I had the opportunity to watch regarding video creation, specifically for business people. This post will provide a brief overview of the presentation.
Click here or on the picture to access the presentation on the BriteTALK website.
In our last post, we focused on the process of creating your videos. This post will focus on how to develop and present the content within your video. This post is based on the webinar "Getting Started with Video - Learning the Basics" - presented by Matt Pierce.
To begin with, if you are just getting started in creating videos, recognize that your first few videos will not be perfect. If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this:
1) Practice, practice, practice
2) Learn from others in your industry.
Analyze shows you enjoy and ask yourself questions about the techniques they use to tell their stories. When do they use voice-over? What types of transitions do they use to move from one clip to the next? When do they use background music? What camera angles do they use? Asking all these questions will help you as you begin developing your own story.
Note of caution: Learn from others but do not try to create a duplicate of their work. Your videos must be unique and express your personality.
Here is a YouTube Channel that provides a good example of the progress that can be made with a bit of practice. Town & Country is a dealership in Alabama that, in my opinion, provides great content for their viewers. Note the difference in their first video compared to one of their more recent ones.
Here are 6-points to consider when developing your video content:
1) Plan for the Outcome – Especially for marketing, have in mind the outcome. The outcome is your call to action – what you want the viewer to do or take away from your video? Plan for this outcome from the very beginning.
2) Write a Script – Having a script will prevent you from drifting off topic. A script will save you time in the long run. I have personally found this to be true. A script, or at least an outline, can prevent you from having to do extra takes because you forgot to mention something or because you got too far off topic.
3) Use a Storyboard – A storyboard is a picture outline that graphically shows what shot you will be shooting, the shoot order, and the perspective of the shots - feel free to use stick-figures and the like. This is a great tool if you will be shooting at multiple locations and/or from multiple perspectives. Storyboards, like a script, can be very helpful when working with multiple people to make sure everyone is on the same page.
4) Make a Shot List – This is a checklist of shots you need for your video. Organize your shots by location. This will enable you to make the best use of your time when you get on location and start shooting your video. Once you have your location list set, take a field trip and scout out your location(s). When shooting in a public location, or near private land, make sure to get permission from all those in the areas where you will be shooting.
5) Get Feedback – I recently tagged along with a friend who writes articles and does photography for a couple of car magazines. As he was shooting pictures of a highly modified Shelby GT 500, he told the car owner and me to let him know if we had any ideas for shots we thought would be good. He then looked at me and said, "I don't have the market cornered on good ideas." The biggest lesson I took away that day was, no matter how many years you have been in the business, there is always room to learn and grow. The key is that you have to be willing to listen, even to those who are less experienced than you.
6) Learn the Technical Aspects – Okay, so this kind of goes back to the previous post in this series. It is important to learn the technical aspects of telling a good video story for much the same reason that a novelist must understand the technical aspects of writing (grammar, vocabulary, spelling, etc.) to tell their story. It enables you to tell your story clearly and in a way that will connect with your audience. The technical aspects of telling a story with video include:
Audio - Every presentation I have listened to about making any type of video has emphasized the need for good audio and investing in some type of microphone. Bad audio will ruin even a well shot video.
Lighting - Learn as much as you can about how to work with the lighting in the environments in which you will be shooting. And be prepared. If you bring additional lighting, don't forget to bring an extension cord!
Captions - Try to use these whenever possible. Think of these as your audio backup. This is helpful for people who are deaf or who are in an environment where they cannot hear your video's sound. It is also helpful when making videos for social media sites since those videos generally begin to play without audio. Note that you do not have to caption everything, but at least highlight main points with text.
Learn to Edit Videos – He mentioned that you can pick up some good techniques just by thinking about what editing techniques are being used in your favorite TV shows. Watch the transitions they use to go from one scene to the next and the positioning of the cameras. Learning to edit your videos will give you a better idea of how to setup your shots and interviews so that you can get the most out of these in post-production.
If you are new to video editing, I would recommend downloading the GoPro Splice app. It is free and fairly easy to use. And while it does not have all the bells and whistles of a full-feature editor, it can do quite a bit.
Here are two example videos shot and edited with just my iPhone and the Splice app.
The final thought for this post comes not from this webinar, but rather, from a YouTube vlogger named Casey Neistat whose channel I subscribe to. On one of his vlogs, he talks about how to tell a good video story. He mentions that a good story needs 3-things: 1) Setup, 2) Conflict, 3) Resolution.
Casey also talked about using time-lapse and drone footage. He recommended that these types of shots should be used primarily as transitions or for providing a broader context of where you are. He cautioned against not over-using these types of media unless that is the primary focus of your story.
Click here if you would like to watch Casey's video.
Our next post will explore 4-types of training videos that can make your subject matter more interesting.