Online Video Tips

Tips to visually improve the quality of a Flip video (or, really any video that you create for your website):
1. Dress the part. If you know you’re going to be making an on-camera appearance, get ready for it. You may consider wearing your company colors, or a version of those. Or, wear an outfit that’s particularly complimentary. Solid colors tend to work better in front of the camera than stripes or busy patterns. And, be extra-neat with your hair and makeup – the camera shows, and sometimes amplifies, any mistakes.
2. Stake out a spot for the camera. Arrive to your location early, and bring a friend to help you select the best angle from which to take the video. Think about not getting the camera too much in the audience’s way while still getting your shot framed correctly.
3. Think about framing. In most cases, you’ll want either a waist-up shot or a head-and-shoulders shot. If you use your hands a lot while you speak, or for a longer presentation, consider the waist-up shot. If you have a very short presentation, then a head and shoulders shot may make more sense.
4. Watch the background. Make sure there are no clocks acting as halos above your head, and that any artwork doesn’t distract from your message. Also, protect your background if you can – make sure no people will be walking through, or giving you “bunny ears.”
5. Be stable. The “Blair Witch Project” can get away with shaky videos and dropping the camera, but your business video should be as steady as possible to make a pleasant viewing experience. Use a tripod to keep things steady during the video. It may help to have a mini tripod (like this one: http://bit.ly/UVher) and also a taller tripod, so that you can see which one works best in the space.
6. Keep your place. This is an old trick that I remember from drama class in high school. If you’re going to be standing during the speech, or even moving around a bit, bring a piece of painter’s tape (which won’t wreck the floor) and mark your position on the floor. Occasionally, glance down to make sure you’re on the mark, which will mean that you are framed in the best possible way in your video.
7. Get assistance. If you’re going to be moving around, the camera will need to be moved to track you and keep you in the frame. For this, using a large tripod makes sense because many of them have a swiveling head, which will allow an assistant to track your movements smoothly.
8. No disembodied questions. If you’re going to have a question-and-answer period during your talk, warn the videographer – so that they can be on the ready to film the audience as they ask questions. That way, you won’t have disembodied questions being asked from behind the camera – which looks a little strange.
9. Inform the audience. Most people don’t like to be surprised and find themselves suddenly on camera. Let them know at the beginning of the event (or even when they sign up) that you will be filming.  And, let them know how they may appear in the final video. Don’t forget to have anyone who’s recognizable in the video sign a Model Release (some people who film videos during seminars pass out Model Releases at the front door, and collect them almost immediately after the seminar begins). You can get a sample Model Release here: http://bit.ly/GLvps .
With these tips, your videos  will look more professional, and they can become a beneficial part of your brand.

Tips to visually improve the quality of a Flip video (or, really any video that you create for your website):

1. Dress the part. If you know you’re going to be making an on-camera appearance, get ready for it. You may consider wearing your company colors, or a version of those. Or, wear an outfit that’s particularly complimentary. Solid colors tend to work better in front of the camera than stripes or busy patterns. And, be extra-neat with your hair and makeup – the camera shows, and sometimes amplifies, any mistakes.

2. Stake out a spot for the camera. Arrive to your location early, and bring a friend to help you select the best angle from which to take the video. Think about not getting the camera too much in the audience’s way while still getting your shot framed correctly.

3. Think about framing. In most cases, you’ll want either a waist-up shot or a head-and-shoulders shot. If you use your hands a lot while you speak, or for a longer presentation, consider the waist-up shot. If you have a very short presentation, then a head and shoulders shot may make more sense.

4. Watch the background. Make sure there are no clocks acting as halos above your head, and that any artwork doesn’t distract from your message. Also, protect your background if you can – make sure no people will be walking through, or giving you “bunny ears.”

5. Be stable. The “Blair Witch Project” can get away with shaky videos and dropping the camera, but your business video should be as steady as possible to make a pleasant viewing experience. Use a tripod to keep things steady during the video. It may help to have a mini tripod (like this one: http://bit.ly/UVher) and also a taller tripod, so that you can see which one works best in the space.

6. Keep your place. This is an old trick that I remember from drama class in high school. If you’re going to be standing during the speech, or even moving around a bit, bring a piece of painter’s tape (which won’t wreck the floor) and mark your position on the floor. Occasionally, glance down to make sure you’re on the mark, which will mean that you are framed in the best possible way in your video.

7. Get assistance. If you’re going to be moving around, the camera will need to be moved to track you and keep you in the frame. For this, using a large tripod makes sense because many of them have a swiveling head, which will allow an assistant to track your movements smoothly.

8. No disembodied questions. If you’re going to have a question-and-answer period during your talk, warn the videographer – so that they can be on the ready to film the audience as they ask questions. That way, you won’t have disembodied questions being asked from behind the camera – which looks a little strange.

9. Inform the audience. Most people don’t like to be surprised and find themselves suddenly on camera. Let them know at the beginning of the event (or even when they sign up) that you will be filming.  And, let them know how they may appear in the final video. Don’t forget to have anyone who’s recognizable in the video sign a Model Release (some people who film videos during seminars pass out Model Releases at the front door, and collect them almost immediately after the seminar begins). You can get a sample Model Release here: http://bit.ly/GLvps .

With these tips, your videos  will look more professional, and they can become a beneficial part of your brand.

elf@elf-design.com' About Erin Ferree

Erin Ferree is a brand strategist and designer. She works with small businesses to create brands with substance and style that fit their businesses perfectly.
She's designed brands for hundreds of small business all over the world. Her brands help her clients attract their ideal clients, outshine their competition and make them unforgettable. She also works with small business owners to develop complete clarity about their brand positioning and to develop total brand clarity.
Her award-winning design work and her writing on design have been published in many books and periodicals.
Erin lives, cooks and plays tug-of-war with her dog Stanley in San Luis Obispo, California. Her website is http://www.brandstyledesign.com

Comments

  1. Thanks, Rachel! Are there any other shoestring/DIY design topics you’d like to hear about?

  2. Jen Berkley says

    Great tips, Erin…having shot my first video (actually 3 of them!) about 2 months ago, this would have been a great list to have ahead of time, although the firm I worked with, Kool World Media (www.koolworldmedia.com) definitely had all of this in mind!

    It was also VERY helpful to provide the videographer with a hard copy of my script and point out some logical places to ‘cut!’ so I wouldn’t have to memorize the entire script, but just little tidbits…this relieved a LOT of angst that I had before the shoot!

  3. That’s a great tip, Jen – to record your video in smaller chunks and then splice them together later. Seems like a less stressful way to make one!

  4. Good advice.

    I’d also remind that audio is half the battle with video. Even if you’ve got some steller looking footage, if the audio is blow out, or there’s too much background noise you end up having to re-shoot, or worse, an unusable end product.

    If you are relying on an on-board mic on your camera, have the person filming wear a set of headphones to monitor audio as its being recorded.

    If you can, use a secondary source such as a wired or wireless mic. No harm in redundancy either 🙂

    cheers

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