Your 15 Minutes of Fame is Now 3: Get it Right

In case you hadn’t heard, online video is huge.  Online search is still more prominent, but YouTube is the #2 search engine.  And it’s not just your 20-year-old cousin — it’s popular across age groups.

Organizations need to know how to “do” video.  If you do it poorly, it won’t work.  As demonstrated by David Neff and Aaron Bramley of Ridgewood Ingenious Communication Strategies at this month’s Austin Social Media Club confab, by following a few rules, you can produce video that doesn’t suck.  I personally am still playing around and learning myself.

Here are some basic rules to get started, thanks to David and Aaron:

  1. Rule of thirds – think about the composition in terms of a 2×3 grid and don’t place the main object in the dead center.
  2. Light and dark – be conscious that this can become way more pronounced on video, especially if it’s projected.  For the best results, use 3-point lighting.
  3. Steady, steady – a shaky film will turn people off.  Use both hands when holding the camera, or use a tripod.
  4. Use close-up shots to show emotions or conversation, medium shots for interviews, and long shots for action.
  5. Sound is very important; even if the shots are great, if the sound is bad, people will tune out and turn off.  Unless you’ll be in a quiet room, consider buying an external mic that can be clipped on to or held by the subject.
  6. Include transcription for your videos – you will get better search engine optimization (SEO).

David and Aaron also provided some documents to help budding videographers:  an individual release form, location release form, and production grid are available here.

If you need some data to help back up your argument with your boss that video is a good idea, see David and Aaron’s presentation.

Oh, and 3 minutes? There’s no hard and fast rule about how long most people will pay attention – just remember, we all have short attention spans these days… think carefully about what your audience and your message.


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