Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I found this article to be very insightful and on point in today's market. Businesses are using video to attract potential prospects along with educating, answer questions, showing technical procedures and proposals.
Why Businesses Must Invest in Online Video Marketing
Friday, February 1, 2013
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The web is exploding with video editing cloud services that allow you to upload, edit and share your footage.
Let's assume you've used your built in laptop video camera, cell phone, or have a handheld video camera and would like to add music, effects, transitions, and a few simple graphics on the cheap.
Check out WeVideo.
We will be signing up later today and give it a test run. It looks easy and intuitive, but we're not holding our breath. HD video files can be very large, in size, and we suspect the upload time will be long. Make sure you have a broadband connection before you upload.
Visual Media Concepts is always available and willing to help edit your self-shot videos. However, if you're a DIY person, there are many options available for editing and sharing your video content.
Please post and share your thoughts and edited videos using a cloud service. We would love to hear what your experiences were using these online applications.
Now get out there and shoot some video!
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
What? That doesn't sound right? But it is!
I forget where I read or heard this quote, but it's always resonated with me. When I first started in video production, audio wasn't a priority. I was so concerned with the video framing, lighting, exposure, focus, and using smooth and steady movements that I completely ignored the audio quality.
It didn't take me long to realize the importance of quality audio after a couple of failed production shoots. I remember being so embarrassed, showing off my beautiful interview and B-roll footage, only to hear my boss complain about the audio levels.
I, of course, was sent out again to recapture the interview. I don't remember which was more humiliating - reshooting the interview or having to call and explain why I needed to reshoot it.
It's been proven that people will sit through a low quality video with good audio, but they will not sit through a high quality video with bad audio. With that being said, let's cover some quick tips!
Tip #1- Do not use the built-in camera mic.
Say you just bought a new video camera and plan to produce some "in-house" content to post on YouTube, Facebook, or other social media platforms. But you didn't think about buying any additional audio mics to go with the camera. Oops! Here are some of the problems that you might experience:
All of these things can be extremely distracting during an interview. So how does a professional avoid these problems?
The first thing I do is, of course, use an external mic. When I'm taping an interview and a loud truck rolls by or I hear other distracting noises, I reshoot the segment again, even if it was spot on. The problem of noise interruptions can occur whether you have an external mic or a built-in camera mic, but it's definitely worse with the latter.
So, what do you do if you don't have access to external mic?
Tip #2- Record room tone.
So, what the heck is room tone? It's the ambient sound of the room or area in which you're taping the interview subject. And why the heck do you need it? Here's an article that briefly explains: http://bit.ly/PFe3UR
Room tone is important if you want to edit out "uhms" and "ahhs" and make the video more polished and professional. You can change virtually anything someone says with proper B-roll footage and room tone. Plus, recording room tone will help Visual Media Concepts edit your video if you were to ever need some help! :)
Tip #3- Good or Bad, make sure it's consistent.
Audio levels can be "fixed" or "sweetened" after you finish, but don't rely on this exclusively. Always try to get the best possible audio signal. The proper way to check this is to use headphones and monitor the audio while it's being recorded. If your camera doesn't have a way for you to accomplish this, run a test recording and watch/listen to it.
One thing I've learned is to NOT over-tweak the audio while it's being recorded. Why? Well, it's easier to raise or lower the entire audio track at once than to have to tweak a bunch of areas independently. Don't misunderstand this tip; it's alright to turn the volume slightly up or down. But don't make any dramatic adjustments. If your viewers have to turn the volume up and down while watching the video, then you've lost them. Even if your audio is bad, just let be bad all the way through and then try to fix it in postproduction.
These audio tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Wait until you hear about compression and other ways to tweak your audio!
Do you have a tip for shooting on a low-end camera, phone, or even a prosumer camera? If so, please leave a comment.
Monday, March 7, 2011
What do you think?
Here is a really bad, locally produced commercial. At least they tried to be different...creepy different.
Now, here's a local Dayton, Ohio car commercial.
There is nothing wrong with this spot, but is it memorable or engaging?
I've heard some people state that even if the commercial is annoying, it's still doing its job. I'm not sure I believe that. I understand the concept, but I have never run into anyone (no pun intended) who has actually shopped somewhere from a commercial that annoys them.
Have you? If so, I'd love to hear about it.
Visual Media Concepts is fascinated with the idea of creating engaging content for businesses and organizations. Tell us your wacky ideas and we promise not to produce an annoying spot.
Monday, February 28, 2011
What I’d like to discuss is when and when not to use Flip (I will use “Flip” as a generic term for any kind of lower grade, hand held video camera) cameras to promote your business or organization.
Let’s start out with the advantages and disadvantages of using a Flip or hiring a professional. We’ll look at just a couple of the most important for both.
The advantages for the Flip are:
It’s small, easily accessible, and fast.
The disadvantages for the Flip are:
Picture quality (not using proper lighting techniques being the main reason).
Poor audio quality because of the built in microphone.
Less production values.
The advantages for hiring a professional are:
Proper picture and audio quality.
A better planned production with more production values.
The disadvantages for hiring a professional are:
It’s not fast, more expensive, and takes more time.
Let me say this, I love Flip cameras! I’ve been in the video business since 1992 and I’ve seen all the equipment get smaller and better throughout the years. Also, it is possible to use a Flip camera to create great productions. The video of Luci, my Great Dane, on my home page was shot with a Flip camera. The real question to ask is what does this project call for and what are you trying to do?
Here is the biggest thing to keep in mind…audio is 90% of video. Weird huh! People will except and watch a bad video imagine, but they will quickly stop watching a video with bad audio. The message is the most important part. Hearing, clearly, what people are saying is the most important part of the video. The main reason audio is so poor with a Flip is because it’s a small, inexpensive, built-in mic that picks up everything in the room you’re taping. It’s set to “automatic levels”. So it will “fight” back and forth between all the noises in the room. It can be very distracting.
Another consideration is lighting. When uploading video to the Internet, by default the encoding process zaps the luminance value of the video. Basically, it makes the image darker once it’s online. If the videos you’ve shot on a Flip camera are already dark and hazy, then the final product will not be what you want.
If your message is important, then hiring a professional and planning will solve all of the above problems.
So, in conclusion, shoot with your Flip cameras and have fun! Knowing the weaknesses of the camera will allow you to decide if you should or shouldn’t.
Here’s a checklist for minimizing problems shooting video with a Flip camera:
-Shoot interviews up close (2 to 4 feet away) and in a quite room.
-Hold the camera as still as possible, use a tripod or set it on something static.
-Be aware of the lighting and always try to move your subject into good lighting.
-If you’re going to edit the video, leave 2 to 3 seconds of “slop” at the beginning and end. This will give you more freedom to cut, dissolve and use fades.
-Have fun and experiment!
Keep in mind though; you do not eat at a 5 star restaurant wearing cut up jeans, flip-flops, and a stained T-shirt. Choose a professional, like Visual Media Concepts, when you need a top-notch production to engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.