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Choosing the best length for your video isn’t always easy to do. You may have a lot to say, or you may be wondering what you will say to fill up open space. But, the good news is you don’t need to create a long video. Attention spans today are significantly less than they used to be, meaning you may find it hard to keep your videos short enough to hold the attention of your viewers.

A Few Guidelines to Consider

When choosing video length, remember less is more. Say what’s important first because your viewers will move on fast. And, you want to do something to capture their attention longer if you need a longer video.

Most business videos are about two minutes in length. That isn’t a lot of time to say what you need to, but on a mobile device, a persons scrolling through their social media page is only going to commit to this amount of time to give you. Short videos rule in this type of scenario.

Have More to Say?

What if you want to give a demonstration or provide a video with significant content to it? That’s something you can do, too. When a topic is of value or is entertaining to your audience, creating a longer video, one up to an hour in length, is necessary. To pull it off, create an introduction video that’s shorter. Individuals who want to stay tuned in will do so.

Long form content like this works well for demos, for example. But, you want to first prep your viewers for it. Use a short video on social media to grab their attention and lead them to the long content.

Explainer videos are also benefited from this type of setup. Webinars and product videos fit this mold, too. But, your goal should always be to get people to the next level – to your website where they can take some action to benefit your company. For this reason, invest wisely here in how you market this content.

Getting your video length right also depends on your audience. If your audience is likely to tune in longer, create longer videos. Sometimes, a bit of trial and error is necessary to get the right form and length for your audience’s needs.


Posted in: After Your Video is Created, Making Decisions, Video Production, Video Production Tips

In order to master using a teleprompter, you must first understand and apply the three laws of using a teleprompter. Much like Star Trek’s prime directive or Newton’s law of thermodynamics, there are rules which must be obeyed before you can master the flawless use of a teleprompter. However, unlike Brad Pitt’s character in Fight Club, we can talk about these, so let’s chop it up.

The three laws are as follows:

  1. PRACTICE
  2. PRACTICE MORE
  3. REPEAT 1 & 2 AGAIN

Once you have grounded yourself in the laws of teleprompter mastery, you will be ready to apply some additional tips that will transform you into a teleprompter ninja.

TIP ONE:

Like a major league pitcher and catcher duo, you and your operator must be on the same page as the chemistry (or lack thereof) can make or break the production. Meet with the operator before production to go over any notes or questions. Don’t risk confusing your viewers with an awkward pace of speech or embarrass yourself by reading words that were not edited properly. Establish rapport with the operator ahead of time and review the copy before going live.

TIP TWO:

When possible, write your own copy and rehearse until your next word just comes naturally. If you must read a prepared script, consider making adjustments to humanize the copy and make it sound more natural. A simple change that doesn’t affect the core content is to replace “we are” or “I will” with contractions, like “we’re” or “I’ll.” Small adjustments like this also free up reading space on the teleprompter.

TIP THREE:

Keep your words in the middle and use your peripheral vision to read. Don’t let your eyes dart left and right. This is a dead give away that you’re reading a script. Instead, use your peripheral vision to watch the teleprompter while maintaining eye contact with the camera. If the operator keeps your words in the middle of the screen, it will help you keep your pace. You won’t race ahead or slow down too much.

TIP FOUR:

Smile as often as you can and gesture naturally to emphasize your main points. This helps to build a real connection with your audience. A smile is so much better than an “um”.

TIP FIVE:

Relax, breathe and have some fun. After all, you’re not producing a video to be a robot; you’re doing it because it’s fun, informative and helpful to your viewers. Often, your enthusiasm for a topic will resonate with your viewers more than your words will.

CONCLUSION:

Just remember, reading from a teleprompter does not come naturally – but by using these five tips, you can turn yourself into a natural. What separates the novice from the professional is adherence to the three laws of teleprompter mastery … practice, more practice, and still more practice!


Posted in: All Posts

You have seconds to grab the attention of someone watching your video. What do you say? What do you show?

It is in these first seconds – under about the 10-second mark – that you really have to grab the attention of someone scrolling through social media. You don’t have much time, but with a few tricks, you will be able to create a video intro that really gets their attention.

#1: Waste no time

There is no second at the start of the video to waste. What’s most important here is to use those first few seconds to grab your viewer. Your intro needs to get to the point right away in order for them to stop and start watching.

#2: Use sound, but don’t rely on it

Many people do not have sound on while scrolling through social media. However, you need to ensure it is there once they start to watch your video. The audio should be clear, not overly loud, and in some way interesting. Of course, you also need to ensure it is royalty-free so you don’t violate copyright.

#3: Your video intro works as a teaser

Focus on creating a teaser intro. That is, do not give away everything you are going to talk about or share in that first few seconds. Instead, you’ll want to tease them with what’s coming. That way, they stick around to find out!

#4: Use some special effects but keep it under control

You do not want to make people annoyed in the first seconds of a video. Instead, keep things simple here. This is an important part of getting their attention. You can use more special effects as the video moves on. Be sure your viewer is able to get through those first few seconds with ease.

#5: Keep intros short

Most video intros need to be pretty short and to the point. You do not have a lot of time to spend connecting with your customers and viewers. The intro to any video should be about 20 seconds at most, with the first half of that being the most vital to grabbing their attention.

#6: Create professional quality images

Don’t use something off your cell phone. Spend a few minutes working with a professional video production company or tools to help you create a quality intro. That’s important. What type of impression do you want to give your viewers? Most likely, you want them to respect you as the pro in the industry.

Video intros are perhaps one of the most complex components of the process of using video marketing. However, they can also be a fantastic tool to help you get the attention of those people who will help build your brand.


Posted in: All Posts, Video Production Tips

When almost everything we see and hear is in both French and English, we often forget how complicated it can actually be to create certain types of media in multiple languages. Creating multi-language videos offers a particularly unique set of challenges if you’ve never done it before. However, if you implement the following tips in your video design, integrating multiple languages will be a whole lot easier.

Translate Before Creating the Video

Some phrases simply don’t translate well to other languages. This can create a significant problem if you discover that voice over or subtitled text simply won’t be able to match the action on the screen. The easiest solution to this problem is to perform all translations in advance. If any prove troublesome, you have time to rewrite the script before recording video.

Pad Your Run Time

Video creators will tell you that dead space and silence are usually bad things. While this is true in the general case, these things are actually valuable when creating multi-language videos. Every single language takes a different amount of words and syllables to express a concept.

For both voice over work and subtitles, this means that you want to leave longer than normal pauses between sequences. The extra time allows the more verbose language to fully express the same content as the less verbose language, or allows the viewer more time to read the subtitles. This principle also applies to subtitles in regards to filling screen space. With the language that has shorter words, it is better to leave unused space at the edge of the screen or graphic than to need to use a smaller font for the other language.

The difference in length won’t always be consistent, which means you should be conservative in both script design and graphical design.

Plan for Dubbing As Well

Assuming you are using a professional voice over artist (and we highly recommend you use a professional voice over artist), bridging the gap between different language lengths shouldn’t be inordinately difficult if you save a copy of the original audio files. If given the original audio file, a professional voice over artist can usually match lengths. However, this will be a lot easier if you can bring in the performer before any tape is recorded.

Choose Setting and Costuming Carefully

When creating a multi-language video, you want to avoid having any visible words or logos on the screen. People watching the video generally don’t want to see any other language visible than the language they are watching it in. This is easy to avoid if you are careful to make sure your performers wear clothing without logos and that you pick a location where no signs are visible in the background (or cover any visible signs during recording).

The easiest way to successfully create a multi-language video is to hire the services of a video production company that has experience making these types of videos. However, if you are making the video yourself, the previous tips will help ensure the highest possible quality for your creation.


Posted in: Video Production

Just a few years ago, online shopping was met with skepticism, with people asking questions like, “Is my personal information safe?” and, “Can I trust the quality of the item I’m ordering?” and, “How do I know that I’m actually working with a legitimate company and not some computer-savvy 13-year-old who’s orchestrating credit card scams from his blanket fort?”

Today, however, online shopping is second nature to most consumers. In fact, many people prefer buying even their groceries and everyday household items online over braving the stores on a busy Saturday afternoon. Even so, with some types of purchases, particularly those of items that have heftier price tags, there remains some hesitation. How can your e-commerce business overcome those reservations? By creating a video! Here are three important strategies for using video to highlight your e-commerce company.

Decide What Products or Services Would Benefit from Video the Most

Obviously, creating a high-quality video is going to cost some time and money, so use your resources wisely by deciding which products or services will benefit the most from being featured in a video. Generally speaking, people are most hesitant when making a big purchase online, so focus on your high-dollar, feature-rich offerings.

When creating product videos, make sure that you emphasize the benefits of a product or service, rather than its specific features. In other words, answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” For example, rather than saying that batteries are included, tell your viewer that the product is ready for them to use right out of the box. Instead of mentioning that a program is customizable, emphasize that it is designed to meet your customer’s unique needs.

Let Your Fans Do the Work

Getting ahold of user-generated content is a fantastic strategy for using video to highlight your company. It’s obviously a cost-effective alternative to spending the time and money to create a video yourself, and as an added benefit, it’s basically word-of-mouth advertising, which has been shown to be wildly successful.

Generally, satisfied customers are more than happy to share their experiences with your products or services, even if there isn’t a tangible incentive to do so. Create a hashtag, a contest, or a giveaway for those who share video content pertaining to your brand on social media. Your customers get their 15 minutes of fame, you get free video content, and everyone wins.

Sharing Your Video Wisely

There has been some debate as to the best way to share corporate videos online, so it’s important to do your research, evaluate your goals, and determine the best course of action for your business.

A major perk for sharing your video on YouTube, of course, is the ability to utilize the platform’s TrueViewvideo ad format. This allows you to reach audiences beyond those who visit your channel or social media page. Advertisers have several different options for sharing their content through TrueView ads, allowing them to customize a strategy that will fit their budget.

You don’t have to produce a video for each and every product and service you offer. By creating a strategy and partnering with an experienced video production company, you can reach your target audience and make sure that your e-commerce company shines.


Posted in: Video Marketing

Here’s the bottom line – the lighting you use for your next video will play one of the biggest roles in just how good the final product will be. Lighting problems are not uncommon, but they do need to be resolved if you hope to produce a stellar final product. Here are four common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

#1: Natural light is an option, but not always

Natural light is an important source for video production, but it is not easy to work with. Most projects will benefit, instead, from the use of lights. Properly lighting the scene is essential, but natural light often doesn’t do a good enough job. Keep in mind that investing in lights is an expense that’s nearly always necessary and beneficial.

#2: Those white walls aren’t a good thing

One of the common myths many video makers have is placing subjects against a simple white wall. Let’s be clear – white walls are unflattering to nearly any subject. They offer nothing to your video. Even one that’s freshly painted and sparkling can look dirty and too cheap. Instead, look for the use of backgrounds instead. What about all of those videos you’ve seen with white walls? They can work, but to make them work, you have to put a lot of effort into those walls including lighting them properly to get the right effect.

#3: Too much light on faces is a big problem

Another common mistake made with lighting in videos has to do with how much light you are placing on your subjects, particularly their face. First, start by not using direct light on a person’s face. Doing this makes the individual uncomfortable and he or she will look less put together. Now, that’s not to say you don’t need to light faces. You do, but you need to consider the use of filters or diffusers on that light. You can try to bounce light off ceilings and walls to create a softer feel. It can help to add in light where it is needed, but will not create shadows that otherwise harm your shot.

#4: Those shadows make everyone look strange

Shadows are distracting in any video. Light should always pull in attention to your target or the person in the video who is supposed to be the focal point. However, shadows can easily pull the attention of your viewer in another way. Many people make the mistake of believing they don’t have shadows until they wrap up the photoshoot and begin the editing process. Take the time to really get this right. Make sure you specifically are checking for shadows throughout your shoot.

It’s quite necessary to master the use of light in any video production, but the process is rarely easy to do. With a bit of focus on the right lighting, you can create an impressive video and one that truly puts the spotlight where it is supposed to be – on your subject. These tips give you a fantastic starting point.


Posted in: Video Production Tips

Are you ready for your starring role in your company’s video? While actors make it seem easy enough, it can actually be a bit more challenging than you think to get the right look and feel. And, since you are going to play a role in just how successful this video is, you really do want to polish up on a few things to ensure you really are giving your best performance.

Anyone that is going to be creating a video for their company or other effort and starring in it, needs to take a few steps to ensure the look and feel of the video matches the company’s specific need. So, how do you do that.

What Are You Wearing?

What you wear on a shoot depends on a few things. First, you want to give the right image. If this is a formal video that will be displayed on your company’s website where professionalism is expected, you need that suit and tie. On the other hand, your clothing really should relate to feeling you want to convey. For example, a t-shirt is a fantastic way to create an image of “everyday life.” Are you wearing comfortable clothes that helps others relax?

Next, How About Makeup?

Let’s be frank here. Most people today relate better to those who have makeup that’s less obvious. Unless you want to look like you are wearing makeup, it’s better to keep things a bit more simple. Putting on makeup just for a video really can create a layer of unfamiliarity if you don’t always wear it. You want to be relatable, after all.

Lighting and Camera Location – It Matters

Consider the positioning of the camera and the amount and type of lighting for your photo shoot when setting up the stage. Here are some simple rules:

  • Are you working with someone that’s tall? Keep the lens just above their eyeline.
  • Using a webcam? Raise the laptop up off the table and position the camera lower to create a better look.
  • Get rid of any harsh shadows from the lighting.
  • When you want all of the focus on the subject of the video, keep the light on the subject nd allow the rest of the space to fade away.
  • What’s in the background matters, too. The wrong or too-busy background takes away from the subject. Let it set the stage of the content instead.

Your Performance Matters

It all comes down to your performance. Are you smiling, with bright eyes and a friendly disposition? Or, you are tucking your shoulders inward and looking down? This conveys a great deal to the viewer. In most cases, you want to ensure that you are creating a welcoming, positive experience. This may be a good time to talk about body language and to determine how you can stand and look to create a trusting, welcoming look.

Take a deep breath. It may seem like a cliché thing to say, but there’s one thing that always makes a difference – just be yourself.


Posted in: Choosing Actors, Video Production

You’ve spent all day working on the production of your next video. You’ve wrapped up and are now doing some editing. You’re confident this will be a breeze because it went so well. Then, you notice the problems.

It’s not uncommon for there to be shots you need to fix after production. Whether it is minor or something significant you likely don’t have to go back and re-shoot unless there is simply too much to fix. Instead, consider a few key ways you can improve those unsuccessful shots to make them work just perfectly.

#1: Improve the Shaking

The most common complaint post-production is the shaking of the video. Even if you have stabilization in place, there are still going to be instances in which you find yourself dealing with a few wobbles or unwanted movements. The good news is you can often improve this. To do so, you’ll want to use a stabilization tool in your editor (and really learn how to use it well). The Warp Stabilization Tool from After Effects and Adobe Premiere is one of the best options. Back down the smoothness setting, which can help to improve the movement. Choose the Perspective or Position, Scale and Rotation settings instead of the Subspace Warp.

#2: Fixing the Sound

If you are using Adobe Creative Cloud, you can improve the sound significantly even when you are fighting a lot of background noise. Adobe Audition is another excellent editing tool for this purpose. You’ll get a lot out of it if you put some time into using it. Some situations may warrant a reshoot, though.

#3: Framing Problems

Another common problem that needs repair after production is framing. You’re main go to settings for making improvements to framing include Position, Scale, Rotation, and Perspective tools. The best way to fix these types of problems, you may need to give up some of the quality resolution of your shot. That’s because you’ll need to scale the image no matter what to fix the framing.

#4: Exposure Problems

It is quite common for filming to warrant re-doing the shoot completely as a result of exposure problems, but that’s not always necessary. You can adjust the exposure and improve it through the Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Whites, Blacks, and Shadows settings on your editing tool. If the shot is underexposed, you’ll need to adjust most of these settings to get improvement. It’s important to work on all of them to get the look right.

When it comes to finalizing your production, take the time to use a quality editing tool. And, learn as much as you can about the various settings available to you on it. You’ll find there are many types of problems that you simply can improve without having to schedule the dreaded re-shoot. This may take a bit of time, but playing with some of these tools can help you to have the best final production possible and give you the ability to sharpen your skills behind the camera.


Posted in: Video Production

You’ve heard all of the good things about creating videos for your customers, clients, and investors. It’s a fantastic way to build your brand and to increase traffic to your website and social media pages. But, as you look around your office, you may be wondering what you were thinking. Could this location actually be the ideal place for you to create the perfect video shoot? It may not be as difficult as you think. With a bit of planning, it could actually be very successful.

Tips for the Perfect Video Shoot

Creating the right first impression is always important. You need to invest in a bit of planning and some organization to see the results you are looking for. Start with these tips:

  • The best location is one that offers the right lighting, sound and space for the video shoot. Planning out a few locations can help to ensure the best possible outcome.
  • Remember to plan for your filming crew. They will need space to set up and areas to park vehicles. They will also need areas to setup in and to watch playback. Talk to the team about their needs and plan space accordingly.
  • Give your film crew the access they need, too. That means giving them a clear opportunity to walk around your business to find great backgrounds or interesting color schemes. You’ll want to allow the team to find the best lighting, too.
  • Keep your team on board and motivated. You’ll want to talk to your employees about what is happening and discuss the length of time it will take, any interruption in the day-to-day business, and the impact it will have on the employees during the day.
  • Cleaning up and decluttering is important. As your video team will tell you, the goal is to keep everyone focused on what’s happening in the video, not on stray photos or strange looking equipment. You’ll want to remove as much as possible to create a crisp but interesting site.
  • Appoint one person within the company to work with the video team to create the best possible outcome. You’ll want a team member that’s knowledgeable and readily willing to work with and guide the film crew. This can help everyone to have the best possible experience.
  • Outline anything that’s a no-go. For example, you may have specific areas or products you do not want seen in the video. You may also have specific people that you do not want included. The key here is to review after, but to also make sure you have a game plan that outlines what shouldn’t be in the videos to start with.
  • Making some changes is often necessary. The best filming spot may require moving around desks. If a specific employee doesn’t want to be in the shoot, ask them to move for the day. It may seem like an inconvenience, but the goal is to ultimately create the best video for the betterment of the company.

With help from the video crew, you’ll be able to create a space that’s truly authentic and desirable. You’ll be able to use your space to create the message you want to convey. It’s important to plan in advance with the film team to know exactly what you can do to ensure this process goes well and the outcome is just what you want it to be.


Posted in: Video Production Tips

As the world slowly yet steadfastly makes its transition from the written word to video, marketers have latched on and fastened their seat belts for a fierce race ahead full of competitors and basically, anyone desperate for attention. With such an overabundance of great content on the web and an unfortunate short attention spans of web surfers, how can one guarantee to have one’s content viewed?

While we can’t guarantee the number of views or followers you’ll gain by implementing any of the below tips and tricks, we can guarantee that as you hone and master the following tactics, you should see dramatic growth. But while waiting for growth, expect the occasional Epic fail. It’s all a part of the game and the learning process. Just be sure to learn from your mistakes. This will make you a powerful marketer.

#1 Less is More

Keep your videos short and sweet. Again, it’s unfortunate, but understandable that attention spans are lacking in today’s fast paced digital world. And in the war on grabbing the most attention, you’ll have better luck with a shorter “eye catching” video–shall we dub it the infamous, click bait. If your heart is set on getting your message and voice out through a longer video, you have options. Once you’ve reeled them in with the shorter eye catching video clip, you could redirect the one’s interested in watching a longer clip, while quenching the thirst of the shorter attention span folks.

#2 Stick to Your Home Base

Sometimes it’s best to click your heals home, Dorothy. When sharing brand spanking new content, consider sticking to your home base platforms. By sticking to your home base platforms, you’ll enjoy benefits like auto-play when your subscribers and fans scroll through their news feeds. The auto-play feature will either annoy the H-E double L out of them, or make them curious to watch more. The key to making them want more is again, with something eye catching and attention grabbing.

#3 The “Silent Video”

Okay, we don’t really want you to make a silent video, unless you want to that is. But here’s the thing, it’s been reported that 85% of YouTubers are watching videos without sound. Why you ask? Who knows, but they are. This fun fact has led to countless experts in the marketing realm to roll up their sleeves and put on their thinking caps, which has led to…dun-dun-dun…adding in subtitles. By adding in text to the video, you’ll ensure that the voice and message of the video is captured by the viewer.

#4 Be the Change

Your viewers run the show and if they’d like you to change—be the change they wish to see. Their wish is your command, because without their views, you have nothing shall we say. Be adaptive to their needs and you’ll enjoy a kith and kin relationship for years to come.

#5 Accept Failure

Yes, that’s right. The occasional, or frequent, Epic fail of a video is likely going to happen. But it’s not the end of the world. Eventually, you’ll get it right and even when you do get it right. The next one could be a disaster. Know this and embrace it. You’ll be a better marketer for accepting this fate. It will give you something to grow from and it will make the accomplishments that much more delicious and enjoyable.


Posted in: Video Production Tips

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