Entertain or Die!

The Art of the Static Shot

By Tips and Tricks, For Pros, Your Questions Answered Leave a comment

Steve I love the concept of using the static shot as much as possible in a video. My videos, since I’ve read your book, consist of mostly static shots unless a simple movement is either motivated or can not be avoided. The static shots are sharper, simpler, and clearer to the viewer. When I try to study modern day directors who use primarily static shots, I’m hard pressed to find any. I always go back to Howard Hawks’ RedRiver, Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story, or Hitcock’s Psycho. Are there modern day directors and/or films that still utilize this method of movie-making…

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Welcome to the Entertainment Industry

By Video Marketing, For Pros Leave a comment

Since I started working on the book, I’ve been checking the Youtube top 100 videos list semi-regularly. Turns out that close to 85% of the videos that score big are made by pros. Of the remaining 15%, a few– maybe 5% are jokes– videos that look like porn but aren’t, for example.  Another 5% are at least “semi-pro”—produced by people with some experience. That leaves about 5% for piano playing cats and kids who bite other kids fingers. Amateurs are being squeezed out of web viewing as the web grows up. Video is big money now. Professional TV and filmmakers…

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Getting Some Action

By Video Marketing, For Pros, Your Questions Answered Leave a comment

I like to make DIY videos about boat repair that will help my friends. Several have indicated that they think the clips go too fast and should go into more detail. I try very hard to keep them under 5 minutes max. How would you handle this time problem? –Vern Mowrey, Newburyport, MA Great idea, Vern.  You already seem to be getting a lot of views, and your videos have unique tone– very New England! As to improving– there’s a difference between what your friends are saying and what their real problem is. Your friends are left frustrated and wanting more not because the clips…

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Video Webinar in October!

By Video Marketing, For Pros, Press Leave a comment

      On October 13, I’ll be a keynoting a MarketingProfsU.com webinar called:  Winning the Video Revolution:  10 Things Every Marketer Must Know. Yes, I know that webinars can be boring as dirt, but I just finished writing this one, and I think it’s going to be good.  I’ll be talking about video from a business marketing point of view, with a lot of material that’s not in the book.  The whole course features some pretty interesting speakers– 11 in all.  Check it out here. I’ve checked out a few of the other offerings on MarketingProfsU, and they’re pretty good….

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Quick Storyboards

By Tips and Tricks, For Pros One Comment

In days of yore, one needed to be able to draw storyboards to get a good idea what a video would look like before shooting it. Luckily, it’s way past yore.  Now you can whip out a digital camera (in this case the same dslr and lens package we were about to shoot with) line up your shots with a stand-in and put the results together on a storyboard/schedule to see what they’ll look like cut together. Even though there’s no lighting yet and we aren’t using the real actors, this is a great way to communicate your intent to the…

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10 Tips for Video Interviews that Don’t Suck, Part II

By Tips and Tricks, Video Marketing, For Pros 9 Comments

Read 10 Tips for Video Interviews, Part I Video interviews are a staple of business video, but there’s nothing duller than stilted answers to predictable questions from someone very unhappy to be on camera. Since boring videos get turned off with a click of the mouse in about 10 seconds, you need exciting, interesting, intriguing video.  Here are second 5 of my 10 tips: This video I directed for InHealth and Perfect Sense Digital was shot with real people, and absolutely no fed lines. 6)  Relax Yourself: Let your interviewee set the pace.  Slow talkers shut right up if you…

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10 Tips for Video Interviews that Don’t Suck, Part I

By Tips and Tricks, Video Marketing, For Pros 3 Comments

Video interviews are a staple of business video, but there’s nothing duller than stilted answers to predictable questions from someone very unhappy to be on camera. Since boring videos get turned off with a click of the mouse in about 10 seconds, you need exciting, interesting, intriguing video.  Here are 10 must do tips- 5 in this post, and 5 in the next. This video I directed for InHealth and Perfect Sense Digital was shot with real people, and absolutely no fed lines. 1) Cast for the Stars: Here’s what professional directors know that you don’t (until now!):  85% of…

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Use a Microphone: 12 Tips to Keep Your Video from Sucking (#11)

By Tips and Tricks, 12 Tips to Improve Your Video NOW Leave a comment

The microphones on most video cameras are programmed to adjust their own sound levels: they take whatever they hear and boost it to a constant, listenable level. Unfortunately, if they hear crowd noise around you, they boost that. Traffic noise, sirens—it all gets boosted. In fact, if the camera mic hears nothing, it boosts that too. In an interview where the subject is too far from the mic, the camera will crank up every hint of sound between you and them, creating a big, echoey overlay of room noise. If you’re as close to your subject as you should be…

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Every Video Needs a Story

By For Pros, Your Questions Answered Leave a comment

Hey, Steve– Some of my friends and I shot this film a couple months ago. Since then I’ve read your book,  Could you tell us what we’re doing wrong and how not to make videos that suck in the future? Thanks. Max There’s much more good here than bad, Max.  But let’s see if we can improve it.  It’s 7 minutes long, but everything I’m going to talk about you can see in the first 45 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdKfzc_yEzo First:  This is a great looking video. You’ve cut it in a way that makes it clear what’s going on.  Good scoring.  None of this…

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The Secret to Great Vacation Videos: Shoot the Quest

By Tips and Tricks, For Pros Leave a comment

Vacation videos can be the most painful videos on the planet to watch. Want to make yours better? Shoot the Quest. Every vacation is a quest, grasshopper– a journey in which a person or group travels in search of something– in this case something that involves a lot of sunscreen. The great thing about quests is that, unlike most vacation videos, they’re interesting! Sometimes your quest is literally, your destination: Perhaps it’s a struggle to get to grandma’s house, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, or the top of the Eiffel Tower. But sometimes it’s not about a journey…

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