Entertain or Die!

Zoom with Your Feet: 12 Tips to Keep Your Video from Sucking! (#4)

By Tips and Tricks, 12 Tips to Improve Your Video NOW One Comment

It’s an education to watch professional news videographers in action. They put their camera on their shoulders, march through the crowd right up to whomever they want to shoot (and by “right up” I mean 2 feet away) and go. They don’t care whose view they block. They don’t care how the subject feels having a camera up their nose. They know that if they don’t get the shot, they don’t eat. Period. Behavior like this at, say, the “I do” moment of your friend’s wedding would probably result in a flying tackle by the mother of the bride. But…

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From the "How to Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck" book trailer.

5 Tips to shoot better video– Instantly!

By Tips and Tricks, 12 Tips to Improve Your Video NOW 3 Comments

The book trailer for How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck gets you started with 5 great tips to help you shoot better video. This isn’t a technical book–it’s about how to think like a director so you can shoot video that people will actually want to watch. It includes step by step instructions for beginners, great ideas on story and more advanced techniques if you’re already serious about shooting stills or video, and even a few ideas that will inspire a pro. Whether you’re shooting with a red, a dslr or your smartphone, these are tips you can use instantly to…

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Immerse Yourself in Better Video

By Tips and Tricks, For Pros 5 Comments

I took French in high school, which was more than a few months back.  So I’ve forgotten a lot of it (um, ok, all of it.)  But when I go to France and spend a week having to get around, I find a huge amount of my early learning comes back.  Which is why I’m a big fan of immersion learning—your brain remembers and internalizes a lot more than you think it does. One easy way to get better at video is to immerse yourself in great film and TV.  I’ve got a list of a hundred or so of…

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A Demo Video that Works

By Tips and Tricks, Video Marketing One Comment

This  demo video from Corning gets us excited about the future of glass.  Here are some lessons you can use in your next demo video: Think about structure:  The entire piece takes place over a single “normal” day. By putting us in a “normal” environment and following another “normal” day,  the video really accentuates what’s NOT normal– all the advances in glass technology that are coming soon. (see also: Unity) Add Music:  The score keeps the piece moving. Tell a Story:  Like all good videos, this one has a clear beginning, middle and end Focus: Corning’s demo video focuses nicely…

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20% Of Online Video Viewers Give Up After 10 Seconds

By Video Marketing, For Pros Leave a comment

“20% Of Online Video Viewers Give Up After 10 Seconds” That was the headline on a “chart of the day’ from Businessinsider.com. While this figure is shocking and undoubtedly true, a look at the “average” video en masse is not particularly useful.  Video quality distribution has to be some sort of bell curve.  The variables are a) Quality of the video and b) how well the video targets a given population. There are some videos that people tune out of in 3 seconds, at the other end of the bell curve that they don’t tune out of at all.  Further,…

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A Business Video Advantage?

By Video Marketing, For Pros Leave a comment

It’s common wisdom that technological leads are always short-lived. They are. But a “great video” advantage isn’t technological.  Entertainment value and quality video are not commodities. An entertainment advantage builds a business brand in a way that’s not easily overcome. Brands are proprietary.  Once we establish formats and personalities that work for a brand, they’re ours to grow. Nobody can steal Lady Gaga’s video image.  Nobody can steal Blend-Tec’s Blender brand identity. And nobody can steal Bounty’s white-nerd-scientist-paper-towel-rappers. “Would they want to?” is an open question, but hundreds of thousands of people have watched each video in this series– and they’re…

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Video Journey to Another Brain

By For Pros Leave a comment

I’m a junkie for “different.”  Not a steady diet of weird, but an occasional jolt of something waaaayyy off beat.  A video journey, if you will.  Some of my favorite films are the ones that are so different from anything I can conceive of that I feel the total disorientation of thinking with someone else’s brain. If the best film and video transports us, these shoot us into outer space, into worlds we didn’t even know existed.  I felt that way after seeing Star Wars for the first time, or the Matrix.  Or any Miyazaki movie (try Spirited Away) or…

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Bad Video Loses in Court

By Video Marketing, For Pros Leave a comment

Before you start jury duty at LA Superior court you have to watch a training video.  If you watch the video on line at home, you can come in later on jury duty day when they play it in court.  Sounded good to me. I sat down at my desk, all set for a great video from a court system based in the Entertainment Capitol of the World.  Oops. It was awful.  Talking heads and condescending narration over what looked like bad stock footage. The narration was printed on screen to underline the tedious points.  “BE ON TIME!” it shouted,…

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Don’t Shoot Video in Real Time

By Tips and Tricks One Comment

One of the best arguments for shooting short shots in your videos:  If you run the camera non-stop, watching your video later will take the same amount of time as it did to shoot.  You’ll need an extra lifetime just to watch it all. In ten years, will you want to look at all 90 minutes of your 6 year-old’s ballet recital? Family videos are about memories.  Still photos capture them in a single frame.  Do you need a 90 minute video of anything? When you shoot video, shoot short shots that capture the essence of the story.  You’ll love…

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Why Shoot Better Video?

By Video Marketing, For Pros Leave a comment

Why shoot better video?  A history lesson: All technology starts in the “Gee Whiz” stage.  That’s where you get points just for having something that can do that…whatever it is.  The first working escalator was installed at Coney Island as a tourist attraction.  Yet today you hardly ever hear someone say, “Let’s go to the mall!  They have escalators!” And once upon a time streaming video on the web was so amazing that people would watch anything. Sure, the video was amateurishly shot, and it was smeary and flash-y and didn’t look that great, but hey!  It was video!  And…

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