The new media world is filled with user generated content, citizen journalists, and do-it-yourself producers. Cell phone cameras, inexpensive DV and HD cameras, and affordable editing software can make virtually anyone a video producer. There are some key differences you'll find when you closely examine user-generated or amateur content versus video that is produced by a professional.
Production Quality - While there's nothing wrong with a self-produced video, or a video produced by an amateur, take a close look, and listen to the quality of the pictures and sound. Does the video shake, drift, or seem to lack focus on a subject? How is the lighting and sound? Does it look like the videographer was distracted or zoomed in and out or panned for no reason? Does the music overpower the narration or interviews? A tripod is a best friend for a professional cameraman, and you may not even notice if the video was shot "off the shoulder." Professionals use lights, and microphones to bring out the best in a scene or interview. Professionals also know the importance and value of shooting sequences, using wide, medium, and tight shots to tell a story. Editing - There is an art and science to editing video. Professional editors prefer to use still shots that match the narration or copy. There is cadence, or rhythm to editing that helps bring out the mood or emotion in the piece. Amateur editors tend to be random in their shot selection. The untrained eye might not notice flash frames or jump cuts, but they're common. Look at how the editor uses graphics, text, and mixes the audio. Does the text cover up video instead of being placed in the lower third of the frame? There are all things to keep an eye out for.
Storytelling - A professionally produced video should tell a story. What are the qualities of a story? Every well told story includes a beginning, a middle, and end. The producer and writer will help craft the story using visual and audio elements. It could start with a problem, or a bit of history to give the video context. The heart of the story should focus on the solution, or benefits of your product or service, and end with a strong call to act. While user generated and amateur videos can certainly be entertaining, and fun to watch, the message can be lost if the producer lacks the overall vision or ability to tell, or sell the story.
It's important that all of the elements: audio, video, and storytelling come together in an effective way to share your message. You don't want your viewers to be distracted because of a bad shot, or edit, or unable to hear an important sound bite because the audio mix is poor. Your video should make you proud to show others. It should be creative, engaging, entertaining, and informative. Most importantly your video should help you build your brand, increase sales, or raise the visibility of your service or product.
Have you seen some of the latest research about the growth of video? A new study from Solutions Research Group indicates that Americans aged 12 and older spend up to six hours a day consuming video based entertainment.
That number is up from just over four hours in 1996, and the time spent viewing is expected to surge to eight hours by 2013. What's even more interesting is that PC, Web video, and mobile phone video consumption will rise to about 2.9 hours a day, while TV viewing is expected to shrink.
What does that mean for your brand or business? This is a show and tell culture, and video can be an effective way to show potential customers about your service, organization, or product. As consumers continue to migrate online, why not give them something to watch?
The Internet is wide open as far as video goes. Here are some ideas:
Create a YouTube channel for your company or organization.
Produce a promotional video for your website that includes a series of testimonials from satisfied customers.
If you're still not convinced that the web is where is at, you can always go the traditional route, and produce a video for broadcast, or DVD. Once the video is finished, you should think about ways to share it with online viewers.
The key is planning, production, then executing the distribution plan.
On Tuesday May 20, Visual Eye Media provided ENG/EFP services for Associated Press Television News and covered an exclusive story about the first eco-friendly daycare in the U.S.
Based in Atlanta Georgia, FIO360 is a 3-million dollar state of the art daycare facility that features zero-VOC paints, no PVCplastics, the executive chef prepares organic meals for the children, and even the blankets are made out of organic materials.
ATLANTA ENTREPRENUERS LOOK TO EXPERTS FOR BUSINESS EDGE
First of Its Kind Event to Teach Online Business Owners Secrets to Success
About 80 of Atlanta’s top online entrepreneurs will gather at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center on May 15 to gain cutting edge insights on how to grow and develop their businesses using emerging technology at a first of its kind event called, “Ask the Experts!”
Twenty specialists in areas ranging from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), to web marketing, and advertising will share secrets, and answer questions from businesses owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs.“Atlanta is a great and vibrant city with lots of strong business entrepreneurs, but unlike Silicon Valley has few obvious forums for people who run web-based business,” explains Mike Schinkel who founded the Atlanta Web Entrepreneurs group in 2007.
A major focus of the gathering is to help new and aspiring entrepreneurs understand how online video fits into the business picture. “Our members know that the ‘talking picture’ is the ultimate communications media as video can be just as effectively used to sell, to educate, or simply to entertain,” says Schinkel, who invited Amani Channel, a veteran newsman, video producer, and social media pioneer to share video production secrets.
Channel has worked in broadcast news for more than a decade; he founded a video production company called Visual Eye Media, and the blog/podcast My Urban Report.“There’s obviously a growing interest in online video because that’s where more and more people are watching video,” says Channel who uses traditional and social media strategies to promote his ventures. “Web entrepreneurs need to understand how to produce, market, and distribute video online,” he explains. “In some cases Web users can help you distribute the content, and reach potential customers.”
The overall goal of the gathering is to help every Arlanta based web business succeed.“It’s designed to give everyone lots of face to face time so that web entrepreneurs can ask whatever questions they need answered,” Schinkel explains. “It promises to be the best two hours an Atlanta web entrepreneur can spend.”
Register for Ask The Experts! http://web.meetup.com/32/calendar/7760143/
Visual Eye Media completed a two-day shoot for the Associated Press Television Network at Morehouse College. The story focused on a student named Josh Packwood who is about to graduate after an outstanding academic career at the Atlanta HBCU (Historically Black College and University).
Packwood is a school standout, he's involved in the community, and unlike the majority of the students who are black, he's white. Though he's certainly not the first white student to attend Morehouse, he could be the first to graduate as Valedictorian.
On day one of the shoot, Visual Eye Media producer/video journalist Amani Channel, along with AP reporter Errin Haines interviewed Josh about why he decided to attend Morehouse and captured b-roll of him on campus catching up with his friends. Several of them were interviewed and shared their thoughts about his accomplishments.
On day two, Visual Eye Media followed Josh to one of his business classes, and interviewed one of his professors.
Everyone said he doesn't see color, and neither do they because he's just a good "Morehouse man." Josh in planning to move to New York to work for an investment firm upon graduation.