If a picture says a thousand words, imagine the power of video on the web! In fact, you don’t have to imagine — go to www.youtube.com and see reality at work. The power of video when combined with the global reach of the internet gives you a great opportunity to tell your story and showcase your products and services. Or, as anyone who has watched a home movie knows, the power to be mind-numbingly boring as well! Here are some hints on how Spire Express creates great web videos.
First, it’s about content. One of the great things about the Web is that we can use text, animated graphics, photos, audio or video to tell a story. Video is experiential, immersive, and emotional; it puts you at the scene, gives flavor and personality, and of course, shows motion. Video isn’t cheap in terms of time or equipment. Shooting, editing and posting video all demand more effort and gear than plain text. So clients need to decide why they want to tell a video story, and then we can gather what you will need to get video on the Web.
The web is best for short, simple, interesting stories. Not only is time money, but most customers browsing the web have attention deficits. Refining your story helps focus your idea and keeps you from shooting everything that might have only atangential relationship to the main idea.
You’ve decided video is important to your story. The next issue is the gear you need. Spire Express has everything you need for a great web video. We’ll produce the video with you, or you can look at the tapes and edit accordingly. If you’re interested in an equipment list, give us a call and we can go through the whys and what’s in detail.
We’ve got the story and the gear ready to go, so it’s time to do the interviews. Here’s how Spire Express does it. Ask questions that require a sentence to answer. Avoid questions that can be answered yes or no. Avoid two-part questions – most people will forget the first and only answer the second part. If you need background information, start with that to get interview subjects relaxed with you and the equipment. Then, ask questions that evoke feelings, emotions and opinions. We need to understand why this story matters to people. Use narration to tell the facts of the story. Stop Talking. Don’t say uh-huh, or yeah or anything encouraging. Use non-verbal feedback – lean forward, nod, but don’t talk! Let people complete their sentences. And don’t be afraid of silence. You don’t need to jump in to fill space. People often say the most revealing things when they think you’re waiting for them to finish.
Getting the pictures
Images are the crux of the video. Great pictures compel viewers’ attention and are the proof of your story. Good video is a lot of mental work. Since this is for the Web, the image will be quite small. This means we need to fill up the frame. We try and keep the composition simple and uncluttered; the camera in close to the subject. We tend to shoot sequences of video. That means getting a wide shot, then a medium shot and then a close up and cutaway shots from multiple spots. Cutaways are essentially reaction shots, so we shoot the action, then the reaction.
Putting it together
Now comes the script. We log the story by making a list of each shot and sound clip we might use. We can write your script (or you can), organize the interviews and develop the narration, keeping the pictures in mind as we go. A variety of shots to choose and plenty of compelling sound makes building the sequences and the story line together much easier. A note on music: unless you’ve written it yourself, or have permission from the writer, performer and producer, you do not have the rights to use it. The exception is music you recorded as part of a story — a marching band in a parade, for instance.
Contact us to get started with internet video that turns ideas into customers!