Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
August 27, 2010 1:28 PM

Online Video Can Kill Your Credibility

The majority of independent online video content being created is mostly unwatchable.

I'm usually not that critical of online video (and, I'm the first to admit that I am guilty of creating some of this unwatchable content as well), but as the Internet matures, grows and brings in new audiences - specifically those interested in the more professional/business aspects of the channels and platforms - something has got to give. Do I mind when someone I know and admire just riffs off of their built-in laptop video camera? Well, it depends on who that person is and how relevant the content is. Do I ever think that the content adds to their credibility? Hardly ever. Sadly.

Video production is a beast unto itself.

A great way to get your feet wet in upping the quality of your online video production would be to pick up Steve Garfield's recently released business book, Get Seen - Online Video Secrets To Building Your Business. There are a handful of things anyone can do to up their online video production. Regardless of whether or not you like the whole "shaky cam" thing, it's important to acknowledge that quality video is hard to produce. It requires a mix of skill sets and it takes some time to get good at it (and a whole lot longer to be great at it). The challenge is that the tools to create those quality videos have become super cheap, so when those two clash, we get hit with a smorgasbord of unwatchable content that can often diminish someone's credibility in market without them even knowing it.

Here are 8 ways to produce online video that will not kill your credibility (from someone who knows nothing about it):

  1. Audio balance. Whenever there is more than one person speaking, please ensure that everyone's level is equal prior to publishing your final piece. All too often, I have to watch the video and work my volume control like I'm doing a final mix on Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon.
  2. Microphones. Skype headsets, external mics, etc... all sound hollow and tinny. While ambient noise can be interesting, in video these very cheap mics really do make the production come off as unprofessional. Figure out what works best (clips-ons, booms, whatever), but if it's impossible to enjoy the content from an audio standpoint, the addition of video will not improve the experience.
  3. Eye contact. It's hard and awkward to speak into a camera. That's why great broadcasters make the money that they do. Take some media training or do some pre-publishing practice runs. Letting your eyes wander, not looking into the camera or not being one hundred percent comfortable makes the viewer uncomfortable too. I'd love to say that online video is not mass media broadcasting, but the public has been trained, so we're not going to change the world at this point.
  4. Speak. Way too many "ummms" and "ahhhs." It takes practice not to stammer and stumble over words. Don't just read off of cue cards and don't try to improvise either. Find a healthy balance by writing out a script, but knowing how to speak it instead of just reading it.
  5. Backgrounds. Do you really think that recording in your basement with a broken bookshelf in the background or cat pee stains on the couch is screaming, "hire me!"? Find a nice/neutral looking background to record.
  6. Lighting. There's a reason television and movie studios spend so much time and energy on lighting. While you may not be able/want to produce your video in such a sterile environment, pay attention to lighting, shade and reflections. A well-lit video can make the experience go from ho-hum to holy-wow!
  7. Shifting. If you're sitting down, sit still. The amount of shifting, rocking back and forth or moving up and down to adjust your position is not only highly annoying, it comes off as highly amateur.
  8. Edit. Think about how you can better edit your final product. Keep the information tight and be ferocious with what makes it to the final cut. The audience will thank you for not wasting their time or letting the content wander too far off of topic.

I'm no expert.

I don't produce videos (personally). I'm just an avid viewer and lover of content and information. With that, I tend to be fairly forgiving of a lot of the video sins that are committed because I appreciate that people don't have a lot of time, budget and skill to make their content broadcast-worthy. Most other professionals won't be as kind and forgiving as I am. The expectation - from a professional perspective - is that everything you publish helps elevate your credibility (even if it's just a little bit) with each new piece of content.

Great online video is like great art: It's almost impossible to define, but you know it when you see it. What are you seeing?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Chad Kettner
    Mitch Joel

    Exactly Mitch.

    You wouldn't publish an article on your blog with grammar errors and typos... so why publish a video that looks like trash?

    If you're going to make a video - make it great!

    Now, with that said, everybody needs to start somewhere and it certainly takes a long time to sort out the process... so we definitely need to be forgiving. But at least get a HD video camera and a high quality microphone. It's really the least you can do.

    Reply
    • In Podcasting we would call this the "talking horse." Ever heard of the classic TV show Mr. Ed? What made it funny was that the horse was actually saying something intelligible. So, it's fine if you're just a horse speaking random words out of the gates - we're all still amazed that the horse can even speak! But, you have to start making sense very fast, because even a talking horse that isn't making any sense will lose its appeal pretty quickly.

      The point being: you can also claim to be an amateur, but you have to ramp up very quickly to really capture audience and engage people.

      Reply
  • Posted by Howard Firestone
    Mitch Joel

    you missed point #9. Hire professionals who know what they are doing like these folks - http://www.picturethis.ca

    Reply
  • Posted by Glen Powell
    Mitch Joel

    I would have to agree - Hire a pro! But look deeper than their reel; what will they do with the video once it is complete? If the answer is "Hand you a copy" or "Just put it on Youtube" then you are wasting your money no matter how good it is.

    Find a production company in your area that has a track record in producing Web video and show results (views, syndication to many sites, etc). Otherwise no-one will see it.

    Youtube is littered with big budget videos with no thought to distribution and views of less than 100...

    Reply
  • Posted by pamela hackett
    Mitch Joel

    As I complete this comment form and comment I am awaiting the rendering of my first on-line video - literally. I was asked by an ex-colleague would I offer my thoughts on change management via video so he can post it on his web site.

    I am now offocially scared to post this first try after reading this although I do agree with all, its just a question of whether you can pull it off (and yes, we do all have to start somewhere) and as an independent paying for video production so frequently is not really an option though it could be for organisations.

    My view on this is that while you have little traffic it's probably OK to make a few errors and a couple of hokey, embarrassing pieces, with the caveate that practice makes perfect as long as your audience gives feedback and you improve. The double edge sword is will you prevent growth in the audience by doing this? I've discovered in this 'practice' video what i will need to do better and different next time but I'm willing to try it out and take a few nudges from my small community.....

    I am going to post my first try and ask for feedback.....I'll let you know when and where - probably facebook via youtube, feel free to critique it.... remembering the audience is a fairly conservative management group so it may not meet the criteria of jaw dropping.....isn't that what TED says.....but I hope it will open debate on why people 'think' change fails.....think in ' ' because I think we're often just plain wrong.

    Look forward to your feedback...if I keep my nerve and open it to larger critique. Of course I'm wondering now if there is a reason Mitch does podcasts - whihc i enjoy very much.....

    Reply
    • You're right - I do audio because I don't think I can make my content "sing" as well in video because I, personally, lack a lot of the skills I discussed above.

      While you see this video as your first, please keep in mind that the Web does not work in a chronological fashion. Meaning, in 3 years times, someone might see this video. Over that time, you may have elevated yourself to star status, but that one video will still be their first impression. I hope that doesn't scare you more (that was not the intention). The idea is to be proud of everything (text, images, audio and video) that you put into the stream (and that has your name on it).

      If you think it's ho-hum, what do you think the audience will think?

      Reply
  • Posted by Paul Castain
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch:

    This was very helpful and I'll be sure to pick up that book.

    I realize now that I really need to take a step back and polish some things up before embracing video.

    Thanks again!

    Paul Castain

    Reply
  • Posted by Gina
    Mitch Joel

    When in doubt, outsource.

    Reply
  • Posted by John McLachlan
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, regarding audio: does this mean you will not be recording Media Hacks in sushi restaurants with one mic you hand around to Hugh and Julien anymore? :-)

    Reply
  • Posted by Kyle McConnelll
    Mitch Joel

    You bring up great points, alot of things do go in to createing a great video, my ideas are great but my post production is shaky i am using stock software on my computer, any tips on type of editing software ? I am young and new in the game

    Reply
  • Posted by Jeff Bradshaw
    Mitch Joel

    A web video agency can help companies develop a strategy for the planning, production and delivery of everything video related. This includes consulting on when to use self produced and prodessioally produced video content. www.zoomwebvideo.com

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Don't forget, every once in a while, truly amateur video is exactly what you need. Nothing says "authentic" like authentic.

    Reply
  • Posted by Greg Bates
    Mitch Joel

    Online video is become super important no matter what field you're in. Being able to up your quality and production values will help keep you ahead of the game, but the real challenge is figuring out how to present the actual content in a unique way that builds context and really engages viewers. 99% of content producers online are copying what the big boys in their vertical are doing, but the only way to really move up the ranks as a result of your video content is to come up with interesting and original new ways to present your ideas. I think the goal should be to create your own unique format that draws your audience in and makes it really easy for them to connect or share.

    Reply
  • Posted by Laurinda Shaver
    Mitch Joel

    The curse and the blessing of video is that we have all watched an incredible amount of good video. Therefore, our standards are pretty high all around. But what I believe makes a great video for an individual is a combination of what they say and how they look.

    What to say: What is your point? Be clear. Tell me something that I can relate to. Don't give me too much detail. Use storytelling. If you are painting a picture in my mind with your words, I'm engaged.

    How to Look: Um... decent. I have seen videos with stained shirts and hair that is begging for a brush through. You don't have to be Scarlett Johansson, but please look your best.

    Mitch... I would love to see a video of one of the Media Hacks episodes. Any plans in the future?

    Reply
    • No plans to have anyone video Media Hacks. We usually record it via Skype or Blog Talk Radio as most of us are in different locations. On the odd occasion where we are together, I'd argue that we would be breaking every one of your rules because it's usually a very casual setting (and usually after a long day), but you never know ;)

      Reply
      • Posted by Laurinda Shaver
        Mitch Joel

        Its just.. i feel like I'm missing alot of the communication by not seeing you guys. And yes.. its a girl wanting to join into a boys club. Anyway... something to keep in mind. :)

        Reply
        • Well, first off - we don't consider it a boys club at all... just friends who do this sort of stuff. Secondly - we'd need a lot of av (mics, etc...) to make a go of that and my guess is that the content would be different if we knew we were being videotaped (it always is).

          Reply
          • Posted by Laurinda Shaver
            Mitch Joel

            Good point about the tech stuff. Its so much easier to just do audio. Working in video, I really understand about being self conscious on camera and thus, performance is adjusted accordingly. Video, in this case, might kill the magic. I hear you.

            And yes.. I'm sure you don't consider it that... but from an outsider point of view... well... listen to any of them and you might begin to see what i mean.

            Thanx for the responses Mitch. Appreciate it.

            Reply
  • Posted by Bianca Te Rito
    Mitch Joel

    Informative read Mitch - thank you.

    This is my favorite topic, and something I’m passionate about and also consult in. I’m glad you raised the point, “Do I ever think that the content adds to their credibility? Hardly ever. Sadly.”

    This resonated with me because I’ve seen online videos presented by “thought-leaders” where the content has been great - but the visual delivery would not be well received by certain audiences.

    Here are a few more brief technical tips to add to your list:

    1. Be mindful of how you position your camera. There is a psychology behind camera angles and the emotional effect they can have on the viewer.

    2. Watch your body language, i.e. hand to face gestures can subconsciously trigger distrust.

    3. Watch your body movements (i.e. moving side to side, back in forth, shifting your weight). These can distract the viewer, and upstage your message. Plus it can alter the way your face is lit, and how your voice sounds.

    4. Choose your wardrobe and colours wisely (i.e stripes, patterns, bright reds can bleed on screen and can be hard on the viewer). Also think about matching your colours to your message. If it’s light hearted internal communication - wear lighter, softer hues. If it is to the board of directors, dark colours, and sharp cuts are better.

    5. Keep it short, short, short – under 2mins – average attention spans are getting shorter.

    6. Flip cameras do NOT have and external mic option – I discovered this after the fact, so some of my footage sounds like I’m speaking into a tin-can (I have since gone with another option).

    7. Warm up your face, jaw, tongue and vocals, to reduce tension, also soften your eye focus to camera (this helps reduce the bug-eye stare).

    9. Lighting is super important. Angle your face towards light as much as possible, it will make you look younger, and blow-out imperfections – TRUST me on this.

    Most of all speak with conviction and present with passion and enthusiasm this will make you and your message memorable.

    Reply
    • Posted by Kevin Ing
      Mitch Joel

      Bianca and Mitch,

      You have put together a very good list of pointers for people to keep in mind.

      I produce videos as part of my work, and just wanted to add my two cents here:

      1. Re-emphasize the need for good audio. It helps a presentation dramatically.

      2. As you both have said, pay close attention to lighting. Note how the light falls across a person's face and body. If you are doing the video for someone else, a good part of the job is to make them look good. A lot can be done with window light and an inexpensive reflector.

      3. Hopefully the topic will be something the speaker is passionate about, and can speak with that passion coming through. It puts you miles ahead of someone who speaks in a monotone voice. Natural body movement can be engaging if it's not too distracting. Good pro presentations on video have deliberate, but not distracting head and hand movements. It usually feels like you're overacting. If you have time, record, review and analyze, coach, re-record.

      4.. Length. 2 minutes is good. I tend to tell my clients 5 - 6 minutes. 8 minutes max.

      5. Lastly, go easy on the effects and transitions. Nothing screams amateur more than someone using all the eye candy effects available in their editing program. Keep It Super Simple.

      Reply
    • Thanks you Bianca and Kevin for digging in deeper and adding more color and perspective. I'm a self-admitted non-expert at this, so seeing these two comments gave me even more to think about. It also made me realize why I don't like so much of what I see online.

      Reply
      • Posted by Bianca Te Rito
        Mitch Joel

        Kevin and Mitch, thank you for responding. Mitch, your "Online Video" presentation introducing Six Pixels of Separation - the book, is an excellent example (in my opinion) of presenting / communicating with passion, conviction and authenticity . My point is, your passion and conviction sold me (over the 2 minor distractions in the presentation) and compelled me to buy it anyway - so go figure...

        An aside - the comments towards the end of the this blog get a bit scary (for a newbie, new to participating/commenting)...but great to see how one goes about handling / dealing with it - very cool approach. Thanks for the teachings.

        Reply
        • Part of creating that video was me knowing that it would be less credible if it was me speaking into the camera (talking head style)... so, we did follow some of the rules. In the end, we kept the budget tight and tried to maximize what we could do with it.

          As for the comments, welcome to Blogging. The key here is to maintain the integrity of quality and ignore those who are trying to side-rail the conversation with their own, selfish agendas. It happens.

          Reply
  • Posted by Mike Edgell
    Mitch Joel


    I left television to produce online content for organizations:

    http://bit.ly/cJBfh4

    And I have to say, early on, it was an uphill battle making the case for quality. But when people see the results of investing in professionals who know what they're doing, they become believers. At the same time there is room for all. I put it in perspective this way. If someone likes hockey and hates baseball they will choose hockey on a black and white monitor. Content rules. But if they have a choice to watch hockey with high or low production values they would generally choose the professionally produced version. Mike Edgell


    Reply
    • In the early days, there wasn't much choice: the equipment, software and bandwidth wasn't great. Now with broadband, HD and cheap priced/high quality equipment available the game has changed. With the game changing, so does the expectation of the viewers.

      Reply
  • For the record, it saddens me how many people are hopping in here and just creating annoying commercials or recommending people to hire for video production. The point of this Blog post is to help people (provide value) with insights on how to make their online videos more useful.

    Please don't shill. It makes the comments have little to no value.

    Instead of posting about what you offer or why someone should hire you, why not add value here with useful information? If someone finds your additions intelligent, maybe you'll get a call.

    If you want to shill, post something on Craigslist.

    Reply
    • And in non-shill mode- whether you use our company or any other that could do a credible job- I guess my message is that it's not as easy as it looks to create good videos. I don't mean to do the hard sell. If you love the learning process, go for it. I think your tips above and the others added later are very good, basic ones. They can totally help someone with a zero budget go from awful looking video to something at the very least watchable- with decent sound and presentation. And with luck and some humour, they might even create something fun and shareable. I'm thinking more for when businesses want to take it a little further.

      But still - a great discussion and one me and my colleagues find ourselves getting into often!

      Maureen

      Reply
      • I've seen people ramp up in pretty quick form and get their content to really rock - both from a production standpoint and content standpoint. I think it depends on the overall strategy, people involved and the long-term thoughts behind where it's all going.

        Reply
    • Posted by Jeff Bradshaw
      Mitch Joel

      Hi Mitch,

      My apologies as my post was in no way meant to be a shill. The reason I put in our URL was more from a credibility standpoint. Sometimes people make comments and you don't know how qualified their experience is. If you can please remove the URL from my previous post.

      Reply
      • No need. If your comments adds value, it's fine to have links in there (you can also link your website to your name when you're posting). It's more about people adding value in the comments vs. telling them to hire a company.

        Reply
  • Thanks for this excellent discussion starter! We speak with people all the time about exactly this at our video production house in Montreal. Often it comes down to cost. So many business owners first think they can ask someone at their company to pick up a camera, shoot a few things around the place, edit it on their PC at home and then throw it up on Youtube. Yet they don't think to ask the guy in shipping to create their fluorescent signage or ask someone in customer service to design the company logo and look in her spare time (and if they do, you can almost always tell!).

    It's true- it costs money to get great videos made. But it's the skill set you are hiring-not just a guy and a camera. It's the experienced writer who creates the final draft script that really gets your message across in an engaging original way. It's the director of photography who artfully paints with light and frames every shot to make everyone and everything look eye-catching and beautiful. It's the experienced directors who coach and help people on camera to act their very best- and better. Then it's the skilled editors does the next half of the job - taking what is shot and adding perfect timing, sound effects so subtle you barely realize what they're doing and the little visual effects that make the entire thing ‘zing’. It's a creative team that makes so many of the polished productions we're all so used to watching- and the kind of look most people want to represent their company.

    If you think about your video being watched thousands of times, being shared with others and living on the internet, at sales presentation and more for the next 2,3, or more years, and then think more about what the piece can really do for company- for good if it's a great video or for worse if it's not...suddenly the true cost of creating a professional video seems a lot less expensive in the long run.

    Maureen Marovitch
    www.picturethis.ca

    Reply
    • Then again, there is also something to be said for the indie and hobbyists who just want to learn and make great video on their own. Not everybody needs professional help, but most people can simply get by with some good, professional advice ;)

      Reply
  • My personal recommendation would be to not hire or even call any of the people pitching in these comments. Clearly, they don't understand the nature of Social Media and the spirit of the content.

    Reply
    • Posted by Jeremy Brett
      Mitch Joel

      C'mon Mitch, maybe it would just as fair for me to say that you got a vesting interest in slagging these vodeo guys!! Get off your high horse already!! You got something to sell too - at least tehy are honest about it!!

      Reply
      • Not sure where I'm not being honest. Not sure where you got the idea that this was an advertising platform. If you don't like the content, please feel free to ignore this Blog. I'm not offended at all.

        Reply
  • Posted by Carmen Torbus
    Mitch Joel

    Interesting food for thought. I'll remember this when I record my next video blog (which I do when I want my readers to see how excited I am about something or feel the passion in what I'm sharing) and when I record the videos for my upcoming e-book/course.

    Reply
    • That's one area that you can't fake: passion and enthusiasm. A great example of this is my friend, Chris Brogan. He'd probably laugh at most of my ideas above, but his video content is pure gold (he's probably one of the few exceptions to the rule... and there are always exceptions).

      Reply
  • Thanks Mitch, great summary of top tips. I will be linking to this post as we're hosting a video marketing competition http://www.startupprincess.com/touchpoint/video.html and I want people to turn in great work ;)

    Reply
  • Nice points Mitch, but as a web video maker I beg to differ with your main contention. There is a lot of undue emphasis on videos being not watchable for the reasons as mentioned above, but that is hardly the situation on the ground.

    Many people feel online videos are made from camera movies only. Sadly, they are eons behind the reality. Thousands of videos debut daily on the net that have no ‘eye contact’ and are very minimal.

    Which are those videos? Those are made from still image, flash movies, PowerPoint, screencasts, and oh yes, sometimes camera movie as well. Just take a look at the highly acclaimed Common Craft website to understand what I’m saying.

    The point is viewers want ‘value’ information for the time they spend in a website. It matters less what pleases their eyes as long as they get the info they want. The fact that Google hasn’t ever felt the need to change their site design is a case in point.

    Reply
    • I completely agree with you. There are many types of videos that can be made. But, when people do the one where they are acting like a "talking head" it's important to be aware of the ramifications in terms of integrity and overall impression that is left on the consumer.

      Reply
  • Posted by Kim Lampe
    Mitch Joel

    A fellow blogger did a set of videos "The Grace Project" using IMovie and they were excellent. It made for a very engaging experience. www.sheenalasay.com

    Premier Elements 8 is a affordable video editing software for the novice artist. Add a subscription to Lynda.com to learn the software and you'll be producing "better" videos in no time.

    Reply
  • Posted by Sylvie Ouaknine
    Mitch Joel

    I totally agree with you. I wondered whatever happened to aestheticsm? It seems to me that there is a style imposed by the web. Film, televison and phtography have rules to follow to create appealing, interesting images to build a story. What are the standard on the Web? The more ordinary the videos the better they are. Who cares cares about prodcution quallities? its more about the amount of clioks...

    Reply
    • We are getting beyond the point where everybody is just publishing because they can. With so many videos being uploaded every second, we are beginning to see that those who spend the time to figure out their audience and how to best deliver the message are the ones who get the more attention and interest.

      Reply
  • Posted by mackmclaughlin
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch,

    Thanks for bringing this up, as a Scenic and Lighting Designer for Broadcast, I was beginning to wonder if anyone was going to notice or care about the look of Vlogs, haven’t seen anything so far and there are a lot of sub par videos out there.

    In our world Lighting is the most important element for a good looking production, you can sit in front of black drape and look great if the lighting is done well or you can spend a million dollars for a set that isn’t lit properly and look like you know what.

    The second most important thing is understanding how the camera works and allowing it to do a lot of the work for you, if you buy a half way decent camera you should be able to control the contrast and black levels to make sure you have a crisp clean image.

    You might also check to see if the camera has a flesh tone detail setting this will allow you to use less makeup or none at all by simply dialing back the detail on the camera which will slightly soften only your facial features (can cover up acne for the younger folks and soften lines in the more experienced faces).

    There are lots of tricks for backgrounds, black drape being one of them, a back lit graphic is another great inexpensive background, if you want the ability to change out your background often you might want to go with a Chroma Key wall and produce some 3D Digital backgrounds to key in.

    Finally I would recommend you get an HD camera primarily for archival purposes, just in case you make it big you’ll want good quality video for those “Remember When” segments that will run on some entertainment or business network.

    Enjoy your Blog,

    Mack

    Reply
    • Wow... see, I told you I was no expert... but clearly you are! Many thanks for the black belt tips (my guess is that this stuff is more yellow belt for you).

      Reply
      • Posted by mackmclaughlin
        Mitch Joel

        Thanks, still continuing to learn, as HD has changed things quite a bit, more lighting required at lower levels to create depth is a big one.

        Reply
  • Posted by PT Black
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, just because you have personally mastered a more covert way to shill doesn't mean you should call for boycotts on anyone trying to make a living. I agree with the principles of social media but do you really think your audience doesn't know why you are so "helpful" it's to help Twist Image get business no?

    #self-awareness check

    I accept this probably won't be posted, I am telling you this as a friend who thinks you have some great ideas.

    Reply
    • Covert would mean that I'm hiding something. I'm not. This is the Twist Image corporate Blog. I'm also not boycotting anyone trying to make a living. I'm trying to use this Blog platform to add value. It's bad for usability and it's a bad user experience if we're all here exchanging ideas and tricks and random people are popping in and trying to shill their wares simply because some of the keywords that they would use to sell are present in a Blog post.

      How would you feel if you were holding a cocktail party and someone came over to your guests and started handing out business cards and asking for their business without your permission? How would you feel if the big box store in your neighbourhood put one of their signs on your front lawn without your permission? Does that mean you're stopping them from trying to make a living or does that mean that their actions are socially inappropriate for that specific moment/time?

      I don't think I'm stopping anyone from doing anything other than pointing out that something else is happening here and those people not only look bad... but it ruins it for the rest of us (including me).

      Also, if you think that this is a covert sales trick or that I am shilling, you can completely ignore me and my company - that's the beauty of Social Media.

      Reply
    • Posted by Leighla M.
      Mitch Joel

      I'm happy you responded Mitch. As I was going though the comments, I was a little surprised and pretty annoyed by all of the people selling. I was wondering why you don't just delete those comments? Why give them the ability to speak to your audience and why let them post a link? If they want to advertise on your Blog they should pay you.

      Sorry PT, I'm with Mitch on this. Those comments are useless.

      Reply
    • Posted by Julian Hart
      Mitch Joel

      Delete those comments and be done with it. Your Blog. Our community. They don't belong.

      Reply
  • Posted by Quentin Karmark
    Quentin Karmark

    I am commenting from the standpoint of consumer mostly, but also as a design professional. It doesn't take long to realize when viewing cinematic trailers that the credits are quick to point out the actors and directors. Of course every single other miniscule credit is not left out if watched long enough, so details behind the scenes is ever as relevant, but the point is that the entire focus is placed on the style behind the piece.

    Don't get me wrong... if the content or theme is lacking, style really isn't going to overly change that, but viewers are strongly tied to emotion. Creativity and originality should combine to make compelling video. Engage them. Show a connection on multiple levels: Delivery, timing, stature, rapport, fraternity - even wardrobe and environment - although all indicative of professionalism, should never be viewed as costly or unnecessary: show some love, it will be rewarded.

    Reply
  • Posted by Steve Garfield
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch,
    Thanks for including a link to my book in this post. It's easy to get started with online video and I encourage people to just start doing it. The more video you record, the better you'll get. My book helps with tips to make your content better by choosing the best camera, lighting and sound. It also provides great tips on how to conduct interviews. I love reading the comments here with some really great tips.

    Hope we get to connect in person soon!
    Take care,
    --Steve

    Reply
  • Posted by Chris Miller
    Mitch Joel

    I've found that expense is the main reason there are so many DIY video creators on the web. The challenge is this, consider your video an investment instead of a cost. have a reputable company shoot a lot of relevant footage.Use the footage to create your web video and then repurpose it to create video for your trade show, a TV commercial, corporate message, and then save as B-Roll for news releases. A well though out video project is actually cost effective when planned correctly. And, the good "shaky" videos and "amateur" videos, were created by professionals with the intent not to look polished (which is why they look cool!). The bottom line is that video represents your company, poor quality represents poor quality.

    Reply
    • This post is definitely not about letting go and not doing your own video. The point was to give those who are doing it some pointers so that they can get better. If you're passionate about making videos... please make videos... just make them great.

      Reply
  • Posted by Spencer Soper
    Mitch Joel

    Good post, Mitch, especially the points on audio. I would also add to be mindful of length. See lots of video posted that's like 20 minutes long of just some folks sitting around a table chatting. It may have been a GREAT conversation, but PUHLEEEASE, go back and whittle down to some highlights for those of us who don't want to watch 20 minutes of video.
    I'd be interested to get some feedback on a project my colleague April Bartholomew and I have been working for the past couple of years. We work for a PA newspaper, The Morning Call, and shoot demo videos featuring tips from readers about how they save money. April handles all the shooting, editing side. We try to keep it light and lively. If you have a second, check it out and let me know what you think:
    http://www.mcall.com/business/onthecheap/video/
    thanks,
    Spencer

    Reply
    • You'll note that one of my tips was to be ruthless in the editing process as well. That is an art unto itself.

      I'll hop ove and check out your clip in a bit.

      Reply
      • Posted by Spencer Soper
        Mitch Joel

        Thanks, Mitch. Be interested to hear what you think. I'm subscribing to your blog, too. Liked the one about the end of the conversation. Here's to a lasting one.

        Reply
  • Posted by Howard Firestone
    Mitch Joel

    Glad to see nothing has changed in three years. You are the master.....

    Reply
  • Posted by Mike C.
    Mitch Joel

    Many thanks for the great tips and for covering off some of the very key components that make online video so cool... and challenging. I'd also like to thank you for calling out those who are advertising their wares here. You're right, your readers are smart and they'll ignore them. If people want to advertise on your Blog, they should ask your permission.

    Whatever... rise above and keep doing what you're doing. I've been following you forever and I appreciate the awesome content that you constantly deliver.

    Reply
  • Posted by Matt M
    Mitch Joel

    Good post and I totally agree, the sheer volume of content being released is staggering but with Youtube's recent shift to better quality content should cut down on the amount of misleading or irrelevant videos in circulation. Also, professional web videos are becoming more affordable as the technology to produce them is decreasing.

    Reply
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