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Archive for the ‘Video Recording’ Category

How to Apply the Rule of Thirds

Friday, January 18th, 2013

4620433766_146683196e_bThe rule of thirds is a compositional guideline which suggests that you take an image and divide it into nine equal parts with two equally spaced vertical lines and two equally space horizontal lines.  By placing your subject on one of these intersecting lines, it’s thought to create a more pleasing visual than simply centering the shot.

Placing points of interest in the intersections or along the lines your subject becomes more balanced and allows the viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that, when viewing images, people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot. 

For more examples like these, go to:

https://www.google.com/search?q=rule+of+thirds&hl=en&tbo=u&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS506US506&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ENL2UIm-BsikqQGPz4CAAw&ved=0CE4QsAQ&biw=1683&bih=1292

The same principle can be applied when shooting video.  For instance, when shooting an interview with a stationary subject, be sure your subject is standing (or sitting) in a ‘Rule of Thirds’ position. And be sure to compose your shot applying the Rule of Thirds, creating space in front of your subject.  Make sure your background isn’t so busy that it’s distracting from the subject.  Find a simple background, or a background that doesn’t have a lot of activity behind it. For instance, if you’ve got someone in the background picking their nose or drinking a bottle of water, it doesn’t matter how great an interview you record, the audience is going to be looking at that instead of your subject matter.

So when you’re in the field and you have a camera and a tripod and you’re getting ready to set up your shot, what is one of the first things that you should do in order to apply the rule of thirds?

Look through the lens of your camera, place your subject matter off center so that it has some space around it, to the left and to the right – if you center it as in our first example of the rock, you see that it’s just not as interesting of a shot as the off center composition.

Bottom line, if you begin your video production with excellent digital video recordings you will save time and money in post and create a more pleasant video production.

Professional Speaking Trends for 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012

3973783991_55b9207f54As 2012 comes to a close Primeau Productions has seen the beginning of many trends that we believe will be expanded on in 2013.

The first trend is the widening gap between the amateur or beginning professional speaker and the experienced veteran professional speaker. It usually takes up to three years for an aspiring professional speaker to have perfected their craft. This includes performing pro bono on just about any stage that will allow the opportunity to polish your craft. Professional speakers and professional orators know that they must have a rock solid message to communicate to a captive audience that’s interested in hearing that message. Amateur and beginning professional speakers must learn how to polish their craft in order to become sought after and memorable in order to get referrals because word of mouth is the most important tool in transition from an amateur to a professional. When people start talking about you and your message to other people in the industry, like meeting planners and speakers bureaus, that’s when your business will hit ‘critical mass’ and you will make the transition from amateur to professional.

Another trend that we see is the role of the speaker’s bureau. Speakers Bureaus must evolve with the times with the help of the professional speaker. We envision professional speakers having a more active role in helping bureaus market themselves to meeting planners and corporate clients, more so in 2013 than ever before.

Let’s face it, the Internet serves as a source of information about hiring professional speakers for corporate meetings and events. If I’m a meeting planner or corporation looking for a professional speaker I can get on the Internet and search website after website until I find exactly what I’m looking for. Shopping for a professional speaker has become easier because of the Internet and the speakers bureau role is changing from supplier of professional speaker to helping facilitate the professional speaking process within the meeting. In other words, we see speaker’s bureaus working closer with their professional speaker clients and the meeting planners in forming relationships that help coordinate the success of the professional speaker/meeting planner relationship and that being the solid backbone to help the speaker bureau to evolve.

We also see professional speakers referring leads that they receive to speaker bureaus, more often than before. Because if the speakers bureau helps the professional speaker develop their relationship with the client that they referred to the bureau, the percentage of the speaking fee the bureau will receive is well deserved because of the activity the bureau takes in coordinating this relationship.

Another trend that we see at Primeau Productions is for professional speakers to record themselves while presenting their message from the stage. First of all, the recording helps the professional speaker polish new material. Second, the recording helps avant-garde and spontaneous portions of the presentation to be reviewed and remembered, because a lot of times the professional speaker will react based on what the audience responds to during their presentation. However, that can easily be forgotten after the presentation when the professional speaker leaves the stage. And by ‘recording’ we mean audio or video – an amateur recording, something that could be referred to later on by the speaker in order to hone and polish their message.

Another trend we see is professional speakers utilizing video marketing to help build their visibility on the Internet. The more places and the more video content that the veteran professional speaker distributes across the Internet, the more likely they are to be found by the meeting planner or corporation that is looking for a professional speaker to bring in to their meeting or event. Plus, video marketing shows the depth and breadth of the speaker’s knowledge, skill and ability.

The last important trend that we see for 2013 is the professional speaker – especially the veteran – writing more content and printed material; creating books; writing blogs, and being a guest blogger on a purposeful blog to help themselves market and show the depth of their expertise. There is no better way than writing and creating printed content to help develop your message as well as prove your expertise to your demographic.

We’ve encountered many amateur ‘professional speakers’ who have not written any books or written very little blog content. Their excuse is they don’t have time. Well, that’s because they’re spending all their time trying to figure out where their next job is going to come from so they can pay the bills. It’s very important, in our opinion, to have published written content on your expertise in order to not only be found on the Internet because books and written content are another category for Internet marketing, but they also help support you, the veteran professional speaker, as the expert. And experts who speak professionally are the most sought after professional speakers.

Look at your competition in professional speaking. Who are the ones who are getting the ‘big bucks’ and all the speaking engagements? What are they, as a veteran professional speaker, doing different than what you are doing as an amateur, or an aspiring professional speaker? Do they have sponsorship opportunities with major corporations who they help reveal their brand in the professional speaker’s marketing efforts? What have they published to help position them as an expert in their category? What can you do in 2013 to follow some of these trends to help boost your professional speaking business?

These are trends that we’ve noticed in 2012 and before that have become more prominent and grown during 2012 that we see as very solid business pillars in 2013. Don’t be distracted by living in your own world and doing the same things that you’ve always done and expecting to get more business. Take a chance, try to identify some trends that you believe in, and change your business activity just enough to help your business grow in 2013.

photo credit: Speech prep 4 via photopin (license)

How To: Get Great Video Footage with Image Magnification

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

139159238_b05ddb2acb_nTake Advantage of Image Magnification Screens.

One way to avoid the expense of hiring a crew to record video footage is to tap into image magnification screens. If you perform live at an event and there are more than 500 attendees, there is usually a large screen image magnification system so the people in the back of the room can see you. The image magnification is accomplished by hooking up a video camera to a projector. IMAG systems appear in many performance situations, including rock concerts, conventions and conferences, sporting events and illusionist performances, to name a few. If these systems are present, many times there are video recorders in the system, too. Ask the producer if you can have a gratis copy of your performance, or negotiate it into your fee.

Keep some blank tape up your sleeve.

It’s a good idea to carry an external hard drive with you when you speak or perform, just in case the venue you perform at doesn’t have any spare hard drives. It would be a bummer to have a killer opportunity to be video recorded in front of a great audience and the only thing stopping you is the lack of something as simple as video storage.

 

photo credit: DSC_0010.JPG via photopin (license)

How To: Get Great Video Footage with a “Tape-In” Method

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

13885876624_51f737675e_nThe traditional method for acquiring video footage is to hire a crew and pay their cost plus expenses. I hope to shed some light on alternative low-to-no cost methods of having your performance videotaped. “The Tape-In” is one of those ideas.

“The Tape-In.”
This method is used most often. Professional speakers and performers can organize an event with several of their colleagues and conduct mini-seminars or performances, invite the public and split the cost of the video crew to get footage. This works for bands too. Organize several good bands in your area and put on an event. Hire a video crew and split the cost with the other bands. You’ll all get professionally shot video at a fraction of the cost.

You might want to charge admission for the tape-in to create higher perceived-value. People see little value in a free performance. Unless, you have already made a name for yourself and the show is at a high-profile location.

Play to a crowd that loves you.
Use a gimmick or hook to get a large audience together for the tape-in. For example, I once knew of a couple of bands that organized a “battle-of-the-bands” event. They printed flyers and distributed them at gigs prior to the event and hired a video crew. Each band had twenty minutes to play, and the audience “voted” by applause. All the bands got great stage footage, and when it came time to vote, they had great footage of dozens of clapping, screaming fans (and the winner had their share of the video costs split between the losing bands).

These showcase events work for comedians as well as other performers. In fact, if your marketing is on-target, the organizer can make money off these events. When I was younger we used to get three bands together on a Saturday night and put on a Hall Party. We charged ten dollars at the door for the event, which included music, beer and one food item. We sold additional food and the bands sold their tapes and T-shirts. We recorded the show and closed when the beer was gone. And we actually made a profit! People had a great time and the bands got to perform, sell products and gain visibility that often turned into future gigs.

Get a little help from friends.
If you are having trouble marketing your “tape-in” event, you could require each participant or performer to bring 5 to 10 people for their admission fee so that there is a sizable audience in the video. It’s a good idea to invite prospects for future business to the tape-in so that you have a better chance to get future bookings.

But don’t limit yourself to these people. In the speaking business, these people are meeting planners and bureaus. In the music and entertainment world these people are booking agents, club owners and record companies. They tend to be more analytical and less enthusiastic about your performance because they have to anticipate what their customers want and will enjoy.

It’s also nice to have your greatest fans and supporters there. These people will help energize your performance. You might even hand pick the audience from your mailing list for a special invitation list and create an “invitation only” event. Then, you need the general public to help make this all affordable and profitable. I recommend the following to market your event:

1. Make flyers and pass them out everywhere (be careful not to litter). Do not put them on auto windshields because people will be annoyed.

2. Create press releases and send them to all of the local media. Newspapers have a “what’s happening” section they need to fill, and radio stations often have a spotlight for local events.

Interested in learning more about professional media services like audio/video? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords.

photo credit: GuerillaBeam via photopin (license)

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