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Posts Tagged ‘Video Recording’

Three Tips on Getting the Best Video Recording of your Speech

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

By: Lauren Primeau

15203734160_398bc7bd41Picture this. You’ve spent countless hours rehearsing until you’ve mastered your material. You’ve polished every intricate detail and solidified your informative, yet captivating, outline. You’ve pressed your outfit and you’ve got unstoppable confidence. You’re ready to rock this upcoming speaking engagement that is being video recorded. Your new footage will be part of your new demo video and video marketing campaign.

However, we’re willing to bet that there’s just one thing that’s missing from your oh-so-important to-do list. It’s something that almost never crosses the mind of most keynote speakers; but nevertheless should. It’s the format and method of acquiring your video recording after your speaking engagement.

Obviously, this detail only pertains to those speakers who are having their speaking engagement video recorded. So, if this is the case for you, then there are some simple tips that we believe are worth the time and effort to bring to the attention of the videographer(s) recording your event.

Now, for those of you who are not technology savvy, there’s no need to cringe. The good news is that many of the following points are very easy to digest and can make a huge difference in the quality of the video being recorded and turned over to you. These three tips will add a much higher perceived value for your demo video and your video marketing strategy as a professional speaker.

Once your speaking engagement is all said and done (and let’s face it, you pretty much nailed it) most videographers will hand you a burned DVD of your speaking engagement. This is good for you to watch but not good enough for the editing process. The reason it is not good enough for the editing process is that when a DVD is formatted, the original digital video recording is compressed. Compressing your video makes the file sizes much smaller so that it can fit on the DVD. This compression process compromises the quality of the video.  You see, when you compress video, it makes it quicker and easier to send to someone, but unfortunately the quality of the video is compromised, and that is something we absolutely don’t recommend doing.

So, what are your options? Well, what we’ve found to be extremely successful with our efforts in editing video is asking your professional videographer to take the video footage of your speaking engagement and simply drag and drop the files (preferably in .mp4 or a .mov format) onto an external hard drive or thumb drive. The key when asking for these files is to make sure that they are uncompressed. Granted the file sizes will be much larger because they are uncompressed (which is why you will need either an external hard drive or a thumb drive to receive the files) but the quality is far superior to either a compressed DVD or compressed files uploaded to DropBox.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with DropBox, it’s basically a way to share video files over the Internet with simply a click of the mouse that allows you to immediately download the video. Although it sounds pretty great, it does have its drawbacks. Mainly, the files that you wish to download via DropBox (YouSendIt / HighTail, or any other Internet file sharing) are often times also compressed. Granted, it’s much easier to use DropBox due to the ease of downloading digital video files. However, the reason why it’s so easy is because the files are compressed and smaller than the full resolution uncompressed version which is best for editing. This is much like the DVD situation we mentioned earlier and something you really don’t want when it comes to your video files. Not only does it reduce the quality of your video recording, it takes a long time to upload and download the video.

Last but not least, there is one other small detail that we believe is worth bringing up when it comes to your final video product; PowerPoint slides. Often times when we sit down to review footage we receive from a client speaker, it has slides that periodically occur throughout the speech. These have most likely been edited into the video after the video has been recorded or filmed during your speech. If you wish to re-use this video footage for a demo video or for video marketing, we’ve found it difficult to edit your message and content around these slides. It’s much easier to add the slides in later, during the demo video editing process, rather than to take them away and edit them out of a video. One final word about slides, besides making video footage difficult to edit; we have seen video recordings where the slides are the star of the show. On the stage is a huge bright screen with slides that mostly reiterate words that are spoken and a dark room with the speaker off to the side. This reduces the perceived value of your message and ruins the quality of your video recording. Sure slides can add value for your audience but consider the consequences on video.

We recommend carrying a couple 64 GIG thumb drives around with you. That way, the production company or videographer can format the thumb drive to their preferred format, MAC or PC, and transfer your full resolution uncompressed video immediately after your speech. You can avoid compression and DropBox hassles as a result and can get started editing sooner rather than later. 

photo credit: Michelle Donelan via photopin (license)

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.

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