Each time I release a new Video based post I get a number of questions about the technicalities of producing the video. So today I thought I’d answer the most common questions that I’ve been asked so far. By no means am I a ProVideoBlogger. I’ve produced just a handful of them and know I have a long way to go and a lot to learn (in fact I’m considering taking a short course in video making). However I’m happy to share what I know:
What Camera do you use?
The camera that I’ve been using is a Canon MVX20i video camera. It’s a model that is a little old (I bought it 2-3 years ago). I have recorded a couple with my iSight web cam (like A Day in the Life of a Blogger) and it produced reasonable results – but I find that the Canon video camera is a little better.
What lighting do you use?
Nothing special here – the last video who does your blog serve was shot with lots of natural light and the lights of the room on. It was a pretty sunny day outside so that helped. On darker days I’ve been known to bring an extra lamp into the room.
What is your audio being recorded through?
The camera’s microphone.
Are you using a mac or pc?
I’m using a Power Mac (desktop) to record these videos. I record directly onto the computer through a firewire cable into iMovie (ie I don’t record it onto the camera and then upload but go directly).
What software are you using to add in those titles at the bottom of the video that appear then fade out
The whole editing process is done within iMovie. I was using iMovie HD (2006 version) until this last video and have just bought the new iLife which has a completely updated version of iMovie (which is easy to use but frustratingly light on in terms of features – I’m thinking of going back to iMovie HD).
How Long Does it Take to Shoot and Edit a Video? How many takes do you have to do?
It varies a lot. This last week’s video was shot in about 25 minutes including setup of camera. The editing probably took 1.5 hours or so. It was a pretty quick one. I did prepare what I wanted to say over the day or two before recording it (brainstorming and making some key points). I usually practice it a few times without the camera and then record it – I’ve not really taken more than 1 or 2 takes. I’m sure I could spend more time perfecting it – but for me the beauty of this medium is that it’s more conversational and raw.
How many people view these videos?
The First Impressions Video has been viewed 5088 times at the time of writing this. That’s a little higher than previous ones.
Do read your talk or make it up as you go?
I don’t read it – instead I write down the main points that I want to cover and put them just under the lens – then I go with the flow.
What tips would you give for someone wanting to record a video post?
I’m no expert on this – but a few ‘lessons’ come to mind:
- Work hard to look the camera ‘in the eye’ - it’s difficult and awkward at first speaking to a camera – but it makes your videos much more engaging and personal.
- Keep it simple – don’t try to make too many points. Attempt to keep your videos short by covering just a point or two rather than trying to do something that will go for a long time. Short, sharp and useful clips will obviously have more of an impact that long dull ones.
- Take advantage of the Audio Visual nature of the medium – video is obviously an audio visual medium and as a result it gives you an opportunity to do something a little different. The First Impressions Video illustrated to me the power of getting a little creative – the feedback was really great.
- Inject Humor – I find it more difficult to use humor in the written form than in person. Video allows you to express body language, tone of voice etc which lends itself to humor.
- Know what You Want to Say – I’ve seen a few video bloggers lately who seem to decide what to say when they switch their camera on. I’ve found that the more prepared I am the better it tends to go. This is partly just my style.
- Check out Freevlog - Freevlog is a great resource with loads of tutorials and tips on producing Video Blogs.
If you’ve produced video posts – I’d love to hear your tips also – what have you learned?