Friday, June 30, 2006

3 Tips on Video Blogging

(1) Talking Heads are Boring

Watch two people talk to each other. On a topic you're interested in. How soon do you start to fade out and fall asleep? Within one minute or two? Two? Wow. You've got more stamina than most.

If you want to do a video on a topic, don't show two talking heads.

What do you show, then? EXAMPLES: Show the inventor in his studio, fussing with something. Interview people as they work on a project. Interview me as I compose computer music on Audacity software.

Today, I pretended I was being interviewed, as I finished my new CompuMusik CD "I Am Passing Through Rubber Mirrors". I imagined someone noticing how I kept editing a track, snipping parts off, copy and pasting sections of another track to it, highlighting a portion of a sound path and selecting Echo, Phaser, Delay, Pitch, Speed, Reverse, Fade Out, etc.

This might be interesting if viewers could see close up what I'm doing with the Audacity controls, how I sample sounds with my internet microphone, and how I select Save Project after every single event, so as to not lose my edits. If they could also hear my music playing, music that's already done, plus portions of my edits as I make them.

Still, I'd want to have art images flashing across the video somehow, maybe overlays, images dissolving from one to the other.

There's got to be a way to show the person doing their specialty, the person you're interviewing. Interview a gardener in a garden as they point out various plants and flowers. Interview an artist as they paint a new work. Interview a CEO as he takes you on a tour of the facilities.

Make the video visually interesting, not just informative. This is the big mistake made by most video bloggers and video producers. They think the great informative content will make up for a tiresome delivery.

Technical and commercial videos don't have to be dull. Make yours unpredictable, exciting, entertaining, Other Than normal. You need good content, sure. But too many depend on content alone. Content alone won't get you noticed. You need variety, creativity, innovation, and aggressive marketing promotions.

(2) Show Samples of What
You're Talking About

Have stuff to hold up and show people. Or have a slideshow going on, projected onto a screen above or behind you. If above you, you become a living caption-generator for the images.

Interviewing an author? Show a stack of his books, lifting each one up as you discuss it. Have enlarged photos from the book, or from his own childhood scapbook.

(3) Relevant, Dynamic,
Multiple, Optimized
Background Visuals

For my third tip, let me just quote a comment I posted today at Loren's 1938 Media blog. He has a nice video of him interviewing a guy from an independent film DVD distributor.

vaspers the grate wrote:

I like how you are off to the side Loren, but I wish you could cold do it with exactly half your face visible, looking directly at the camera, with no normal turning toward the guy you’re interviewing.

This way, half your face would be talking, like a half mask, for deconstructionist purposes.

Then, while speaking of “true indie films”, you could have clips of wild scenes from these films, running on monitors in the background. One, two, maybe 12 televisions, showing what the best moments, visually, with sound off, are like.

Free Samples is the way to sell, even in an interview.

This is Vaspers Video adVice #2 of 27. Your CompuMusik CD will be mailed shortly. Just finished “I’m Passing Through Rubber Mirrors” CD today.

Where’s the fire I asked you to use? A white tee shirt in flames, as you unflinchingly wear it to the bitter end, that ought to please Howard and Chartreuse and Doc Searls.

Posted on 30-Jun-06 at 8:15 pm

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