Top 10 Videos tips

American Sign Language (ASL)

Up next is an extremely useful Bing feature especially for those with hearing inability. Type “Sign Language” to view 159 videos of words and 13 phrases in American Sign Language that can be used by students seeking to learn sign language in schools.

Prep Your Presenters or Interview Subjects

Make sure all your presenters or subjects know what’s expected of them beforehand to minimize mistakes or wasted time on the day of the shoot. You should have a good idea of what the finished product is going to look like long before you arrive at your location, and your presenters should know exactly what they’re doing. Also, try to avoid having your presenters memorize pages upon pages of script – they’re probably not actors, and asking this of them is likely to cause more anxiety (and mistakes) than allowing them a little freedom.

Keep it Short – Be Concise and Succinct

People have very short attention spans nowadays, especially for internet video. They have a lot of distractions taking them away from your video.

  • If the How To video is a simple technique, try to make it 2 to 5 minutes.
  • If the training video requires more skills and a longer involvement, make it a maximum of 30 minutes.
  • With a 30-minute or longer format video, find a good place to break it into segments of 3 to 5 minutes each. Give the viewer breathing time between steps.
  • If your video requires you to go longer than 30 minutes, break it into 2 or more separate videos, similar to how Videomaker created our "Making Commercials" training videos.

Audio is MOST Important!

Videomaker harping on the need for good audio is like listening to a broken record. (You remember those, right? Black vinyl discs with grooves that spun on a player with a diamond needle that projected cool tunes in the old days?) Some people still don't get it – your audience will forgive bad video, but will tune out due to bad audio.

  • Use a mic. Use a mic. Use. A. Mic. Always use an external microphone,  please do not reply on your on-camera mic to capture the audio of your video presentation. Good audio is crucial for any type of video sharing.
  • If you are setting your camera 10 feet away from your display table the audio will sound muddy and hollow coming from the camera mic. Then if you move in close for a closeup cutaway, the audio will peak because your mouth is now closer to the mic.
  • Even a simple inexpensive $15.00 wired mic from the mall electronics store is going to sound better and more even than the on-camera mic.
  • If you MUST use the on-camera mic, learn some tricks to getting around AGC (Automatic Gain Control) and covering your camera to mask the electronic mechanisms for simple voice-over work. Automatic gain control is a pain to work around, but it can be done.

Mute Audio

Use ⌘Cmd+Shift+A (PC: Alt+A) to mute/unmute your audio.

Know What B-Roll Footage You Need

Planning to intersperse shots of your team hard at work into your video, or cut away from your presenter to other footage? Then you need what videography professionals call B-roll footage. B-roll is essentially any footage that isn’t of your primary subject. If you’re filming an explainer video showcasing your software product, B-roll footage might include shots of satisfied customers using your product, or an external shot of your offices, for example. Whatever footage you need, figure it out during the pre-production phase to avoid situations in which you need footage you don’t have. Remember – there’s no such thing as too much B-roll. TIP: If you need a shot of something that would be difficult or impossible to film yourself, such as aerial shots or footage from exotic locales, you can always use stock B-roll footage. I’ve used footage from Beachfront B-Roll several times in the past, and the quality and diversity of the footage is excellent.

Pack a pizza stone

A pizza stone will help to even out the heat in your RV’s propane oven so you can bake amazing meals.  And of course, you can always use it to make pizza!  Pizza stones do break, so be sure to protect them by wrapping them for travel. Find more tips for cooking in your RV oven

Limit the size of pictures in image search

The next Bing search trick is extremely useful while searching for the perfect images. imagesize: constrains the size of returned images and is valid for Bing image search only. Example, dogs imagesize:large

  • Small – Both width and height are less than 200 pixels.
  • Medium – Both width and height are between 200 pixels and 500 pixels
  • Large – Both width and height are greater than 200 pixels

Get NFL stats right away!

For all NFL lovers out there, Bing search provides them in-depth and context-specific information on every NFL game played from the year 2000 to date.

Simple Background and Lighting

An elaborate set isn't necessary for most How To videos, and in fact it often detracts from the subject at hand.

  • In most cases, you're going to demonstrate something on a table or in front of a backdrop – so make the background simple, never busy.
  • You can get pre-made curtains cheap or go to a fabric store and check out their discount aisle – most raw fabric runs 45 to 60 inches wide and you can buy it by the yard or by the bolt. Bed sheets work, too, and are wider.
  • Stick with neutral shades, a darker color will show off most products well, but invest in some lighter fabric if you are demo'ing dark items like cameras.
  • Stay away from a white background, which tends to fight with exposure too much, unless you have a well-designed set.
  • Set two lights about 45-degrees from the center of the demo area, one on each side. Even simple stand lamps will work, but the idea is to make it even.
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