November 30, 2011

Rachel Strella

Four Tips for Fab Web Videos!

The following is a guest blog by Fran Masciantonio, President of First Generation Visual Media!

Some very basic knowledge can help your web videos work more effectively.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when shooting and editing video.

Steady camera technique. You may not have a tripod and may not need one, but avoid too many shaky camera moves.  If you are following fast action it is ok to quickly pan the camera.  But if you are moving from one subject to another keep your moves steady and smooth.  Find a target and stay with it, don't move from target to target with ever change in action.  Many cameras today have a stabilizer built in to smooth camera movement out.  If you are shooting handheld and moving a lot, turn on the image stabilizer to smooth things out.

High quality audio. Most cameras come with a built in microphone.  These are adequate for ambient sound or natural sound.  But if you want to have someone speak into the camera, I recommend using an external microphone.  You can get the microphone closer to the subject and the audio will be clearer and easier to understand.  If you don't have an external microphone and have to speak with someone on camera using the camera microphone, get the camera as close as possible to the subject to pick up the best quality sound.

File Format. Depending on how you are distributing your video you should consider the file format you are recording in or mastering too. If you are uploading to a video site such as You Tube or Vimeo, the video is converted to a format specific to that site so you don't have to worry too much about it.  But if you are placing a video on your web site or attaching it to an email or a message you want to compress the file to a smaller more readily viewable file format.  WMV files play well on Windows based computers and Android phones.  Quicktime MOV files play on Mac's, iPhones and iPads.  There are many other formats out there and web sites available that allow you to convert whatever file you have to whatever file you need.  One thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep the file size small so it is easy to receive, send or play on any device.

Archiving Media. HD files and most video and audio media are large files that take up a lot of drive space.  After you have shot your videos or edited your final video together, it is wise to archive the raw footage in case you ever need to come back to it or update it.  You don't want to take up your valuable hard drive space on your computer so you may want to move the files to an external drive of some type.  You can also burn the files to DVD or Blue Ray Discs for safe keeping but you will have to reload the files if you want to play them or use them again.  You can upload to an offsite FTP site as well but if you have a lot of media that could become time consuming.  Whatever you decide, it is best to back up the content in the event you want to use it again.

Do you have a video tip? Share it here!

Fran has 30 years of experience in all aspects of media and professional television. His goal in business is to not only create high quality communications tools for clients in video, TV and the web, but also to help clients grow their business and expand their horizons by creating promotional and marketing media that positions them as leaders in their industry.

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