#SoFabCon14 Video Speaker Notes
On May 10, 2014 I spoke at SoFabCon14 on the topic of video. Read all about my excitement of being selected as a speaker in this post. The session was given the title: ”Engage and Build you Traffic with Compelling Videos.” My co-presenter was Danielle Simmons of Simms Works Family blog.
If you were in the session or found this blog post through a google search (thank you google!) here are some of my notes that hopefully will help you with creating compelling, quality video for your audience.
Think Before You Shoot
What story are you telling?
Fashion, opinion, food, tutorial, review.
What is the beginning, middle and end?
What are the points to be covered.
What are you trying to teach?
How specific are you going to get?
Staging – the environments in which you are shooting. Not just the immediate area but the entire room or location.
What does the counter look like?
Is the train running by?
Is the dog barking?
What does your lighting look like?
Are you professional in your appearance?
What is in the background?
Are competitor products out of the shot? (if it is a piece for a client)
Are there coordinating products in the shot? Accessories and everyday life items? What are the items that you need to have in your video to give it more depth, interest and character?
Whether you’re filming food, crafts, or products, a properly staged video will catch viewers eyes and bring more focus to your content. And it will help make clients want to work with you.
An outline of what your video is going to cover. Be as detailed as possible so you don’t forget anything.
Think through the shots
Will you use a second camera to film tight shots or will you use stills?
How many shots of ingredients or materials are you going to be needing to be capturing.
What is your beginning, middle and end?
Shoot the teaser LAST with the finished product in hand. This will give you a beautiful capture of what is coming in the video and make the viewer want to watch it to the end.
Write down the specific wording given – if any – and make sure that the message you’re conveying is one that matches the client’s message, if you are working with a client.
Once And Done:
A shot that can only be shot once! Examples: cutting hair, folding in whipped egg whites, cutting down a tree. All things that can’t be easily recreated, if at all. Make SPECIAL NOTE on items that can only be shot once and make sure you get it right the first time!
Don’t forget the call to action!
Call to actions are great even for non sponsored videos to engage with your audience. Ask them a question and have them comment below, ask them to visit a website or follow you on social media. Keep them engaged with a call to action.
Camera: I shoot Nikon DSLR 7100 but use what ever brand you are most comfortable with. A higher quality image will be captured using a DSLR versus a smart phone. Trust me. You will notice the difference. And potential clients will notice the difference too. The kit lens will work beautifully but if you want to give yourself more options with the types of shots you will be capturing I would suggest adding a 50mm or a 11-16mm to your collection. The 50 mm will give your excellent depth of field and give you beautiful, tight shots. The 11-16mm will be great for those wide angle shots.
A microphone will make it easier for you to be able to adjust the volume and keep your audio at a level so you won’t sound like you are in a tin can. If you are looking for the microphone I had with me at the conference this is the one: [AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B002HJ9PTO”]
And I have purchased this shotgun microphone for when I am on the go:
Make sure you have a tripod because as steady as you think you are… you aren’t. The video amplifies any and all micro movements.
Remember me talking about my favorite ‘Hydrolic Turnny-Thingie’? Well here is what I was talking about. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how smooth my panning shots are with this on my tripod.
Have a few more pennies to spend? I have read wonderful things about this head:
Say no to fluorescents! If you’re shooting in the same area often, consider investing in natural light light bulbs. These will help make you look better plus it will ill increase the quality of the shot and cut down on editing. You can only edit color correction so much!
Your computer may come preloaded with editing software. Use it until you feel it can no longer do what you want it to do for your videos. I am a MAC user so I have invested in Final Cut Pro. It was about $300 and it serves my needs for the moment.
Get those secondary shots of the close ups or different angles to add interest to your video. These can be either still images or rolling footage.
Check Your Audio
In the session I was emphasizing the importance of using microphones but also the importance of making sure they are working correctly. Here is the example of the microphone being on but not plugged in. Only watch 30 seconds of the video to get my point. Watch the rest of the video to learn how to prune hydrengeas.
Download all the files for the specific file into a separate folder.
Pull out the story board and start putting the pieces in place.
Put the teaser in the beginning.
Place the call to action at the end.
Titles – Make the title board less than 8 seconds any longer than that it eats into the total time of the video and it is boring. Get to the good stuff!
Transitions –Make them simple, make them seamless, make them consistent. This is not the time for flash
Photos – Add in the still photos if you don’t have a second camera for the rolling tight shot.
Matching what is coming out of your mouth is next to impossible!
Switch to a different shot with your mouth not in it and record the voice over.
Be aware of your volume and voice fluctuation so it is similar to the rest of the video.
Remember us talking about outtakes and how they can add a bit of humor and spice to your videos? Here is the video we showed you. Go ahead laugh
at with me.
Here is a PDF of the handout from the session if you lost yours or if you would like to take a look at what we talked about in the session.
For more info on working with brands through video check out this post: