It’s really easy to produce an online video:
No, of course it’s not that easy. Not at all. But apart from that great tutorial above I’ve learned a lot about online video over the last few weeks. First of all that I need to “say goodbye” to a few things – as I’ve got a background in TV journalism. Where you often see stuff like that:
I love this video and it made me realize that I’ll need to approach things differently. So did the articles and posts I read over the last view weeks.
One thing: Stop telling people not to look into the camera during an interview.
That’s totally different from what I was taught to. And I admit I will still need to get used to doing it differently and I think it may also depend on the situation. But in general: online is not TV and scrapping that policy online makes sense. Michael Rosenblum points out that
“Online video is a much more intimate experience. After all, it’s really just you and the video. You and the subject. So the subject should look at the camera. Because by looking at the camera, they’re also looking at the viewer. And after all, that’s who you’re making the video for, no?”
Another thing: When I worked at the TV station all we did was video. Of course. What else? But now I have to think about what’s the right medium to tell the story. Is video the right one? Or may a text be enough? Or audio be a better way to tell the story?
What I’ve learned: You shouldn’t shoot video for the sake of it. Not every story is made for video. Back at the TV station I shot reports about council meetings etc. For online, a video about that wouldn’t really be of interest. All you’d need and want to know could be written in a text. No one needs to see the meeting, unless they start hitting each other…
A very common thing on TV is also including some vox pops, asking people on the street what they think about a certain topic. Online, you can easily get the opinion of people by asking them to comment. Which is much better and much more effective I think.
I also used cutaways quite often when I had a cut in an interview. I thought it wouldn’t look good if people would see the cut. So I used cutaways to hide it. However I did better than in this example:
Both Adam Westbrook (who recently posted some great tips how to shoot better video) and David Dunkley Gyimah give the advice not to fool the audience and instead show them when you edited it. They will probably realize it anyway. So if I should have a cut in a statement, I will use flashes instead of cutaways in the future. And the reason for that totally makes sense to me.
I knew that it was important to have a good beginning of the video. Starting boring is a big mistake (well, going on boring, too, actually). But I think this is even more important online. There are so many other impressions and possible choices for the viewer and he’s just a click away from stopping to watch your video and doing something else. Of course, if you’re watching TV you can also zapp to another program. But I think it’s going to happen faster online. So a good beginning is even more important than it is anyway.
Finally, what I also heard/read quite a few times is: There are no certain rules. It’s up to us now to make those rules regarding online video. And I think that’s quite exiting. Online video is also NOT TV because it’s free of all those conventions that come with it. There’s a lot of space to experiment. I really love that.
Do have a look at this video about the former car seller Vinny. You would probably never see such a piece on TV.
There’s so much cool stuff online, shot with different techniques and approaches. Online video is definitely different. But that’s not a bad thing at all.