Guest post by David Murray, program chairman, Strategic Video Awards
According to Jan Ozer, streaming media expert, author and Publisher of the Streaming Learning Center, there are a number of things to consider when you are shooting video for streaming. Ozer says, “Anyone who’s ever picked up a camcorder and tried to tap into their inner- Spielberg knows that there’s a lot more to creating a high-quality, impactful movie than turning on the camcorder and pressing the red record button. The same is true with producing video for streaming.” (From Shooting for Streaming – Five Key Tips)
- Choosing a background – “When a video has lots of detail in the background — like bookshelves, a finely patterned wallpaper, or blowing leaves — the codec can’t tell whether you care about the subject’s face or the extraneous stuff in the background. So it tries to preserve the quality of all the content in the frame, which inevitably degrades the quality of what you care most about.”
- Lighting the set – “In terms of lighting style, you can use three-point lighting, which produces slight shadows on the face, or flat lighting, with no appreciable shadows. Either way, the most important priority is to provide sufficient lighting for the camcorder to achieve good exposure without injecting gain into the video.”
- Camera usage and selection – “If you’re shooting in a controlled environment, like a classroom or conference room, it’s best to move that camera out of automatic mode, and control exposure manually, which fortunately is easier than it sounds. Basically, there are three controls that control how much light gets to the camcorder’s sensing device; shutter speed, gain, and aperture.”
- Framing the shot – “The Rule of Thirds is a principle of photographic image composition that can also be applied to shooting video. Imagine the video frame divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically like tic-tac-toe board. If the subject is facing the camera, the top horizontal line should be at eye level and they should be in the center of the frame.”
- Don’t forget about audio – “Don’t skimp on the audio side of the equation. Viewers accept some visual degradation in their streaming media, but not audio-related deficits, since they know that audio can be nearly perfect, even when delivered via streaming.”
Today, online video has become as prevalent as text on the web was more than a decade ago and is now being used as an effective marketing tool for businesses small and large alike. In a recent article in the New York Times, Kermit Pattison highlighted the growing trend of businesses using video as a low-cost way to reach to sell their products, connect with customers for deeper conversations and communicate their brand. The barriers to creating and distributing professional-quality video have been eroded with the development of affordable content creation tools and the solutions available from online video platforms.
- SHOW YOUR PRODUCTS – Online video may be the best way to demonstrate a product. Customers can see the actual product and make purchasing decisions based on what they see rather than having to request a sample.
- CREATE A DESTINATION – Having an online video spokesperson in your video adds that human touch that no other marketing tool can duplicate, short of being there in person, and when you add that element to your company website you create a reason for customers to keep coming back. Your website can become your company channel full of useful information that connects with your customers and you’ll be seen not as pitching products, but as customer-friendly experts.
- USE ANALYTICS AND TOOLS – All video platforms, including: YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Blip.tv, and professional platforms like Brightcove, Ooyala or Kaltura, offer tools that allow you to measure the effect of your videos. The ability to measure video traffic beyond “views”-including audience dropoff, what sites and search terms are referring viewers, and audience geography-offers content publishers deeper insight into both the viewing habits of their audience and the extent of your video’s reach.
- BUILD A BRAND CHANNEL – One way to get the attention of customers is invite them to become your video producers — especially if they jump off cliffs, ski down steep powder ridges or do somersaults on BMX bikes.
- ADVERTISE WITH VIDEO – YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google (which owns YouTube) and represents a huge audience of potential customers. It offers a dozen advertising options, including banner ads, promoted videos that appear on top and beside search results, and “preroll ads” that appear during other YouTube videos much like a conventional TV commercial. YouTube recently announced that it was displaying more than three billion ads per week.
- OFFER INSTRUCTION – Pictures are really worth a thousand words and video multiplies that equation with 30 pictures a second. Online video makes it easy to follow the adage “Show, don’t tell.” Many businesses have turned to video for instruction manuals and how-to guides.
In this video from OnlineVideo.net, Troy Dreier talks with Sorenson Media’s COO Eric Quanstrom about What Is an Online Video Platform? They discuss the basics of OVPs and the value that OVPs bring to small businesses. According to VidCompare, an Online Video Platform is: “typically a SaaS (software as a service) solution providing end-to-end tools to manage, publish and measure online video content for both on-demand and live delivery. Typical components of an OVPP include video hosting, encoding, custom players, syndication, analytics, as well as interactivity and monetization through a variety of online advertising options typically 3rd-party ad-servers/networks. Most OVPPs offer scalable product packages for both self-serve SMB publishers up to large media companies.”
- Larry Kless’ Weblog: Online Video Platform Summit: Defining Online Video Platforms
- Larry Kless’ Weblog: Choosing an Online Video Platform, A Case Study and Twitter Conversation with @JustinEdmead of TDot TV
- Streaming Media – Choosing an Online Video Platform
- Reel SEO – What to Consider when Shopping for an Online Video Platform
- Online Video Platform Summit Was A Good Show « Online Video and Video Providers – VidCompare
This video from Streaming Media East features Jan Ozer, Principal of Doceo Publishing, who provides an overview of video production for streaming. Jan is also publisher of Streaming Learning Center Streaming Learning Center and 2010 Streaming Media All Star, He included lots of helpful information, useful stats, and strategies to improve your video quality for streaming.
- Setting the scene (background and clothing)
- Shooting for streaming
- Choosing your target,
- Avoiding/correcting aspect ratio issues
You’ve got the video production basics down pat, but you’re still concerned that somehow your streaming quality just doesn’t measure up. From camera selection to choosing an encoding tool and encoding parameters, streaming consultant Jan Ozer details the most common production pitfalls that unnecessarily degrade streaming quality. Come learn at least three or four ways to make your video look better.
Jan Ozer, Principal, Doceo Publishing
Download the presentation here: Video Production for Streaming (.pdf file)