Pro-Video Blogger

Video Production. Learn how to use video to tell your story. Whether it's a home movie of the kids or a corporate documentary.

The creative process

Martin Johnson - Sunday, March 16, 2014
I've recently been training a good friend to use a digital editing program to edit short promotional videos for web use. So far, the results have been good, not sure if that's due to the skill of the trainer or the talent of the person being trained. Maybe it's a bit of both. Is creativity a process? But it got me thinking about the creative process overall. This thought was also sparked by my shooting some videos for internal use within a community organisation on the subject of cr .. click to read full post.
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Mike commented on 25-Mar-2014 05:59 AM
Martin I totally agree with you on building a "reservoir of ideas". Its always tough to stay ahead of the game and as long as we educate ourselves, I think we typically can accomplish any problem we may have.
Annie Marie Peters commented on 28-Mar-2014 05:45 AM
Great question, Martin! I agree completely that the creative process is not necessarily linear. After all, creativity is an art, rather than a math problem. I've done a bit of web video in the past too, and I think I work similarly to you. I tend to start with a solid idea, then work my way toward a goal. Later, I find myself adding or making changes after some time has passed. Oftentimes, just sleeping on it for a night gives me a fresh perspective. If I'm feeling stumped, I will set a project aside, start working on a another one, and then come back to the original idea with a renewed motivation. Every day and every project is unique!
Annie Marie Peters commented on 13-Apr-2014 12:12 PM
Hey Martin. Nice site. My creative process is a lot like your lava lamp example. Good ideas rise to the top, but the motivation can sink back down quickly too. I think connecting with other artists is a good way to refill the well. Everyone needs inspiration now and then.

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Using video to promote your service

Martin Johnson - Friday, March 07, 2014
(This is a reprint of an article I wrote for an aged care industry on-line newsletter) (http://www.visionlp.com.au/value-of-promotional-videos) An on-line search for ‘Video Marketing’ will give you hundreds of web pages that highlight the rapid growth of on-line video. Here’s some recent statistics: 89% of online Australians watch video content on Facebook. [Source: ACMA] In Australia, the top types of downloaded content are: photos (78%), music (64%), YouT .. click to read full post.
Comments
Mike commented on 25-Mar-2014 06:39 AM
I recently started using video in all of my blog posts and saw a huge difference in regards to response and engagement. If its not something that you're already doing, I would highly recommend it.
Annie Marie Peters commented on 28-Mar-2014 05:55 AM
Interesting article, Martin! So many industries are seeing exponential growth by adding video production to their marketing strategy. Being able to see a retirement facility or nursing home through video allows the consumer to actually experience what it might be like to live there. It gives an inside view and allows the human side of the business to shine!
Annie Marie Peters commented on 14-Apr-2014 06:53 AM
The power of web video is it's ability to connect you with your potential clients in a real, everyday type of way. It's changing so many things about how business is done. Finding a way to incorporate it into your marketing strategy is a wise move.

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The next big thing

Martin Johnson - Monday, March 03, 2014
I've been shooting images on film and video for over 30 years (scary when I think about it) and was one of the many pioneers who started using the first video cameras and recorders in the early 70's to shoot news and current affairs stories on video for local television. There was no initial benefit as the cameras and separate recorders were almost twice as large as a single system/mag stripe CP16 film camera. The one advantage for mid-sized regional TV stations was that they no lon .. click to read full post.
Comments
Mike commented on 25-Mar-2014 06:43 AM
For me one of the most important things here is sound quality. You may have a great looking video, but if you can't hear the person talking then you have a big problem. Most cameras now a days come with great audio, but there are still plenty that are horrible.
Annie Marie Peters commented on 28-Mar-2014 03:03 PM
Oh, how far we've come! Lucky for us, the equipment seems to be getting smaller, while producing a better quality at the same time. I still don't think camera phones are quite there yet. As you mentioned, these smaller cameras still need to be stabilized to get a clear quality video production, and the sound quality is lacking (to say the least). However, looking at the bigger picture, we are certainly headed in the right direction!
Annie Marie Peters commented on 14-Apr-2014 07:01 AM
It's interesting that you've been able to see the evolution of video production over the past 30 years. Things have changed quite significantly. The technology is getting better while the equipment is downsizing and becoming cheaper. Not a bad deal.

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Finishing your unfinished projects

Martin Johnson - Friday, February 28, 2014
If you've been in business for more than a few months, odds are that you have at least one unfinished project on your system.To me, an unfinished project means an incomplete bank account with a 'hole' where the income from that project should be. Why unfinished? There are usually only two people at fault if a project is unfinished, you or your client. If you're the one holding up the works, the solution is in better time management. I remember a good friend who is a management consu .. click to read full post.
Comments
Mike commented on 25-Mar-2014 06:47 AM
I currently have an unfinished video project that was started by another company about 9 months ago and I am wondering if you would work on this project to help me finish? I love your blog posts. Thanks, Pam
Annie Marie Peters commented on 29-Mar-2014 07:55 AM
Exactly! Unfinished projects are an invoice not paid. I agree with you 100%. Here is where we have to be customer service representatives, in addition to web video artists. Finding the right way to approach the client is key. I think the best way is to present all of the reasons why it is in THEIR best interest to finish. Let them know how excited you are for them to present the final video. Get them pumped about the project again, so the wheels start turning. It works out in everyone's favor!
Richard J. commented on 14-Apr-2014 01:43 PM
90 days is a good rule of thumb. If there is a delay on the client's end it would be beneficial for everyone to provide documentation of what has been done, as well as a suggested timeline for completing the project. It's easy to get stuck, but it's part of our job to keep the video production moving toward the finish line.

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Using still images - the Powerpoint work around

Martin Johnson - Saturday, February 15, 2014
Videos don't have to use video footage. There are some very effective videos made using still images and graphics set to music. If your client has a Powerpoint presentation that they want to use, then converting that to video is a great way of solving some of the problems Powerpoint has with synching images and music. A Powerpoint presentation on video The great thing about putting a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation on video is that once you have exported the file, the transitions .. click to read full post.
Comments
Annie Marie Peters commented on 29-Mar-2014 03:38 PM
Thanks for posting this info, Martin. I've never worked with a Powerpoint file before for web video. I've been thinking of adding some text-heavy scenes to a current project I've been working on, and this could be the perfect solution!
Richard J. commented on 14-Apr-2014 01:48 PM
Ah ha! I have been wondering how to incorporate a Keynote presentation into my web video. I'll be trying this technique. Good tip!

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Helping your clients help you

Martin Johnson - Saturday, February 15, 2014
(See related post (/pro-videoblogger/working-with-clients) on working with clients) Nothing makes a video shoot go more smoothly than a client who understands your needs and makes sure everything is organised for the shoot day(s). Sadly, such a client is pretty rare* so it's up to you as the contracted videographer to help your client know what to expect and the best way to help. I usually do this as part of the preliminary meetings before any cameras are rolling. It has to be a .. click to read full post.
Comments
Mike commented on 26-Mar-2014 02:12 PM
Martin I couldn't agree with you more when it comes to being organized and prepared for a video shoot. Its so frustrating to have to reorganize everything the day of the project filming. Great info Martin.
Annie Marie Peters commented on 30-Mar-2014 03:45 AM
Really great tips for keeping things efficient! As much as we try to plan ahead the video production, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that arise. As you say, they can really 'muck up' the client's routing and the shoot. The best we can do is pre-plan and communicate with the client as much as possible, so everyone stays aware and informed.
Annie Marie Peters commented on 13-Apr-2014 12:26 PM
I had a client about a year ago who kept rescheduling our planning meetings and was never easy to get ahold of to discuss the project. We were on a tight deadline, so I reluctantly decided to move forward anyway. Needless to say, video production day was hectic. From then on, I made those meetings mandatory. It is crucial that everyone knows what to expect and what is expected of them. I also developed a checklist for each project after that. I would be happy to share it with anyone who is interested.

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Music cues

Martin Johnson - Sunday, February 02, 2014
In my last post about using music in your videos, I mentioned that I sometimes use 'cues' within the video as the starting point for a new music track. (Read post here (/pro-videoblogger/the-power-of-music)) A music cue is a particular point in a video or film where you want to use music to support the storyline or documentary narrative. Music cues are widely used in feature films. We have all seen films where the moment the 'baddy' appears, the sinister music starts. The same seque .. click to read full post.
Comments
Annie Marie Peters commented on 30-Mar-2014 03:52 AM
Interesting take on music cues for web video! I appreciate the tip about using music no more than 50% of the time. I agree, that is a solid number. Music should be there as a supplement to the main objective of the video. Unless it's specifically a music video, it should not be the focus. Any more than 50% could be a distraction.
Annie Marie Peters commented on 30-Mar-2014 03:54 AM
Interesting take on music cues for web video! I appreciate the tip about using music no more than 50% of the time. I agree, that is a solid number. Music should be there as a supplement to the main objective of the video. Unless it's specifically a music video, it should not be the focus. Any more than 50% could be a distraction.

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The power of music

Martin Johnson - Saturday, February 01, 2014
One of the key elements of most video productions is music. Music plays a crucial role in most feature films and television programs. It helps set a mood, an historical period, a sense of danger or romance! Most video producers don't have the luxury or the budget to ask Hans Zimmerman to score their corporate video, but there are more and more ways of finding and licensing the right production music for your production. Auditioning music Finding the right music is usually  .. click to read full post.
Comments
Annie Marie Peters commented on 31-Mar-2014 08:52 AM
Ooh! Thanks for posting your list of music resources for web video. I have another one for you: Incompetech.com. I've been using it for years. They have a nice selection of royalty free music. All you need to do is provide credit to them in the video itself and/or using your video description on YouTube. Another great article, Martin! Thanks again.

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Multitrack audio post - 2

Martin Johnson - Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Now that you've organised your audio tracks in your digital audio editing tool, what's the next step? The first thing to do is to listen to each audio track and carry out the necessary equalisation, compression and normalisation. I start at the beginning and work on the sync audio tracks first; Set fade in and fade out at beginning and end of the track. Whilst this might only be a few frames, it stops the track 'cutting in' at the beginning and 'cutting out' at the end. A quick f .. click to read full post.

Multitrack audio post

Martin Johnson - Saturday, January 18, 2014
Creating a multitrack audio mix for your video project is a very simple process using a digital audio editing system. Most Non Linear Editing programs allow up to 99 audio tracks, which for most corporate videos is a bit over the top. Generally my projects have between six and ten tracks. Setting up your tracks The best time to set up your tracks is at the beginning of the edit session. Whilst this means a bit of planning, thinking ahead can mean you'll save time down the track when  .. click to read full post.
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