Thursday, March 21, 2013

What is the First Thing to do in a Video Project

Hurry, grab the camera! I have something I want to film! It is going to be GREAT on YouTube! I hear this often, but the results are somewhat disappointing. There is something to say about candid shooting, but that requires always being ready. Desiring to do a video project requires more than just picking up a camera, shooting, and then uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo.

In the production process for filming there are three stages. Planning, Shooting, and Editing. If you hang around any filming crew you will notice quick that one of the three is vastly dominant over the other two. Can you guess which one it is? Many people say it is the editing. This is a common misconception because most people spend the greatest amount of time in this area. The correct answer is planning. Actually planning accommodates for 90% of the work in a production. Planning consists of all of the preliminaries. It includes the preparation, the rehearsals, the organization, and the storyboarding. The type of production will determine what is included in the planning stage.

The other two elements, filming and editing, will happen naturally and without much discussion during the process if the planning stage was done correctly. For example, the filming crew will know that they need to include shots of a water glass if it plays an important part in the evidence of a crime. The audience can see there may be evidence on a glass while none of the actors noticed the story-changing element. Remember we can tell a story with video and not use actor scripts to convey all of the message. A single look between two people can have far greater impact on how two people feel about each other than if they vocalized their feelings.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is true. So remember that one second of video has approximately 30 pictures contained within it. Use it to your advantage. Plan your productions.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thoughts on NRB13

Just got back from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville. As always this was an incredible event and it is my recommendation for anyone in religious media. This year was somewhat different than the last with an increased emphasis on social media. It seemed as if one entire day was dominated with meetings hosted by Facebook, Google, or Twitter employees. There was even a break-out session devoted on making your YouTube video go viral. With the number of people utilizing social media on the increase, this was a welcome source of information on connecting others to your organization. Tuesday presented a good selection of information on the problems facing the religious community in the areas of religious freedom and its future. Anyone taking advantage of those sessions were given real facts about the troubled times we live in.

The expo is always a great place to learn about new technology and make connections to other ministries. This year was a little different than before. There seemed to be less technology for church media than the past. For example, last year there was an area devoted to staging, lighting, and sound. This year that did not exist. There was, however, more broadcast media technology than before. You can't hold NRB at fault for that because floor space is purchased by the vendor rather than the conference.

If you have never been to the NRB, plan on making the trek to Nashville next year. It is full of valuable information that can help your organization grow.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Never Forgetting Your Audience

One of the most difficult jobs of producing a video is keeping your audience in mind. The production can involve filming, editing, sound, lighting, and sometimes staging. A large number of tasks can involve many people making it a very fast paced and stressful process. When performing any of these jobs it's easy to find ourselves devoted to the process while forgetting the purpose or audience. When this happens we may as well hang it up.

The audience is the reason we spend the effort. When we forget they even exist as part of the project, then we sacrifice the largest element effecting the result. We can have the greatest sound, lighting, cameras, editors, and expertise, but if we fail to put ourselves in the seat of the viewer then it is a wasted effort.

Film doesn't shoot the same for different age demographics or content. We would not have the same lighting or effects elements between a HGTV project and a MTV project. Understanding that a teenager's attention span is much shorter than that of someone in their 50's would change cut sequences in editing or live switching. There are many different audience factors that can effect your video. Therefore, start with the audience and never forget them in the entire process.