Video, as we say in other blogs, is the ‘in’ thing. It’s not only the newest way to communicate with mass audiences, video can be the most effective way to explain, market and sell product and services. It’s a great way to promote your brand and individual members of your company team. Unfortunately, video also presents a way to make you and your organization look less than perfect and, sometimes, even silly.
One common misconception about creating videos is that they don’t have to be edited. This results in a typical video of a person speaking without interruption and, more seriously, without a teleprompter. Ultimately, the company or the individual ends up with a video replete with verbal errors, stops and starts, strange grimaces or eye rolls, glances to the side (where sits the PR advisor) and a voice that goes from very low to very high without rationale.
There are simple ways to overcome this type of torturous video but all involve some editing. Some of this editing can even be done as the video is being shot – without going near the computer and its editing app. All the videographer has to do is to move in and out with the zoom control on the camera (this is NOT for cell phone videos). The videographer begins with a long shot – as though the spokesperson were six or eight feet from the lens. The spokesperson can deliver one sentence and hold that pose. The videographer zooms in to a medium close-up and the spokesperson delivers the second sentence. A third sentence can be shot in close-up. The fourth sentence, a medium close-up or ‘Med CU’ as a notation on your script. The fifth as a wide shot and so on. This simple changing of the focal length of the camera edits your video so few in your audience will know that you stopped after each sentence or paragraph to consider your next sentence or ‘para.’
Of course, editing with an inexpensive or even free video editing program can get more sophisticated with dissolves between each change of focal length or other transitions – not too many but enough to give the piece more interest and a theatre-like quality. These apps are easy to use with intuitive controls and the ability to change your video at will depending on the audience and delivery method. The apps will convert your videos to YouTube or other video formats, including ones that will play from your computer to a projector.
Video doesn’t have to be pricey or shot with Hollywood crews. Every public relations department should know how to produce basic videos as well as full productions costing small fortunes. There is a time and place for every video but the time for video as a genre has arrived.