Online video is becoming more popular and fundamental to business success every day. YouTube.com is actually getting more search traffic than Yahoo!’s search engine. It is important that you feel comfortable producing your own media.
Depending on your goals, you can produce a great video without spending a lot of money and without a professional camera. We have all seen many videos that look like they were shot with a mobile camera phone; in fact many of the most popular videos were shot with a cheap camera. The following tips will help you capture more compelling videos no matter what type of equipment you use.
How do you produce a great video?
- Rule of Thirds – Think of your frame divided into nine small sections, two equally spaced horizontal and two equally spaced vertical lines; like a tic-tac-toe grid. Align your subject on the intersection of the guide lines or along the lines themselves. Doing so makes the video much more compelling and pleasing to the eye. In the example below the tree sits at the intersection of the two lines and the horizon is placed on the lower line.
- Leading Lines – Used frequently in photography and design, leading lines guide your audience through the video to a set point. This is a powerful tool especially if you want to focus on a specific person, location or thing. Combine with the rule of thirds for powerful imagery. This great example comes from my uncle, James Neeley. Notice how your eye is lead along several lines to the main subject, the bridge.
- Drop Down and Get Close – Change the level of your camera angle, meet them at their eyes. If your subject is small drop down to catch their compelling smiles and gripping looks. Rather than using the zoom button, close in on your subject. By simply getting closer to your subject you’ll improve picture quality and successfully avoid rickety shots.
- Use a Strong Background – Ensure your background is quiet, and contrasts well to your subject. The goal is to lead the eye of your audience to your focal point/subject. This can be quite hard if there is a lot going on, whether it’s messy space or people traffic.
- Be a Producer – Add some props, get a different view, move your subject. Props can be an influential tool to gain attention and provide consistency throughout your video. In addition moving your subject to an interesting location or arrangement adds a nice natural touch. My alma mater, Utah State University, produced several great videos exemplifying a great background with interesting props.
Do you have a good example of online video? Please share your tips!