Archives For video

Creating videos for podcasting, tutorials and even promotional pieces and training products is a very rewarding experience in and of itself, though when you’re starting out there is so much to learn. The other week I needed to create a self-promo piece. Overall it went well, but once I watched the final post-production version … it wasn’t as great as I thought. This experience taught me a lot about video creation. Here’s what I learned.

What I Learned About Making Professional Video Podcasts

Creating videos can be a great way to enhance your brand image and while it can be you can just start and get going, it takes a good bit of experience (and money) to get to the professional level. I do not mean professional as in HD TV nor cinema quality, professional quality as in a really well produced, edited and well thought out video.

The single most important thing for you to know when starting to make videos is: Just start making the videos. Make videos, screw up, learn, improve.

No matter what type of video you will be making (video podcast, tutorial, screencast, training product, or sales video) there are three main parts of the whole process:

  1. Pre-production
  2. Production
  3. Post-production

Pre-production

In these beginning stages you are getting everything ready, planned out and ready to start recording video. In this part you’ll be:

  • Creating the script
  • Planning out the scene(s)
  • Getting a general idea for the look and feel you want to achieve
  • Making sure all the equipment, files, and stuff you need is ready

The most important things I’ve learned in this step are:

  • Get to know your equipment so that you can at least get the basics done and use it without wasting time.
  • Make sure 90% of the script is done before going on to the next stage. Improvisation is great, though if you want a very clear and concise message and want to sound truly professional write a script.
  • At a minimum for the script: have well thought out talking points, ideas and topics you want to touch on.
  • Test your equipment fully at the locations you will record. Is the background noise too loud? Are the cables long enough? Do we have enough time? Light good? ect…
  • Run through the script a few times to make sure it sounds good out loud.
  • If you know the general look and feel you want: get the clothing, make-up and personal styling stuff ready.

Production

Now comes the fun part: recording the video. If you have someone helping you this part will be a lot easier. If not, that’s ok too. You will just have to do more work and it will take longer. For most things you can do everything yourself.

At this stage you’ll be filming, taking many takes (retries), and recording all that you can.

Recording is rarely done in one try (take). I learned:

  • Make scenes short so that it’s easier for you to say your lines and parts.
  • Keeping the scenes short allows you to splice together the best takes together easier.
  • Do not assume your first try (take) is perfect. Record it many times so make sure you’ve gotten it down and have some good video (and audio) to work with.
  • If you’re not sure how everything will look: do some test videos first. Walk through the scene and script while recording, though don’t care about being perfect. Try different angles, see how the light works, does everything sounds ok? It’s ok to stop recording, take the video to your computer and see how the tests came out and then adjust the scene!
  • If you’re recording outside, try to record in the shade. Direct sunlight gives very harsh shadows which may not look good on camera. If possible, you can try using a light diffuser (it’s a piece of farbic that’s partially transparent and gives you a nice shade effect).
  • When walking around, the light and shading might change and if it does: use a light (or lights) to help keep the lighting consistent.
  • If you’re filming in-doors: use video quality lights! The lights will allow your video camera to record in the highest quality, and you’ll look a heck of a lot better when properly lit.

Post-production

This is the toughest part for me as I’m no video editor. But I can still produce decently quality videos IF I do the first two stages right. Why? Since I did my best to have everything setup as well as possible most of my editing it generally limited to adding my (premade) intro, credits and background music where appropriate … of course also adding the video clips and scenes together.

  • Play around with your video editor to learn the basics. It’s OK to learn on the job. Search engines are your friend here.
  • Avoid the low end video studio products if possible.
  • Get a professional video editing studio software such as Final Cut Pro (OSX only) or Adobe Premier Pro (OSX & Windows).
  • If you’re going to have longer talking clips avoid having background music for them. Mostly for those that’ll just sound cheesy.
  • Unless you’re making something like a drama movie, have an intro and outro (credits) that are very short and to the point.
  • Intro and ending music are ok.
  • Learn how to do transitions and music/audio fading. Most programs will have that built in, so learn how to use those features.
  • Keep scenes short and if possible use multiple camera angles to keep things interesting.

Your Extraordinary Life Podcast Episode Minus 2 – What is the Facebook Star Rating and how to remove it.

In this video I go over:

  • What is the Facebook Star Rating
  • Why you should be afraid of it
  • Why you should remove it
  • How to remove it

Your Extraordinary Life Episode #-1: Get Books For Free From Amazon, Legally, Ethically and Morally. No tricks, just pure unadulterated reading fun!

Hello and welcome to this first episode of Your Extraordinary Life. My name is Peter Krzyzek and this is THE podcast dedicated to creating an extraordinary life for you and everyone around you. My goal is to help you create amazing experiences by having an open mind, using a bit of common sense, and becoming a better person and leader.

In this pre-launch special Christmas/Holiday/New-Year edition, I talk about how and where to get books to read for free from Amazon. In one method, you need an Amazon Kindle and a Prime account. In the other, all you need is a regular Amazon account.

This is a video version of my previous post: Start 2014 Off Right With Thousands Of Free Amazon Kindle Books!

No matter what career path you are in, more than likely you’ll eventually want to or have to make a video presentation. It can be on Youtube, Vimeo or even self-hosted, but the point is that you’ll have to create a video and publicly post it. This means you’re video will have to educate and persuade. For today’s short-attention spanned audiences, a 10 minute video is usually pretty perfect. If you’re creating a sales video, something even shorter would probably work.

How To Create Viral Videos That Are Extremely Persuasive

There are many scenerios, styles, methods and variables but thankfully the post (and video) on Social Media Examiner .com by Michael Stelzner lights the path! His post comes in text form, video (links) and podcast format! Woot! I recommend reading it first, then watching the videos.

The link after the jump.

Continue Reading…

Recently I had theĀ privilegeĀ of having an interview lunch with one of the founders of eMazeMe, you can read all about that here if you’d like. Below though, is a video review of the eMazeMe service. My thoughts, theories and a few places I believe where they can improve.
Continue Reading…

How to Properly Add A Youtube Video To A Post In my last post I added a Youtube video. Nothing special, but a first for me. “So”, you might be asking, “why on earth are you blogging about something so common?” The answer is simple, because it’s not as straight forward as it should be. Youtube makes it easy to insert their videos anywhere, but if you follow their instructions (all of a two step process!). WordPress’s way does not seem to be the answer.

On the offical WordPress help pages, it states that all you have to do is click the “Insert Media” button, then click “From URL”, add in the youtube url and POOF! It should work. Sounds easy right? Well kiddies, it’s not that easy. Maybe it’s the changes in the WP api or changes in Youtube, I don’t know. But you can’t do it that way. All that happens when you do that is you get a simple, normal, boring, hyperlink.

The link points to the video, but does not embed it at all. That was following WP’s way detailed here [1].The proper way is a heck of a lot simpler. Here is the step my step extremely complicated process:

  1. Find the youtube video you want and open it on youtube.com
  2. Copy the code from the Embed section
    1. How to Properly Add A Youtube Video To A Post
  3. Switch to HTML writing mode.
      1. How to Properly Add A Youtube Video To A Post
  4. Paste it into your WP post.
  5. Switch back to Visual Mode.
    1. How to Properly Add A Youtube Video To A Post
  6. Finish writing and Enjoy!

Six steps. How to Properly Add A Youtube Video To A Post

[1] Embed YouTube Videos Into A Post [support.Wordpress.com]

Business Man Stray Pet There are always things that make our day brighter even in the face of recessions and all the like. In a recent article recently on The Consumerist (here [1]) they added a little sketch comedy video by the Kids In The Hall. The video has a young boy bring home a stray businessman.

Like any stray pet, the mother does not approve of this action. The businessman ‘pet’ acts much like a stereotypical business man and once he’s inside the house, hilarity ensues. Watch as the boy and businessman pet have many adventures through life and the boy learns about life (more hilarity). More silliness as the story comes to an end with a rather odd ending. Watch and enjoy the Kids In The Hall making fun of most business men (and women).

[1] Out-Of-Work Adults Try To Nab Summer Lifeguard Positions [via The Consumerist]