Lights, camera, action, oh my?

clapper with handsJust as personal computers and the Internet have sparked the writer and publisher in everyone; camera enabled devices and social media are now making videographers and producers of us all. Video has not only become a part of everyone’s social life, it’s become a necessary skill in the public relations and marketing world.

Shooting and editing video has never been more accessible. Whether you use a laptop, tablet, phone, helmet, or glasses you have a video camera at the ready. With a little luck, you can capture the fun, happy, mundane or big moments in your life with ease. Where do you start when you need to shoot video in a professional capacity? A shaky camera and bad lighting may fly in coach, but a poorly shot video will lose its charm in business class.

Here are some simple tips to consider for your next video shoot:

  • Use a tripod if/whenever possible.
  • Position your subject (or yourself) a little to the left or right of center and leave a little headroom at the top of the frame.
  • For online video, avoid pans (horizontal movement of the camera) and zooms (focusing in or out using the zoom feature on the camera).
  • Don’t shoot your subject in front of a window or with the sun behind them, the best light source comes from behind the camera. If you happen to have a lighting kit – or even a few floor lamps – check out Media College’s illustrated guide to Three Point Lighting Technique.
  • Use the viewfinder on the camera to watch the interview at the same time that you look over the camera and make eye contact with the subject. This puts the subject at ease, gives him/her someone to look at and also makes the interview more natural-sounding.
  • If your subject will be looking off camera for cues, it will work best if you sit next to the camera and have your subject focus their attention towards you, not the camera, and you provide cues. This also helps put the subject as ease and makes the interview feel more natural overall.
  • Don’t make any sound at all when your subject is talking. Flipping pages, coughing, moving in chair, etc. can all get picked up by the camera’s microphone and will surely sound undesirable to viewers.
  • If your subject stumbles in their response, instruct them to relax, gather their thoughts and respond again. Make sure they do not feel rushed.
  • If your subject is willing, consider shooting multiple takes. When editing footage, it is always helpful to have multiple takes to choose from. If nothing else this offers your subject the opportunity to run through the process and to feel more at ease in subsequent takes.

Circle back after the shoot for Part 2, where I’ll discuss choosing a video editor and provide some helpful editing tips.

Have some helpful tips of your own? Please leave a comment below.

Persuasive Picks for week of 10/29/12

Did you know that, according to a recent study by Nielsen, around four out of every five smartphone owners now use their device whilst watching television? Shea Bennett posts an interesting infographic that takes a closer look at social television and the rise of the second screen on AllTwitterTV Goes Social – The Rise Of The Second Screen [INFOGRAPHIC]

Michael Cohn reminds Business2Community readers that relationships are at the heart of social media success for your business. He writes in Relationship Building Through Social Media that your online strategy must include the concept in some form and you should keep track of how much return on investment those relationships are bringing to your business; and offers several other principles to follow.

Are you using LinkedIn to generate leads or referrals? Brad Friedman at SocialMediaToday is guessing that there are features you may not be aware of in LinkedIn Company Pages: 5 Things You’re Probably Not Doing and thinks it’s time that you take advantage of the feature-rich LinkedIn Company Page.

Online video can engage an audience, help viewers retain information, and assist customers in remembering a brand. But how can you go one step further… and make your videos social? MarketingProfs‘ Jeff Fissel explains in Six Ways to Make Your Video Strategy More Social that video actively engages the users by soliciting comments, questions, and feedback; it creates conversations that take your videos to the next level.

Persuasive Picks for week of 8/6/12

Video is the undisputed darling of the marketing world in 2012. There are a variety of reasons web-based video is such an important media vehicle, and marketers that understand the nuances will be more successful than the laggards. To get started, Kent Lewis of iMediaConnection provides The ultimate guide to video marketing on YouTube.

How do you build buzz in social media? What makes social media real-life marketing events successful? It is not one thing in particular, but many things, according to Christel Quek and 2morrowknight of The Huffington Post and offer a few takeaways on Creating Social Media Buzz.

Social media, although a relatively recent phenomenon, has become an increasingly more important part of marketing and client base development platform for businesses. What could once be accomplished by a traditional website now needs to be supplemented by a robust and responsive utilization of the tools social media offers. Forbes contributor Jessica Bosari explains The Developing Role of Social Media in the Modern Business World and provides some tips for those looking to bring their business up to speed.

The social space has rapidly matured over the last decade-plus, but social media measurement remains a mystery for many. Adam Singer at ClickZ thinks that measurement is something that’s very possible, and offers 4 Ideas for Better Social Media Measurement.

Persuasive Picks for week of 5/21/12

When consumers go online, they expect to receive the same personalized attention they get face-to-face, with engaging experiences throughout their decision-making process. To create those engaging online experiences, MarketingProfs guest blogger Jim Dicso gives readers Five Reasons to Create Online Videos for Your Customers.

Did you know that social media users who receive excellent service from their favorite brands go on to spend, on average, 21 percent more than non-social customers? Shea Bennett at AllTwitter posts more interesting findings from a recent study in Why First Class Customer Service Is The Key To Social Media Success [INFOGRAPHIC].

Looking for Sure-fire ways to improve your brand’s social presence? Social Media Strategist Stephanie Sholnik offers solutions to maximize your productivity to ensure your social media efforts are paying off and benefiting the business on iMediaConnection.

Social Media Overload? Focus on Your Audience, Not the Tools writes Steve Goldstein of The PR News Blog in his latest post that takes a look at how PR professionals can manage it all and show proof that the time invested in each platform is paying off on the bottom line.

Digital PRoductions – January Highlights

PerkettPR offers digital production to support our clients’ initiatives and provides creative services from graphic and web design to online video production to support user-engagement campaigns for all social media platforms.

PerkettPR is pleased to share some recent examples of client digital production work from the past month as part of a new series showcasing our expertise in this area:

Photo Sharing Trends Infographic for Photobucket (client)

Infographic by PerkettPR showing results from a Photobucket survey which reveals a spike in mobile video and fanatical mobile app usage during 2011 holiday season.


Click image to see full infographic

Facebook Landing Page for Aternity (client)

A custom Facebook page created by PerkettPR for Aternity Inc., the industry leader in end user experience management solutions for Global 1000 enterprises. This custom page invites Facebook visitors to like their page; after liking the custom page thanks visitors and invites them to sign up for newsletter.


Click image to see Facebook page

John Green, Baker Donelson for Aternity (client)

Video post-production of a conversation with John Green, Chief Information Officer, Baker Donelson, the nation’s 73rd largest law firm and customer of Aternity. John talks about Baker Donelson’s focus on End User Experience Management and their use of Aternity’s FPI Platform.