A video blog by Roger Stix, Executive Producer of Atlanta Business Video
Have you seen YouTube lately, staying on the site for longer than the three minutes it takes to watch the video link that a friend emailed? Chances are the answer will be no.
Though YouTube calls itself the third most-visited site in the world (after Google and Facebook), it works like an efficient courier service, playing content for you wherever you are on the Web, including Facebook, Twitter and email instant messages. But while we’ve been busy watching YouTube videos elsewhere, the site itself grew up.
YouTube has things like personalized channels, more editing options for uploading clips and a full-screen mode for sitting back and watching videos. A lot of these extra features are buried on the site and difficult to find.
I took a deep dive into YouTube, compiling a list of handy shortcuts for navigating this video hub and getting more out of it.
Sharing videos with friends is one of the most popular uses for YouTube, but sometimes you want to share just the best part of a video. With two clicks, you can trim videos to begin exactly where you want and then share them. As a video is playing, right click at the point where you’d like your video clip to start and select “Copy video URL at current time” to get a URL for the trimmed video. When others open the link, it will start right at the spot in the video where you right-clicked. No longer will a video clip take too long to reach the best part, like waiting for a model to fall on the runway, and leave you hesitant to share it on Facebook or via emails with friends.
Real Deal Musicians
Searching for music on YouTube can be exasperating since so many people upload videos of themselves singing and tag the video with the name of a well-known musician. So while you’re looking for the latest Coldplay song, you find a high school band covering the song instead. To find artists who do publish on YouTube, look at youtube.com/disco, where users can type in artist names to get a playlist of videos by that artist. In regular YouTube search results, the official stamp from YouTube (and wording) signals that an artist is verified—much like the blue checkmark beside popular Twitter users who are truly who they claim to be.
With Video Editor, users can edit existing videos or upload new ones.
If you’ve ever recorded a video shot in portrait mode that you’d rather share in landscape or vice versa, the video can be switched to the correct viewing angle, saving viewers from tilting their heads to one side to watch. Do this with YouTube’s editor in the cloud, youtube.com/editor. Here, people can edit (including rotate) existing videos or upload new videos. Content can be mixed in with other video clips from the Creative Commons site, soundtracks can be added by choosing from a selection of music, and text slides can be dragged in to display between video clips.
If you’d rather use a third-party company for editing, multiple options are listed at youtube.com/create. A company called Vlix recently announced its integration with the YouTube site, bringing its editing features from the Vlix iPhone app—like artsy designs and text slides—to the site. Magisto automatically skims videos for the best footage and creates short clips with that content, and the Xtranormal Movie Maker lets people add text, such as a personal narration, to an animated video. (Never underestimate the entertainment value of hearing your words come out of an animated bear with a robotic voice.)
If you’re tired of hunting for videos to watch, take a look at clips that YouTube thinks you’ll like. Once signed into your YouTube account, if you’ve used the site to watch at least one video in the past, the homepage will show Suggestions below your username based on that past watching history. These suggestions appear as small thumbnail images of each video and include the reasoning behind why a clip was suggested, like “because you watched Lady Gaga and Sting.”
Videos From Afar
To see all of YouTube in a much more handsome layout, try Leanback, found at YouTube.com/leanback. This opens a page that’s meant to be viewed far from your computer, complete with a black background and white text written in large font.
Sign In, Sign In Again
Recently, it became possible to log into YouTube using your Google account username and password (Google has owned YouTube since 2006). Using their Google account, users may browse YouTube, rent a movie and “like” a video. To upload their own videos, subscribe to a channel, make comments on and “favorite” videos and get recommendations from YouTube on content they may like, people must create a YouTube account and use that in addition to a Google account.
A site called TestTube, found at youtube.com/testtube, holds many in-the-works projects from YouTube engineers. Here, users can kick the tires of some features that aren’t fully baked. One example is YouTube/slam, which pits one video against another and lets viewers vote on the best one.
It’s important to know the sharing settings in YouTube. There are three: public (anyone can search for and view); unlisted (anyone with the link can view); and private (only people who you choose can view). Any video can always be taken down from the site by its original publisher.
Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal
Video Production Rates: Video Production Costs for Marketers
Many marketers are now eager to use web video for business, but when it come to the video production process, they don’t quite know where to start. I’ll outline the main corporate video production cost factors below. This is intended to demonstrate how to make a basic interview much more engaging than just a talking head.
To look closer at what’s involved, lets go over some of the main video production cost factors:
Market price: Lets face it, Atlanta is more expensive than Arkansas! You might be able to hire a cameraman in a small town for a sandwich but in Atlanta and other major markets, you can expect to pay somewhere between $600-$2,000 a day depending on experience, talent, etc.
Quality level: There are wide variations in quality and competence. I see three levels of quality that can be applied to each of the below aspects of video production costs. To illustrate, here are the 3 levels of manpower quality:
- Basic: The most basic fulfillment: a warm body that shows up.
- Pro: Competence: someone who can do the job to industry standards
- Premium: (AKA: Experienced and Talented): These people are actually really good at their job. If you want to make stand out content, you probably need this level of resources.
Manpower costs: Depending on the basic, pro and premium considerations can be anywhere between minimum wage all the way to thousands per day for a well known actor/director, etc. You can save money by finding part-time freelancers who can do some of these themselves, but beware, if they are doing too much, quality will always suffer and since it’s a part-time job, their priorities may not e the same a yours. For example, I hear stories all the time of part-timers that offer a low price then fail to finish a project and disappear when they realize they under quoted.
Here are a few of the roles involved in the video production process:
- Concept Creator/Writer
- Camera Operator (Director of Photography – or D.P.)
- Sound Operator
- Wardrobe and MUP (Make Up Person)
- Production/Set Designer, etc.
- Production Assistant (P.A)
- Graphic Designer
- Motion Graphics Animator
Video Production Equipment: Cameras, lights, sound equipment, monitors, tripods, dolly, etc. There are wide ranges in quality but even a decent basic camera kit costs thousands of dollars.
Video Production (shooting): How many days and where/what are you shooting? Customer testimonials shot all around the world or a CEO interview in a conference room? The video production costs are going to vary widely!
Video Post-Production (editing): Need just need a quick 1-day edit? Or a 10-day marathon? That could be the difference between boring and amazing! I firmly believe that the more you put into editing, the more you get out. Give me boring footage and some editing time and I’ll give you amazing!
Graphics and Animation: One of the biggest misconceptions is the talent, time and cost that is required to make many of the stand out graphics and animation examples that clients send along as a reference for what they want to produce. That animated video you love? There’s a reason you love it: it was made by talented pros ad takes time to create.
The wild cards: Of course there are other factors at work that will be specific to each project like the complexity of the material, the speed at which the team can work due to weather, location, crowds, field noise, etc.
Approvals: Don’t forget your time cost! On many occasions I’ve sent a review video to a client and they don’t have time to get me feedback for days. With a deadline looming, even if an editor works round the clock to make up last time, the final product quality ends up suffering.
Distribution: Once you have a video, how are you planning on getting people to watch it?! The art of promotion via social networks is a fast changing and complex craft, taking far more time that most professionals have available. I estimate that one must spend 20% of their time to be successful with social networking; can you spare 2 days a week? Or maybe I should ask: can you afford not to?
The key take-aways: The key point I’d hope you’d take away is that quality matters and it applies to all the parameters mentioned above. In any complex sale, it’s only natural to want to ‘commoditize’ the solution, but not all video production is equal. If you want to earn views, you have to give your audience something worth their time, worth sharing and commenting on. Respect your audience and you may earn their respect too.
Feel smarter? Please do me a big favor and share this post! I encourage comments, and please re-Tweet away!
I’m also available for free consultations so contact me with any questions regarding video production costs, video production process or corporate video production projects.
Good luck out there in video production land!
Courtesy of Dane Frederiksen