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Video Production Tips

Okay, now it’s time for the money shot. I’d like to list the top five mistakes people make when using this tool. (I’ve made them all, too, so I’m not being too harsh as I review these problems.)

Problem Number 5: Lengthy Videos

Today’s learners have no attention span. Yes, you! As the reader who’s scanning this article while checking eBay auctions while cruising the web for lowest DVD media costs, you don’t have time for lengthy, self-serving article...er...videos. What makes you think people will open a multigigabyte file that lasts more than an hour? Keep your ideas focused; and keep your videos fresh, precise, and to-the-point.

Problem Number 4: Wrong Selection of Quality or File Size

You know your kids are cute and you want to provide detailed views that feature the very backs of their molars. But if Grandma only knows email and downloads it via a modem, a high-quality video with a huge file size is more frustration than joy. In the same way, those who use grainy, jerky video in sales presentations leave a lasting impression—as in, "This is the last time they’ll present."

Problem Number 3: Turn Up/Down the Gain

If you find that your video seems to have recorded a bumblebee in the background, you may be speaking too closely to your microphone. If someone remarks while watching your video, "I hear dead people," you may be mumbling and speaking too softly. Use Sound Recorder a few times before your video recording to adjust your voice or settings to the right level. Having the settings dialed up too quietly or too loudly for your voice is more distraction than help.

Problem Number 2: Malicious Metadata

By now, most people have sent an email they wish they hadn’t. I know one person who assumed that the video file’s metadata was never displayed. If Windows Media Player has Captions enabled, people will see the insults you’ve recorded. So as you play your video with the secret insults on the conference room PC, understand that your secret thoughts may see the light of day at the worst times.

Problem Number 1: Fumbling, Bumbling, and Mumbling Delivery

Ever think you could just "wing it" and win? Don’t. Fumbling words and awkward pauses only convince the viewer to skip ahead. Outline your presentation. Do a few practice videos. Measure twice. Cut once. Your viewers will thank you.

If you’ll observe these five pointers, your videos will be very enjoyable.

Figure 1

Figure 1 Providing information in other languages

WME is a start to a lot of good things. The cost is low and the Windows Media File (.wmf) format seems to provide reasonable quality for the file sizes produced. Is it the best tool for all video authoring? No. But if you’re looking for a fast, reasonably priced tool; this product is a great way to get your management interested in video and interested in resourcing your ideas.

Make love to the camera, baby.

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