How to do good video blogging

10 November 2011

This session on how to do good video blogging included some key video experts such as Lisa Lubin from LLMedia, Matt Carroll from Media Ark and Julie Daniels from NutshellVideo.co.uk.
 
Matt Carroll – Media Ark
Matt kicked off the session with a summary of our addiction to watching videos as at June 2011, 26 million of us watched a staggering 2.3billion videos online. The amount spent on videos has doubled in the past year to £45 million. Smartphones and ipads have driven this consumption of video anytime, anywhere.
 
Video is seen as one of the best ways to:
- showcase destinations
- bring experiences to life
- introduce local characters and share what makes a place special.
 
Matt has also created a number of bespoke channels for clients and shared with us a compelling video as a portfolio of his work, including a clip from a time when a storm actually wrecked the car they were sitting in, when trying to do some filming.
 
Lisa Lubin - LLworldtour
 
TV producer Lisa Lubin then gave us her view as someone welding old school journalism with new media. Her view was that the most important thing is your story and the human element. She sees video as visual story telling. In her opinion you can often only see emotion in video. You are taking your viewer there and creating a human response.
 
Lisa shared some of her video work taken during her round the world trip and other travel adventures. They captured some of the moments, when she had, like Matt, battled with the elements.
 
Video production costs
The audience had a lot of questions about cost which appears to be one of the major stumbling blocks for travel clients. Matt says he can do a 2-3 minute professional video for less than £3,000. However it was recognised that much of the cost has to cover the significant editing costs to get the highest sound and image quality. The view of the video experts was that you cannot compromise on sound quality as viewers are less forgiving of poor sound quality, than of image quality.
 
Travel Video Case Studies
An audience member from Intercontinental said they are now using videos on their site and have generated 5 million hits from them and are now looking at optimising them for the ipad. He was a firm believer in making sure you hashtag your videos, optimise them with transcripts, so the search engines can find them, and making it easy for your top influencers to retweet your video content. 
 
One video blogger had been invited to a mini film festival in Puerto Rico which was sponsored by the local tourist board. They invited five video bloggers to cover the festival and awarded a prize to the best coverage. The video blogs provided significant awareness for Puerto Rico. Traditional media and news sites are often hungry for video content so this can be a good way to generate it.   
 
One audience member was part of an Association of Croatian travel agencies who invited young people (especially students) to make short videos about Croatia. They created lots of great videos about the country which will now be used on their new website. The project also enabled young people to appreciate their own country’s heritage and attractions, which they were previously not familiar with.
 
Another project discussed included the Austrian tourist board working with Matt to create a total of 20 videos focused on promoting the country as a summer destination rather than a winter destination. Following this a discussion ensued about the Old Spice campaign which provided individual responses by video and was very successful.
 
How do you get your video subject to relax?
 
Top tips on this topic included:
-         Be yourself and talk to the camera as if you’re talking to a friend.
-         Practice ahead of time
-         Avoid “talking head syndrome”
-         Let the person being interviewed tell the story.
-     Start talking five minutes beforehand and continue chatting
-     Do not mark the transition to the start of your filming so your subject stays relaxed.
 
Julie Daniels - Nutshell Video
 
Julie’s talk focused on top tips regarding video equipment.
 
Equipment to use
Julie shared her top tips on the equipment she would recommend to use for video including the Flip Ultra from Cisco  (£80-100) which is ceasing production but is still available.
 
She also recommended the KodakZI8 as you can attach an external microphone to it as sound quality is so important and the Canon5Dmark2 which has a sister camera the 7D which is more expensive, but is waterproof.
 
She recommended specialists such as shure.co.uk for lenses (cost around £100 for standard ones) and because they sell every type of microphone and have a good advice section. Julie uses music on her video to help to bring immediacy and mood.
 
Editing software
Julie uses final Cut Pro, a professional editing system but explained that you can get a lower cost version for about £185 for a Mac. She mentioned that Adobe makes an editing system and Avid studio for PC and a Mac.
 
Composition
She talked about the photographer’s rule of lower thirds but was sadly unable to illustrate her points due to some technical issues. Principally her advice was don’t just put the person in the centre of the image.
 
She also mentioned sites for royalty free music such as royaltyfreemusic.com.
 
Julie’s top tips were to keep your videos short (1-2 minutes maximum). She also recommended bloggers to get some basic training and a crash course on how to edit and how to hold a camera.
 
There was a lively exchange with the audience as they contributed their experiences and a rather heated discussion with a video blogger as to why the travel industry will not pay for video blogging. This topic merits some more exploration as a key barrier to the growth of video in travel is a perception that it’s too expensive.
 
Please share your comments and top tips below on this hot topic.
 
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