A Photographers Journey To Internet Video Production

If you follow this daily blog you would have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in the last week – like everything it takes time and in the digital marketing world there’s the constant debate of quality versus quantity – yes Google loves updated content but content must be good enough and interesting so that it is read and or shared by you.

FYI – your social sharing of content and your online reputation is increasing impacting search engine results.

Anyway, last week I was at a Digital Sports Marketing Conference in Sydney – one of the presenters was Caroline Booth, Sponsorship Manager, Telecom NZ & Nick Brown-Haysom, Managing Director, NZ Sponsorship Agency and the All Black Rugby BackingBlack campaign.  A couple of key take away items from this presentation was that video is increasingly the media of choice and immediacy (now) is often more important than quality production – that is viewers prefer NOW versus perfect production – it’s Maccas fast versus Fine Dining.

There’s no question that quality makes a difference – for example nearly all of us can talk but that doesn’t make us public speakers; everyone can write but that doesn’t mean we’re journalists; everyone can take a photo or shoot a video but we’re not Spielberg!

From a photographers point of view I’d stayed away from the video side of things leaving production to my experienced video production partners – video is another skill that requires a whole lot of knowledge and expertise BUT, as we know, the future of marketing communications is increasingly video and there are many photography skills which are also relevant to video production, plus I’ve also got access to some great new Internet video technology which I’m very keen to commercialise (through my main Maxys corporate marketing and CLIVEvideo businesses)

So, over the last week I began the next stage of my photography journey – incorporating video.

In the first instance it’s all technical – there are a few initial basic elements to consider.

  1. Equipment – camera (Canon 7D & Iphone 4), lens, lighting and something new for the photographers – sound and audio.
  2. Location – everything will need to eventually be portable – in the short term a temporary studio set up at the office
  3. Scripts and Talent – only testing so nothing planned at this stage but very important to productivity and effectiveness
  4. Post Production – I’m a PC and not a MAC man so I’m into Adobe Premier Pro CS5 for video editing.  From an audio point of view then I’ve been using Cakewalk and Sonar (with the Maxys Band) for over 15 years but at this stage just focusing on the video

Day 1 – is our first experiment on Green Screen/ chroma key lighting.  I work out there only needs to be a +2 fstop difference between subject and background to be able to get a nice key.  This is the same for shooting photography and a white background.  My lights are some PAR 64’s and 56’s used for the band but color corrected using 201 Lee Filters.  Using the Premier Ultra Key (Chroma) plugin we get a pretty good result for a first effort.

Day 2 – I start to look at optimum video camera settings for the 7D – what ISO; aperture; shutter and other settings – unlike photography you don’t have the options that RAW file formats give.  We adjusting the camera for very flat subject shooting (maximise tonal range) and adjust in post production.  This is the first real concentrated time spent in Premier – like all newbies we experiment with too many video effects and transitions.

Day 3 (Monday) – The footy is on tonight so I convince my older brother to be my test subject.  In about 45 minutes (and a few takes) we shoot a one minute clip pre game teaser.  I also test a new Beachtek DXA-SLR adapter which allows me to plug a standard XLR microphones (just one of the band Shure 58’s) and record audio on the 7D.  I also shoot a second camera view with my iphone 4.

A quick edit and encode and we upload the rough version to Facebook.

Day 4 – Post production with Adobe Premier CS5. I easily import the Iphone clips and with some learning around syncing markers I get the clips in sync – the next few hours experimenting with multi-camera editing and transitions.

Day 5 – (Today/ Wednesday) – a couple of hours looking at how to remove the annoying background noise from the audio clip and then a final encode ready for uploading to the new video player we’ve been looking at.  From a business owners or marketing managers perspective most Youtube like video campaigns are limited to basic branding or awareness objectives because the video player has limited capabilities to promote and track viewer actions such click thrus….until now.

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WOW and Wicked “Big” Wednesday

There are many things that are “wicked” – it’s the very cool and maybe a little bit dangerous – it’s the little wink or the jaw drop of fan acknowledged “WOW” – but, you can’t promote your brand as being “wicked” unless it consistently is – your bullshit-a-meter iphone app never lies. BS meter 

Yesterday I was at a Sports Conference so this Wicked Wednesday Blog post is late (for Australian readers).

Anyway, while we sat freezing in one of the conference rooms at the SCG talking about digital media, fan passion and brand engagement Sydney surfers were relishing some massive clean swells.

Testimount is today’s front page of the Daily Telegraph – Wild ride … surfer Ben Macartney at Bronte / Pic: www.frothers.com.au Source: The Daily Telegraph is awesome, or dare I say “wicked”

A picture tells a thousand words!

Wild ride ... surfer Ben Macartney at Bronte / Pic: www.frothers.com.au Source: The Daily Telegraph

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Immediately versus excellence – Iphone vs Desktop Apps

9/10 of the latest shots on my Flickr photostream have been taken with my Iphone then quickly edited, enhanced in an app such as Instagram then shared immediately through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare.

 

Back in the office hours later I’ve access to my desktop applications and much greater control – same camera (low resolution) with same desired effect (selectional blurring/ small aperture) but more than double the editing time – it’s about creating the best image.

Flowering Jasmine tea infusionPhoto by Scott Maxworthymaxymedia

If I was to use my pro camera or shoot then there would be a lot more time setting the picture – lighting, composition, etc.  The resolution so big you could create a 10m billboard (or at least a very sharp A1 poster)

Immediately versus excellence.  

It’s People and Stories That Sell

You’re trying to sell something and customer attention is scarce. 

Dragons Ladies Jersey - Pink V

A photo is better than not having a photo – the potential buyer can see what they are getting.

A professional photo is better than a non professional photo

 

Dragons Ladies T-Shirt Core

For fashion – a catalogue shot (mannequin) is better than a just a basic product shot.  White background makes a difference.

 

A studio fashion shot with a live professional model raises the level again.

You can look at basic catalogue studio shots but it’s outdoors that brings the shots to life.  The view puts themselves in the picture.

Winter FashionPhoto by Scott Maxworthymaxymedia

 

 

Miranda Kerr Fashion Model

Add a celebrity (someone who resonates with your potential customers) or supermodel (eg Miranda Kerr and Victoria’s Secret) to your shots – you create aspiration, desire, want, media and online attention.

It’s people and the tribes stories that resonate – create desire to act – that sell.

Iphoneography – Power to the People

Today anyone with a decent smart phone (ie has a good camera) can take photos anytime, anywhere.  

With some apps such as Instagram you can then create add effects.  

With some basic photography skills you can take great photos.

Within minutes it can be published and share via social media. 

Power to the people.