The video "creative" process turns into a predictable "production" process, as work on the video evolves.
• The work to produce a video has steps, as covered below. Miss or wrong step means either fixing it or driving your viewers away.
• It boils down to avoiding negative steps, then enhancing the positive steps.
• Avoiding the negatives quickens results by wasting less time and reducing frustration.
• When you think of video creation, save time by building on this 5 pillar framework.
(more below in the "PREPARATION FOR PRODUCING ANY VIDEO").
1. Give your topic a title... refine the title as you go... it should inspire folks to watch the video.
2. Visualize the setting for your topic... how does it support and provide context... if it's stunning does it disrupt the message.
3. Evaluate characters and their presentation, their strength's actually used... clear or quick articulation... overall effective emotional engagement.
4. The conflicting issue(s)... more is not necessarily better or clearer... what is the issue being faced... its components... why solving it is needed.
5. The quest... how to proceed to the solutions and what it would be like once solved.
• Aim the entire production at the videos goal. Script & story board what will happen. The saying goes... "if it ain't on the page, it ain't gonna work on the stage".
• Tell your message 3 times, in 3 different ways. Viewers have different comprehension speeds and step sizes for thinking. Each attempt to deliver the message allows more folks, more chances, to understand.
• Focus in on your story teller. Add specific visualizations that contribute to the truth of your message. Remember, impressive wide screen scenic shots or cross fades, while impressive, as video skills, tend to distract from the honesty and focus of the message.
• There are many articles and books about the magic of doing videos with impact... try their ideas to keep the ones that work for you.
Avoid mistakes... let your audience keep watching, instead of aggravating them and driving them away.
Audio quality is the single most common cause of viewers leaving a web video.
• Work to keep the distance and microphone angle constant to avoid irritating changes in sound character and volume.
• Use a microphone wind sock to reduce the impact of wind, air conditioning, building noises and camera movements.
• Cell phone cameras often provide excellent video. Their small microphones, on the other hand, are problematic, having issues with distance and directional sensitivity. If the cell phone has a microphone input jack, using an external microphone can help match audio quality to video quality.
• Audio editing can remove unwanted sound bands and voiceovers allow rerecording. They take considerable time and can add other imperfections. Audio editing works best with audio specific software. Voice overs and editing require remixing, synchronization and rendering the audio back into the whole video. Way more time than doing it right in the first place.
Video includes facial expression and body language which contribute to clear communication. Recording them together helps maintain their balance. Location echos, sound disturbances, and extreme lighting all destroy the balance a viewer expects. Change the distance or the angle to the microphone and the acoustic sound qualities instantly change. Doubling the distance to the microphone reduces the acoustic energy to one tenth of what it was, leaving more local wind and other noises to appear louder.
• Microphone enhancements help smaller diameter and cell phone microphones, but with trade off expenses. The core reality is microphones convert acoustic energy into mechanical and electrical energy at varying degrees of sensitivity based on their mass, flexibility and directionality. "Work on and experiment with your microphone placement" to manage clear, constant audio.
Lighting is the most talked about area of dissatisfaction. Poor lighting makes scenes and actors look odd... soft lighting turns them yellow and brown, direct lighting often causes hot spots or raking (i.e. bight on one side of the face with streaks of light on the other... like a rake ) ... a subtle credibility underminer.
Respecting camera basics avoids needless mistakes.
• The camera angle should never result in a viewer feeling they are being looked down upon.. Laptop cameras attached to keyboards for typing comfort put performers eyes and face above the viewers. The viewer will subconsciously resent being looked down on. A camera at the presenters eye level or above, slightly off angle, is always best.
• Zooming in to make what the speaker is saying important. Zooming out helps the viewers expectations of moving on to what is coming next. Viewers expect precise facial and body indicators when the message is important.
• When the speaker's eyes wander, the viewer wonders why the speaker is looking elsewhere. Message importance and credibility become top of mind instead of content. Much like using words such as "ah" and "like". A speaker not on message makes viewers also drift. Video is about precision and intensity. Look the camera in the eye. Open your eyes wide to make your point(s).
Shadows and poor colour quality distracts viewers. Good lighting allows clear, faster messaging. Good lighting comes from many angles, with balanced intensity from each source. Good lighting focuses on the topic.
• Lighting, backgrounds and dominant colours work together OR against each other. A lot of green can cause the green to reflect on its background muddying gold, yellow or blond adjacent colouring. Dominant blue can wash out other blues. Dominent magenta undermines nearby skin tones.
• Lighting and other factors change the colour balance of a video that can be adjusted in post production. It will likely take different software to address each correction need. For example Da Vinci Resolve excels in chromatic adjustments. The available video will determine which shots to include. Software for cutting and pasting comes from OpenShot. Rendering all these changes into a new version of the video typically ends up in a needlessly big file size. Video size reduction is key to video delivery for as many viewers as possible, at the same time. Software which compresses, reducing gigabytes of data to megabytes matters when acquiring viewers. It takes a lot of work and time to compensate for not getting the lighting right in the first place.
• Complicated backgrounds, scenic views or colour mismatched sets, distract and confuse the viewer. Every element in the setting should contribute to the story, at that time, or not be there.
Added skills quickly become needed as the impact of videos comes into perspective. Growing beyond recording basic single camera, single perspective videos, reveals new viewers and potential impact. You will experience a time consuming learning curve that complicates all video delivery completion, backbone internet delivery and ever increasing viewership.
• Videos that feel like they could be more engaging drive a need to re-record for different emphasis. Even the 1st single camera re-recording brings focus to how 2nd camera recording would allow choosing between close up and wide angle shots from the same session, taken at the same time, all using one high quality level audio source. (Traditional thinking says at least three cameras be used; one recording the full wide angle scene for context, where facial expression is not as significant, one a close up of the speaker and the third a close up of the listener or group.) Post production then picks the perspectives to be used.
- multi camera production adds life and clarity for the viewers to experience
- multi camera production allows high quality video cell phones be used with a external audio/microphone system and post editing
- using cameras of the same type, simplifies post production mix and editing
- multi camera situations work best where a separate audio system simultaneously does external audio recording
- multi camera feeds to a video mixer allow immediate and precise management, meeting look and feel expectations more easily and reducing post production complexities
- video mixing also allows more seamless integration of other content such as synchronized word over lays and picture in picture effects
- use the same monitor / prompter the speaker or choir use to simultaniously overlay and reduce time spent and synchronization issues
- full strength video capture cards, signal strength, size and frame rate video distribution converters quickly become positive options
- improved video quality brings a wider audience that in turn changes work loads and a new layer of performance expectations.
• At some point you will hear "Let's Go Live" requests... exciting times that expose new pitfalls.
- Live means no going back for editing... doing it right the first and only time !
- Live performances will still get recorded, both by you or others wanting to time shift watching the video.
- Live streaming in real time adds extra distribution costs because you will be providing added bandwidth each additional viewer needs.
Instead of loading the video onto your web server 'live' means you have become the server.
You've been using a single lane highway to your server and it provided the multi lane highway needed to feed each video.
The 10Mb speedway your internet provider, says is available, changes to 4 lanes of 2.5 Mb delivering 4 videos.
You can buy more connections to recover speed. Then there will also be a need to change your hardware to grow from one output to more.
Adding cameras, video mixer, and web server, etc. brings extra latency, frame rates, and protocol issues requiring more system upgrades.
As the church reaches; higher, larger, extra participation, more excitement and greater engagement, the need for open minds will also grow. Flexibility becomes increasingly important.
Document your initial goal and idea. All involved can then share the same target, refine the aim and see success.
Otherwise the best that can be said is "We did NOT know where we where going and trusted we were sure to get there."
The document should include words defining the idea, what the expected results will be and a completion deadline.
Create a set of visualizations that turn your idea into the message for others. Each scene or component of the trip the viewer will go through the video should be one of the parts of the storyboard.
• The storyboard should show the building of the recorded story for that video. It will lead to talking points or a script for the performers, scene setup and background as a stage for that recording and staffing for the video.
The actors selected become the face of your message and video. Even if you already have a specific performer in mind, go through doing a casting call. You may reconsider the effectivness of each performers ability to deliver more truthful or natural messages. Regardless, the casting experience gives you the foundation of knowing the strengths of each actor and to fill in new found weaknesses.
Put a name beside each of the support and staffing functions. Who will be the camera operator? Who will: get the set ready, do the clothing and makeup, record the audio, direct, do post production editing, arrange the promotion and delivery of the video after its finished?
• If no ones name is beside any of these roles you have a weakness that will undermine the video. For example, with no location manager expect chaos at any remote recording. If you have no one researching the facts you risk spreading fake news. Many very good videos suffer unfairly under the assumption that just doing a video will cause people to come view it.
All video work benefits from preproduction script read through meetings.
• Actors blend their efforts to reflect the type of performance being recorded. Something newsy or a documentary is way different from entertainment or even an interview event being recorded.
• Everyone involved will get a sense of timing with their role in the recording.
• Knowing where to perform relative to each other, the camera involved and the background staging avoids needless errors.
• As the team becomes cohesive attention turns to audience impact, presentation tone and timing for that impact and the sense of clarity and interplay adds up to more than just a message.
"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." Mother Teresa
• Silent auctions have no auctioneer.
• Their completion date is what encourages bidding.
• They depend on people working in harmony, to support a cause.
• Church Auctions bring focus on the congregation working together in helping neighbours.
• They recycle items that still have life to the direct benefit of others.
• Church auction evolve relationships beyond selling items.
– The auctions focus on a cause and why it is so important.
– A $45 bid may win a great deal however it ALSO pays for a week of church electricity
– Bidders have the option to donate monthly amounts to cover portions of costs like phone, internet, etc.
– Participation builds community connections between donors, seniors, single parents, and others.
• Success depends on manpower gathering donors, promoting and managing auction items.
• Other local events and pay day cycles will impact the auction.
• Set the closing date for the silent auction and work back from there, based on available manpower.
– Gather up a minimum number of donations to auction off.
– Confirm each donation by including pictures, descriptions and each donors expectations.
– Confirm bidders registration acceptability, bid authenticity, and payment processing.
– Organize and implement promotion of the auction coming, now on and completion.
– Train everyone on protocols for health and safety, donations and auction completion.
• Keep it fun for all... volunteers, donors and bidders.
• Use big fonts... Squeezing more words into promotional posters is a temptation ... but if no one reads it...
• Email the congregation requesting:
– help arrange donations like restaurant gift certificates, gift baskets, etc.
– (things that will be fun to talk about, be surprisingly unique, encourage bidders)
– volunteers for prep work (i.e. clean, collect, take pictures, do lighting)
– call bank workers for coordination, donors, purchasers and helpers
– ambassadors for community engagement, social media, etc.
– writers for item descriptions, local ads, posters, handouts and proof read
– help with item pickup and delivery coordinatation
– training for safety protocols, data entry and purchaser interfacing
– help with other local churches and non profits to share with their members & web sites
– help with local businesses, coffee shops, grocery stores and services
– help with post and hand delivered posters and handouts... "It's coming"
– help with post and hand delivered posters and handouts... "It's started... only XX days left"
– help with arranging a public service ad in local paper community events section
– help to encourage pre registration
– help for integrating with other local activities already scheduled during the auction
– help promote who's being helped and the event schedule (i.e. what, when, where, how)
Silent Auction Processing
• The pre registration of bidders is key to the auction's success.
• This encourages participation with the auction deals.
• This removes sign up uncertainty making it easy to bid and participate.
• It provides access to biding... secure, quick and easily.
• All the congregation should automatically be pre registered.
• All the volunteers also should be registered and notified .
• All donors should also be registered, notified and asked about others too pre registrated.
• Online registration should be encouraged on handouts, posters, and promotions.
Arrange The Auction Items
• Your local community has items for the auction... find them.
• Sort collected items by: interest, category, and price.
• Odd unrealistic bids from web bots or false registrations happen. Monitoring and manual removal will be needed.
• Provide item Information including:
1) A PLU/item code (i.e. SKU) something like Item1, Item2, Item3, etc. or Lot1, Lot2, Lot3, etc.
2) An exciting short description (i.e. Aim for 24 characters or less.)
3) A detailed description (i.e. Aim for clarity for bidder understanding of the items value.)
4) The price bidding should start at (i.e. Also your reserve and selling prices - as appropriate.)
5) An increment any bids should increase by.
6) The donor name if recognition is to be provided.
(Any available donor picture or graphic to be used.)
7) A picture or graphic for each item, titled the picture with the item PLU/code.
• Provide General Information including:
1) An email address bidding and registration notifications to be sent to.
2) A maximum bid amount allowed.
3) The offical start and end times of the auction.
• Arrange for Pickup, Payment and Auction Completion:
1) Contact the winning bidders.
Let each successful bidder know they got a good deal and have been helpful with the auction cause.
Clarify pickup protocols for safety and how to make the pick up quick and easy:
2) Advise the pickup location
3) Assigned a 15 minute time window... specifically for them.
4) Confirm the available payment options.
5) Confirm their bid/donation contributes to the auction cause.
(Folks like living vicariously through the benefits of theirpurchase or bids create.)
• Purchasers will be given a choice for date and time available on site or by phone or email after purchase is confirmed.
• Pick-up of the purchased item will be curb-side-pick-up only, at the door of TGUC, in the back of the basement of the building.
• If the purchaser is unable to pick up at the arranged time, arragements must be attempted by phone, text or email or it goes back on sale
• Sold items must be sanitized, wrapped and ready when the purchaser arrives.
• Thrift store volunteers will wear masks, gloves and observe 6 foot distancing.
• Hand sanitizer are available for those who cannot wear gloves.
• Customers must also wear masks, observe the 6 foot distancing and use of hand sanitizer.
• No customer may enter the building at time of pick-up.
• All donations accepted must be held for 72 hours before being handled by any volunteer
• Please be kind, calm and patient with other volunteers and clients, as we expect them to be with you!
• Gracie's Thrift Store will operate in this manner until further notice.
• When COVID restrictions are lifted by the Provincial Health Officer, protocols will be changed.
• We appreciate your understanding as we take these steps for Gracie's and TGUC.