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You hit the Video Jackpot: Read this before your next video project (Ideas & Tips)

Your cup runneth over.

Before you get too deep on your next video masterpiece, here’s a rapid-fire list of ideas, considerations, tips & tricks. Please enjoy this veritable cornucopia of magnanimously curated, indubitably delicious insights served herein, hot-n-fresh, all for YOU! So, what are you waiting for? Dive right in and enjoy!

First ask: Why am I even making this video?  If you don’t have a good reason then maybe you shouldn’t. Sometimes you’ll have a clear goal, sometimes more abstract, or maybe just because your CEO said so, but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve not gotten a good answer to this big question.

OK, so you are making a video: Attention is job # 1. Don’t neglect “the hook” you have to get their attention and keep it - or all is lost!

Story is a great mechanic to keep audiences engaged. Explain what happened in chronological order. Start with why, then how. Cover the challenges that were overcome and then the results.

Use metaphors. They add color, emotion, visualization potential and can be a great way to help people understand complex ideas. Metaphors are like little tiny birthday presents you give to your audience when you care. (See what I did there?)

Try using graphics or diagrams to make points visually rather than saying everything with voice over, text or interviews. A picture is worth 1,000 words.

Help your audience understand the context. Don’t forget to make it crystal clear why they care, even if it’s only in certain cases. You might sell an amazing product but maybe not everyone is a prospective customer all the time.

Keep your video focused. Don’t cover too much. Better to be laser targeted on one goal so you can focus on achieving it well.

Keep it simple.

Use less words.

Consider your voice: Who should be doing the talking in your video? Perhaps the CEO, existing customers, partners, or an actor.

If you are planning on using professional voice over, try recording a scratch track using your own voice first just to see how if times out and feels when spoken.

If you don’t know what to show, show people. People are endlessly fascinating - their faces, their bodies in motion. Footage of people seems to have some special magic.

If you are short on video footage, try and use still photos with a ‘Ken Burns’- style motion effects. It’s a great way to use motion to extend the usefulness and duration of the photos as well as make dramatic points.

Video is motion: If it doesn’t move, it’s really just a photo. You can use photos obviously, but just do so intentionally.

Try and find a new way to view your topic. Shoot from a unique angle: low, high up, far away, real close, dutch angle, etc.

Consider setting. The first place you plan on shooting might not be best. Is it possible/preferable to shoot elsewhere?

Lighting matters! Time of day, available light vs studio light, these are huge factors in how your video looks so if you can, try to experiment with different looks.

The pace of your final edit can usually be tightened up to increase excitement and shorten your piece. Always leave 'em wanting more!

Don’t be shy about changing music. Having several different music tracks in your video can really boost engagement and keep things interesting.

You might try to let the music play out. Sometimes a long, lingering piece of music can pull audiences in.

In some cases you might try a unique way to use natural sound or sound effects to create new meaning, change the feeling, intensity and engagement. I’ve heard some say that sound represents over half of the emotional impact of video, I find that can certainly be true.

When in doubt, go slow motion or time lapse! Sure, it’s used a lot, but probably because it’s awesome! Whenever we shoot slow motion, we end up using it!

There you go, that’s some good tips right there, good luck!

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