Thursday, 2 May 2013

Making videos for YouTube

Over the past few years we have seen video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo grow significantly, with YouTube having a following only second to Facebook and becoming the second biggest search engine in the world.

Yes in South Africa and Africa video has not yet taken off, but I will emphasize that I use the word yet very cautiously, as the bandwidth issue in South Africa will more than likely change within the next 6 months and if South Africa does not see a 4 times increase in speed some of the developing countries in Africa certainly will.

Let us look at the communication medium of video and how we can utilise this and communicate more effectively.

The common error with video is that most people believe the old saying that a picture tells a thousand words and therefore a moving picture will tell you everything.

Unfortunately this is not entirely true because we have grown up with television where we are spoonfed and actually brainwashed in a way, so that we listen and see. Instead of observing and understanding through a series of questions we should be asking, even if those questions are simply asking ourselves how do we interpret this, even better if we discuss this with others.

However this is not how it works; the way it works in reality is you look, you are told what to look at and what you should be thinking whilst watching the moving images.

I am not talking about propaganda here, I am simply stating the way the programming is done so that you may better understand the way in which to communicate so that you may effectively reach your target audience.

Image courtesy of winnond at

Here are 10 Tips for making more effective Videos

1. Think about your story and the message you wish to convey before starting to film.
2. Script your story, either by using live commentary as you film or by means of a VoiceOver in post production.
3. Capture footage that is clear and has enough variation and angles to effectively illustrate your story.
4. Remember you need a lot of short clips that will hold the attention of your viewer. Clips in general are never more than 5 - 10 seconds.
5. Don't make your videos long, the YouTube average is 58 seconds, remember an advert on TV is generally 20 seconds long.
6. As clips are 5-10 seconds long your commentary or VoiceOver must make a point and the clip should clearly illustrate the point.
7. Don't be boring and make your videos as professional as you can.
8. Keep all commentary and VoiceOvers conversational.
9. Think about your viewer and what they would like to know, what can you tell them and what information can you share with them.
10. Remember news is only newsworthy if it reaches the audience quickly, post production time must not have a negative impact on the message reaching the world.

Effective videos are about thinking on your feet, clear concise stories and giving people information they need.

Don't forget to have fun in the process and share this fun with your viewers. 
I look forward to seeing your videos.