Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

Over the past 9 years I’ve learnt a lot about video and how you can get the best out of the content you make. But the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that it’s a journey, and something that (for me at least) will never be finished. I look back at the videos I made in 2012, and 2014 when I first started making videos like this and cringe. They’re awful! 

But I had to start somewhere, how could I possibly improve if I were too scared to get started? You might feel that some people might laugh at how bad they are (unlikely), or maybe you’re afraid that people will ignore them altogether (more likely). But you never know what will happen, and you’ll never going to improve unless you start somewhere. 

I’ve felt that feeling all over again since I started making weekly live videos. I haven’t got it to the point yet where I’m happy with how they look, or how I’m presenting. The whole thing makes me nervous. But the big thing is I know that I can make something that looks amazing, and with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work will get a lot of engagement. 

If you’ve made videos before and have stopped, or want to get started but are feeling nervous, ask me a question about how you can get started. I’d love to help. 

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Don’t cancel your event yet!

Don’t cancel your event yet!

Don’t cancel your event yet!

With everything going on with COVID-19, it’s hard to look past the possibility of cancelling any event you had planned for the next few months. The likelihood of having anything more than 20-50 people in a room before the end of the year looks pretty unlikely even for the most optimistic of event planner. 

At Red Book Productions I’ve been looking into the possibility of moving an event online. That’s why, at the start of July I helped Coconut Creatives move their usual ‘Franchise Fest’ from an ‘in person’ event to an online event. 

The usual format is simple:

 – 2 days where a few hundred people come along to a hotel in Warwickshire. 

– 1 main stage where there’s talks from expert speakers from the franchise industry.

– Break-out rooms with seminars from more expert speakers in the franchise industry. 

– Obviously networking goes on throughout the day. 

– Live evening music after day 1.

The people at Coconut quickly found ‘Hopin’ a website only launched early in 2020 that hosts an online event in one place. Main stage: check. Break out rooms: check. Networking: check. Sponsors and Suppliers area: check. It’s the kind of thing you could host on multiple zoom calls but all in one place and much more simple to navigate. 

It was my job to handle the main stage from the studio in Andover, and the Coconut team prepped speakers throughout the day. The feedback from the event was fantastic. And moving your event online could be a real possibility. 

We’re putting together an online events package, so let us know if you want us to keep you posted: 

The New Normal

The New Normal

The New Normal

Coming out of lockdown has meant that we’ve all had to adjust to a new way of life. With social distancing, masks and washing your hands every 5 minutes. In this week’s episode of #TheVideoShow I’ve decided to discuss the tools that I’ve found useful making videos within the limits of social distancing. 

It’s meant I’ve had to invest in a few new bits of equipment (and a rug) to make my life easier and my customer’s life a little less stressful.

 

1. GoPro – I’ve had some form of GoPro for many years, and I use it quite infrequently. But over the past few months I’ve used my GoPro more and more. It’s a great camera for somebody to wear whilst they demonstrate their work, and I can view what they’re seeing from a safe distance. Not to mention they’re waterproof so they’re very easy to clean. 

 

2. Boom Microphone – Before lockdown I was using lapel mics. This meant clipping a microphone onto somebody. This was usually done by the person themselves, but it often required me to get close to them to check that it was fitted and working before we could begin. With this new microphone I can record from a distance.

 

3. Rug – It sounds really weird, but by investing in a rug for the studio it gives the subject somewhere to stand and I can move around them. I may need to move cameras, lights and microphones, but if we’ve all got our own area, we’re all safe!

 

Take a look at a few of the videos I’ve made under social distancing. The first from Practical Car and Van Rental and the second from No5 Dental Care.

I’d love to know how you and your business are adjusting under the constraints ‘new normal’, let me know in the comments.

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Making videos in lockdown

Making videos in lockdown

Creativity in Lockdown

During lockdown it’s been hard to create videos. Usually I’m out and about all over the country creating content with people. But due to the constraints of coronavirus, I’ve have had to change the way I work.

Firstly, I thought this ‘new normal’ meant a lot of editing, which it did for a time. But then it became clear that I could still create content with people using Zoom. 

I first worked with Cameron and Tony from TRUTH a few years ago, and when they asked me to help with their new project I saw it as a great opportunity to create something interesting with the constraints of not being able to leave the house. 

Over the course of a few weeks we put together the video explaining what TRUTH does and how they’re adjusting to life and business under COVID-19. After a false start (a video that looked awful) I quickly realised there were a few things that were vital to making a video under these different circumstances: 

  • Access to Existing Footage: We were lucky enough to have footage from a few years ago that we could re-use (in our case it was shots of London) which were unattainable between March and June for obvious reasons.  If you’re not lucky to have access to old footage then you can always find stock footage, but that usually comes at a price. 
  • Zoom: Having regular video calls helped me direct Cameron and Tony and the other staff at TRUTH to get the shots we needed on their own phones. 
  • Camera Equipment at home: By moving a lot of my equipment  back home for lockdown meant I could shoot footage in my house and garden that looked great! 
  • Helpful friends: Having a few friends who were willing to film themselves for short clips in this video was really handy. There have been a few people who have helped me in various projects over lockdown, and I can honestly say I couldn’t have made these videos without their help. These short clips fill in the gaps and tie everything together.

Overall, I think the finished video looks great, and by having these constraints that a global pandemic brings, we were able to create something that stands out. To be honest, if I were making this video normally, it wouldn’t have been half as creative. Having to make videos this way has forced me to look at creating videos differently and it’s taught me a lot about creating videos in the future. 

You can watch the full video below: 

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Should I waste my time scripting?

Should I waste my time scripting?

Do I need to bother scripting my videos?

In this landmark episode of #TheVideoShow (in as much as 271 is a landmark) I discuss scripting videos with friend of the show Evelyne Brink. 

I’ve always been one for being quite loose with scripting my videos, that’s because the vast majority of my videos are just answering questions about video itself. I may write down 3-4 points that I want to cover, but more an more I find myself mentally making notes. That’s probably a product of creating so many videos, it does get easier and easier with practice!

What I would recommened, particularly if you’re starting out, or if you’re making a video for your website homepage or a sales video is to spend some time planning your video. Whether this be a strict script, or a detailed document of everything you want to cover I PROMISE you it will be worth it and save you a lot of time when it comes to shooting. 

But take a look at this week’s episode and let me know how you script or plan your own videos in the comments or by emailing me

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Never miss an episode EVER again!
Every month I send out all the episodes you may have missed. To make sure you never miss an episode let me know a few things about you: