No video production is perfect, but to help make yours the best it can be, here is a rundown of the most common mistakes novice video producers make.
1. VIDEO IS BORING.
Ouch! Yes, that sounds a bit harsh but it is so very true. We all like to think that our video is so riveting that viewers will be enthralled with our masterpiece. Unfortunately, this is often just wishful thinking. Generally speaking, to hold a viewer’s attention, your video needs to be fast paced and told with some emotion. Dry facts do not do well on video so spice it up with some emotionally laden production techniques and a storyline. Adding music is the single easiest way to keep a video entertaining.
Make sure your opening is entertaining. DO NOT start off with credits. I am sorry to be the one to tell you, but few people give a darn about the credits, except for the video makers themselves. (And their mommies.) Start off with a bang and then pull back and give some of the more boring information. So many videos start off with credits that it drives me nuts. That is a blatant mistake that is very easy to avoid. Yes, Hollywood movies USED to start with credits, but notice how that does not happen anymore. Most movies now start off with an explosion. When movies started out with credits most of the audience used that time to get popcorn.
2. VIDEO IS TOO LONG
This goes hand-in-hand with too boring. A long video tends to get really boring, even if it is generally of high quality. While there is no set length for video, SHORTER IS ALWAYS BETTER. Done correctly, a two minute video contains tons of information. BE CONCISE. No need to drag it out to ten minutes. Ten minutes is an eternity on video. The fact that in real life ten minutes flashes by like a nano-second is irrelevant. On video, ten minutes seems like forever.
3. VIDEO IS MADE FOR THE VIDEO MAKER, NOT THE AUDIENCE.
Ouch again! I’m feeling a bit mean here but again, this is true. I have seen it a million times. And yes, when I started in video production 30 long years ago, I was a major offender. As a video producer, you have to keep in mind who your audience is and what they want to see. You are not making this video for your own gratification. You are making it to impart information to strangers. What is their viewpoint? What do they already know and how do they feel about it?
You need to look at your finished video and put yourself in the typical viewer’s frame of mind. Look at your video as though you were seeing it for the first time. This is hard to do since you are looking at it for the ten millionth time but it is really important.
4. GOING OFF ON TANGENTS.
Wow, is this ever easy to do. I do it myself. But straying from the main point of your video is one way to make a really long and boring video. Be laser focused. To help you do this, sum up the point of your video in one sentence. If you can not sum it up in one simple sentence then you need to re-think your premise.
5. EXPECTING TOO MUCH.
OK, I am guilty of this one too. I really thought my comedy election spoof was gonna make the Tonight Show. It didn’t. Sob, sob. But it does have a 5-star rating on You Tube! We all hear about the internet video sensations that get millions of views. It happens, but truth is, it is relatively rare. The more common scenario is for your precious video to get lost in the 60,000 daily uploads to You Tube. Getting viewers means you have to cultivate friends and subscriptions. Sprinkle the link back to your video all over the web on social bookmarking sites. Then, if your video has hit the right nerve, the viral effect will take over and your viewership will snowball.
There you have it, the top 5 mistakes in video production as seen by yours truly. I hope this article does not discourage you but rather encourages you to avoid some of the common mistakes so your video can be as effective as possible.
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Internet Video Gal