Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Make Money With Your Videos This 4th Of July

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Video Production

Next week we celebrate the 4th of July in the U.S. Our neighbors to the north of us will be celebrating Canada Day tomorrow. In France it’s Le Quatorze Juillet (July 14th). It’s a great time for BBQ, fireworks, parades, fun with family and friends…and a great time to capture on video. You’re going to be shooting the festivities anyway, why not make a little money with that footage?

Here are 5 ideas on how to make some money on your summer holiday video:

1) Shoot with the purpose to sell your footage as stock.

Beautiful fireworks displays, flags waving, parades, other celebrations, people dressed in crazy hats and get ups, manning the grill, all of these are great things to shoot. If you do it with the intent to sell, you’re going to want to make it as good as you can so use a stabilizer and get good audio.

Also note: that if you are shooting people and it’s not in a public venue, get their contact information at least so that you can get a model release if you need to. It’s always a good idea to carry some of these around with you in your bag as well. Make sure you have permission to shoot at the location too if your intent is to sell your footage. The agencies will ask for these forms.

One agency we like and use is Pond5.

2) Shoot for your own marketing video for your business.

Maybe you could do a commercial on a 4th of July theme. Maybe you want to do a special sale just for the holiday. If you put some thought into it, you can probably find a way to weave what the holiday means into your marketing message. For example, we sell a DVD on car detailing, so we can talk about how you may want to get your car in good shape before your road trip. Or how to clean up all the gooey goodies your children may consume and spill in your car, the sand being tracked in, etc. after the big holiday festivities.

While doing a marketing video won’t directly lead to money in your pocket right away, filling your website with a lot of videos will increase the likelihood of people engaging with you and staying on your website longer. When that happens, you increase your chances to turn those viewers into customers.

3) Shoot a cute or funny short movie.

Now this idea may seem a little out there but if you love to shoot and tell stories, this would be a fun way to get some passive income coming in. Script out and shoot a funny, entertaining short (around 1 to 2 minutes) movie themed around the holiday…get as many children and animals involved as you can. Then put it on YouTube and start sharing it with all your friends, family and networks and ask them to share it with their networks too so that you increase the potential of it going viral. Besides music videos, some of the most viral videos out there include entertaining skits, cute children and pet shenanigans. It you get tens of thousands of views, YouTube may pick you up as a partner and you can share in ad revenue ad infinitum. We have a couple of videos we’ve had on YouTube over this last year that doubled our Adsense revenue since YouTube picked it up. Get enough of these out there, and it adds up.

Here is one video I just love. What do you think? Want those kind of views?

Just make sure you don’t use any copyrighted material that you don’t have permission to use – photos, footage and music. Oh, and add links back to your website so you’ll get a little traffic action too!

4) Shoot for your own stock footage.

Think about the kind of stock footage you can use in other types of video you’ll be producing down the road that you plan on selling. Since we’ve been producing many horticulture videos, we’re always taking advantage of beautiful landscapes, rural scenes, flora and fauna opportunities. Again, put some care into shooting these well. Then you’ll want to take some time to organize them to make it easier in the future when you’re getting ready to put your video together.

5) Shoot an educational video.

Are you celebrating in a place that has an interesting and largely unknown history? Or is the celebration unique? Consider shooting a little educational video about the uniqueness and history and then sell it as a digital download.

If you are shooting for your business, remember, you also get the added benefit of writing off your expenses.

Enjoy your holiday celebrations, think of ways you can make money with the videos you’ll shoot, and have a great time with your friends and family.

Pro Prompter Wing – Carry Your Teleprompter With You

June 28, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Equipment, Video Production

by Alan Naumann

 Turn your iPhone or iPad into a teleprompter with ProPrompter Wing

One of the issues we as videographers often struggle with is how to effectively have our clients give a “talking head” presentation – especially if we don’t have B-Roll or graphics to cover their mistakes. Sometimes we are fortunate to have a client who is articulate and comfortable in front of a camera, and can give their presentation in a concise and clear way. But, unfortunately, they are the exception. It is not uncommon for a person to “freeze” and get the “deer in the headlight look” when put in front of a camera. There are many ways to help our clients get through this momentary brain freeze – but most of them are inadequate and don’t do the job.  The only real solution is the use of a teleprompter.

Several years ago I invested in an Amiga based teleprompter – an investment that helped me make my clients look and sound good on many video shoots. It paid for itself many times over as I would add this to the cost of my video services. Unfortunately, as the Amiga computer sailed into the sunset, so did the usefulness of my cumbersome  teleprompter, and I found myself in the market to get a new, lightweight replacement model.  In pricing the models on the market I discovered that I could spend anywhere from $600 to $6000 to get a good teleprompter. I finally settled on a new model, and I couldn’t be happier with its functionality and  price. I was also surprised to discover that I actually owned the hardware and only had to purchase the software to make it functional. I ended up paying $9.95 for the software and $129.00 for a bracket to mount it on my tripod, and am thrilled with the results. I share this because many of you already own a teleprompter and don’t know it. It’s called the iPhone.

I purchased my first iPhone in December 2007 as a result of Marc Smiler’s review in EventDV magazine. Showing my wife a copy of the review even made it a lot easier to convince her that I needed this new technology. I am now on my second iPhone (3Gs), and my wife is pleased that this is one purchase that I actually use; however, I do think she is getting tired of me telling her of the many things my iPhone can do. But even she was impressed when I showed her how it functions as a teleprompter.

The company that makes this possible is Bodelin Technologies, an innovative company in Lake Oswego, Oregon. If you contact them you may even be lucky enough to talk to a Michelle Ryther, a delightful young lady from Iowa.  After she patiently answered all of my questions, I took the plunge and purchased what I needed, and couldn’t be happier.

To make your iPhone into a teleprompter requires two ingredients: the software and the hardware. The ProPrompter software can be downloaded at the App Store for $9.99. It is very intuitive and easy to use. You can type your script directly into the software program, or do as I recently did with a large project, and email the script to the iPhone and do a copy and paste.  There are many settings to choose from – from font size and color to the speed of the scroll. The hardware needed is the ProPrompter Wing – a simple device that allows you to mount your iPhone next to the camera lens. You can either use it with a tripod or use it hand-held.

The principle to make the ProPrompter effective is that the iPhone needs to be on the same level as the lens of the camera. Many of us in the past have tried poster board with the script written on it. But it was always obvious that the on-air talent was reading – usually looking down or off to the side. After experimenting with our new teleprompter, we found that by being about 10′ away from the iPhone was an ideal distance. We could still read the script clearly (using a font size of 60), and it appeared that we were looking right at the camera. We also made sure that we only looked at the iPhone, even when there was no script being scrolled, because we didn’t want the shifting of our eyes to give away our secret.

The ProPrompter Wing is small enough so that it now has become a permanent part of my camera bag. Recently I did a project for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.  My job was to interview the finalists for the Annual Integrity Awards competition. Most of the finalists did fine – but there also those who really struggled on camera.  One company actually had their answers written out on poster boards because they were so nervous and afraid they would forget what they wanted to communicate. The iPhone with the ProPrompter software and ProPrompter Wing would have been the perfect solution.

By the way, I just heard that Zacuto has now made a special grip for the iPhone so you can use it’s videotaping capabilities more effectively. Who knows – maybe I will eventually leave my video camera at home and only use my iPhone. But, if I also needed to use a teleprompter, that would mean I would need two iPhones. I think it is time to give my wife flowers and tell her about this new opportunity.

(The ProPrompter hardware and software is also now available for the  iPad – Kim)

Alan Naumann, owner of Memory Vision, has been producing videos since 1988.  He is best known for his work with funeral videography and video biographies (has courses on both topics for videographers), and writes a column for EventDV magazine, “Cradle to the Grave.”

Lavalier Microphone System: Going Wireless

June 23, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Equipment, Video Production

A lavalier microphone system can be wired or wireless. Wired microphones are wonderful for many situations where freedom of movement is desired, yet they are pricey. Good quality wired mics can be found at reasonable prices. If you’re considering another on-camera microphone option besides a stereo or shotgun system, I definitely recommend adding a wireless lavalier system to your video equipment arsenal.

In this video, I cover wireless mics and why and when you’d want to use it as opposed to a wired microphone.

I’m wearing a Sennheiser EW100ENG which is an older model. We’ve had it for over 5 years.

If you’re looking to invest in a wireless, avoid the cheaper units. They are more likely to experience radio interference and will almost always disappoint you. Plan on spending $500 or more for a really good one.

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