Anatomy of a Viral Video (Part 2)
Anatomy of a Viral Video (Part 2)
Mon, 02/13/2017 - 21:53
Know Your Medium
Viral videos are largely shared via personal computers, phones, tablets, and other fairly small devices over youtube or vimeo (when was the last time you saw #LikeAGirl or Will It Blend? at the theater?). You don’t need a fancy camera or expensive editing software to make an effective viral video. If you have a smartphone, you’re halfway there. Most people won’t be able to identify the quality difference between 4k camera and an iPhone when they’re watching it on their tablet.
Most smartphones these days sport cameras that are standardized to shoot in 1080p (That means the video resolution is 1,920 pixels wide by 1,080 pixels tall, the ratio of most TV and computer screens) and have pretty wide apertures (a wide aperture lets more light into the camera so you can shoot in darker environments). Anything better than that could very well be overkill.
If you’re going to spend any dough on gear, then spend it on sound. Decent sound is a must-have, I can’t stress this enough. If your video has any dialogue whatsoever, you will need a mic. Poor quality sound degrades the quality of the overall video even more than the video visuals themselves! Luckily, there are plenty of inexpensive options, and even options for smartphones... Yes, there are professional mics for smartphones.
Wireless mics that you can pin to the subject or directional mics that you can swivel towards the subject range from $15-$300. Unlike some other types of equipment, which inflate in price by brand rather than fundamental quality, mics are pretty universal. The more you pay, the better and cleaner the sound quality is, and the less canned or ambient noise bleeds through.
The last piece of equipment you may want to invest in is a smart phone tripod. And again, they can come pretty cheap. Depending on what you’re shooting (like a video blog) you may only need a desktop tripod. Stores like photojojo cater to independent shooters on a budget, and often have multi-use gadgets for DSLRs and smartphones that work just fine for small organizations and nonprofits.There's no end to the gadgets you can buy to fluff up your equipment bag, but a tripod is basic.
Doing it in Post
It's paramount that you have software to edit your newly shot footage. If you're a novice media producer, you might want to stay with something simple like iMovie at first. All those flashy bells and whistles included in Premiere or Final Cut may end up being more confusing than helpful. All you need a program to do is cut from one shot to another and export in a codec (packaging for whatever native file format your camera shoots in) that's supported by youtube or vimeo.
You may also want to include some form of graphics software in your viral video arsenal. Depending on what you get and how skilled you are or want to be, this could allow you to do anything from having a static title fade into your video to full blown animated logo and lower thirds (the title that pops up during interviews to inform the audience of who's speaking). Photoshop and a dash of After Effects is the obvious choice for this, from a professional perspective, but you may be surprised to discover that Gimp is free and surprisingly useful, if you only need to share the bare basics.
Alternatively, there are plenty of sites that offer premade animated graphics with some minor After Effects customization. Unfortunately, they often have a bit of a learning curve and are often easily identifiable. If you want a slick, reusable and branded graphics package, it may be advantageous to hire a contractor or have your in-house designer come up with a template. No graphics is better than poor graphics (unlike video, which has some quality wiggle room, poor graphics look terrible!), so if you think you'll need them, don't skimp.
Assuming you have a working MAC or PC, all you really need is a camera, mic, tripod, editing software, and graphics software. The element that will truly define whether your video will go viral or not, is the concept and its marketing execution, not the quality of the equipment or software. That being said, a polished video is a fine thing indeed.
January 30, 2017
Anatomy of a Viral Video (Part 1)
So you want to make a viral video. You’re in luck! There are, in fact, a few tried and true strategies for creating a video with traction, and you don’t have to be rolling in money to do it.
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Why Video Matters
Americans have an insatiable desire for online videos. We collectively watch over 150 Billion videos per month, that’s 94% more than in 2014. And 20% of those views are on mobile.
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Benefits of Video for Nonprofit Fundraising
With the number of nonprofits vying for the public’s attention continuing to grow, it’s more important than ever to make sure your organization’s website stands out from the crowd.
December 01, 2016
5 Tips for a Successful Event Video or Webcast
Webcasts are a cost-effective way to augment your outreach while generating content for your site and social media channels. Webcasting increased in popularity with the proliferation of services that offer live stream options.
November 18, 2014
Content Tactics for Your Video
In the absence of a strategy, here are a few simple things to leverage your video content
You’ve heard it before, video is the most important format for conveying your brand and your message on the Internet, especially if you are a non-profit.
December 02, 2015
Special guest Melissa Thompson, a freelance editor, and former Senior Video Producer at Greenpeace, joins Heming and Bryan to talk about creating compelling online videos. Melissa discusses the creative process that goes into planning sucessful shoots, and some of the tricks & tools of the trade. Melissa also has some advice for those who want to get started making sucessful short videos.
July 28, 2016
Join us as we discuss the challenges of creating effective video content for nonprofits and small businesses with Alex Herder, President & Creative Director at The Duke & the Duck.