Tag Archives: b-roll

That Time I Had To Tell My Client, “NO”

Sell The Problem You Solve
Joe and Monica have a small business serving seniors. Mostly, they deal with families who are concerned about the care that their loved ones need.
Joe would be taking part in a presentation at a meeting of a group of healthcare professionals who could turn out to be solid referral partners. He and Monica were given a 30 second spot where they could play a video message about their business, so they contacted me for help.
I knew that a 30 second piece would have to be as compelling as possible.
I’ve written thousands of these kind of messages during my radio career. A 30 second spot is one of the hardest projects to write, because of the short amount of time you have to capture someone’s attention and hold it without them getting bored. #0 seconds to establish an emotional connection and try to trigger that buying signal.
Joe and Monica sent me a video that was done by another one of their franchise partners. The man was standing in his backyard spouting off features and benefits. “Could we just do something like that?”, they asked.
“NO”,I exclaimed. “It’s trite, and it says nothing about THE CUSTOMER. It’s just a list of services you offer.”
In the next half hour, I talked with them, asked questions about why they chose that business, and the kinds of customers they were hoping to connect with. It became apparent that both had had the experience of trying to find care for their family members in the past. They told me about their frustrations with that experience.
“The thing is,” Monica said, “nobody ever tells you how to take care of your parents or grandparents.”
“THAT’S IT”, I said with a smile, “That’s your opening statement”
We built a script on that to show their passion for what they do and why they do it. Then we shot the video at their kitchen table, because that was where they most often met with clients. In post-production, I added some B-roll of seniors in different situations.
The final version was a hit at the presentation, and they can now use it on their social channels as well.

Ron Harper is the founder of Videos On Your Website, a Cincinnati digital marketing firm specializing in video web content for businesses. Get a FREE Video Buying Guide at Videos ON Your Website – Cincinnati and Dayton Video Production Guide.

Behind The Scenes – Part Two. Editing

Picture this: a shot of the top drawer of a desk. A hand moves into the shot, and opens the drawer. We see – a pistol. What’s the next shot in this story?
-a closeup at a man’s reaction, surprised at his find?
-an over the shoulder shot of someone, an aggressor, standing in front of the desk?
– a medium shot of a man looking into the drawer. He is a police officer, and there are other police officers in the room, but in the background.

Each one of those tells a different story. It’s up to the editor to tell the story of what the cameraman has been shooting.

Even with business videos, I have to do the same thing. I have to ask myself, “Where do I want the viewer’s eyes next for maximum impact?” This is the main thing that sets amateur videos apart from professional videos: amateurs tend to want to get everything in one long take. And they end up with mistakes, and gaffes that need to be removed but aren’t because editing has a steep learning curve.

It is nice of Windows to add a Windows Movie Maker to every version of it’s operating system that is produced. However, editing with Windows Movie Maker is like trying to run a race in wooden shoes. It can be done, if you’re patient, but overall, it’s – clunky.

There are some very good consumer editing software on the market. The problem is, it’s not plug and play. There was a learning curve in video editing even for me, and I’ve been cutting audio for over 20 years.

The shots I make that tell the story but will have little or none of their sound used is caller “B-roll” These are the shots that are the demonstration, while a voice explains what’s going on. I consider my B-roll to be probably the most important footage I can shoot. Because while I cut away from the main speaker to show the demo, I can then edit the speaker’s AUDIO without making the video jump cut. That’s very helpful for taking out extraneous phrases or noises and making the person on camera seem more polished.

Morey: Ask me what is the most important quality of a great comedian
Henny: Ok, What is the..
Morey: TIMING!

I’ve always loved that bit of dialog. It’s so true, not only in comedy, but in anything that tells a story. And a good editor has a good sense of timing. You know when you’ve stayed on a shot long enough and it’s time to move on. Many amateurs stay on a shot waaaay to long. Unfortunately, if you look at much of the stuff that is posted on You Tube, you’ll find that the rule instead of the exception. The eye is quick, and the brain is quicker. Usually, three or four seconds is all you need before it’s time to change shots.

Watch your favorite movie or TV show again and pay attention to the editing., the scenes that were used and the decisions that were made to tell the story. I know you’ll see something that will open your eyes.

Now, what do you want for YOUR project? What’s the story you’re going to tell?

That’s a wrap.

5 Ways To Make DIY Videos Better

Of course, I’m a big supporter of using videos on your website. There are many ways to record videos for business. One way is to do it yourself. Some of these new pocket-sized cameras are making it very easy

So what’s being shown in all these videos? Not much more than talking heads.

There is so much that can make a great and compelling video: different angles, close-ups, b-roll. But it’s hard to take those shots and mix them in, because the selling point of the little micro-cams is that they will upload directly to the web. And that means no editing.

Editing is how you tell a story. Look at all of your favorite programs on TV. They have different shots, and various angles, reaction shots from the other players, location shots to establish where they are. You can do that if you’re doing it yourself. It just takes a little planning. Planning will make a mediocre video a GREAT video.

If you’re going to shoot with a microcam, here are five things that will make your videos better from the start:

  1. Make sure you have a steady platform. Use a mini tripod.
  2. You can’t see what you’re shooting with most microcams. Try not to get that “in your face fisheye” effect. Don’t be afraid to shoot it again and again.
  3. If there are going to be two or more speakers, don’t swing the cam from side to side. You’ll just make the viewer dizzy.
  4. Shoot in different locations. Use a background shot to show where you are, then in one edit, you can be moving forward with your content.
  5. Plan Plan Plan Plan Plan Plan Plan.

If everyone’s video looks the same, these tips will set yours apart. Many folks, however, are attracted by the easy shoot and quick upload of these microcams. If you already have an expensive looking website, don’t sabotage your image with a poor quality video.

–that’s a wrap