Quick, quality, and possibly quirky, video take-aways

Ruth Korver talking about video storytellingAt the 12 September meetup Ruth Korver (Useful Media) spoke about videos to tell stories and for use on social media. Recently she and her colleague Vanessa have driven the 48 hours short films challenge.

Downloads: Useful Media storytelling presentation (PDF 110KB) and  Useful Media brief template (PDF 40KB).

The NetSquared Wellington talk is part of the global TechSoup storymakers 2017  challenge.

A bit thank you to Lachlan McKenzie for typing up these take away notes.


Short – 10”, 30”, 60”. Make your point short and snappy.

Audio – remember, mostly not audio on a news feed.

Shape – square/vertical?


What are you saying and who are you saying it to? Use one clear message. What is your call to action? Remember, video is not great for details: put these on the website.

Write a brief (get example from Ruth). As with any project, put time into planning.


Who do you choose to tell your story?

How do you get a good performance?

Script vs ad. Lib.?You need to build rapport beforehand.


Lighting – good natural lighting. Use white cardboard to reflect light.

Framing – good composition.

Tripod – always.

What’s in the background?


Listen to what’s around you – the camera will pick it up

Avoid noisy places

Turn off music, fridges, computers

Get the microphone close to the person. Lapel is best. City Library hires out sounds recording equipment.

Resource: Welcome to the world of less bad sound


Keep it simple

It’s okay to cut or cross-dissolve things to get the message across more clearly

Have some cutaways

Lo-fi or Hi-Fi?

Doesn’t matter provided it fits the context.

Manawa Karioi videos

How do you know it’s working?

Check your stats

Try variations to see if your results improve your website

Make sure it’s worth the time and RoI

Editing and audio tools, resources

If you don’t have a Mac, you could get the Adobe Premiere (TechSoup sponsors this). Others are Filmora and Cyberlink Power Director.

For audio, try Premium Beats stock music.

Be careful with copyright and permissions. Copyright.org, Creative Commons and Flickr Commons are useful resources. Use release forms for any person in your video. Get guardian’s permission for under 18s.

HP48hours Survival kit Videos

Using an iPad for autocue

Social media tips

Commutes and lunchtime are not the best time to get call to action if this is what you want

YouTube auto-captions guess at what the speaker is saying – starting point only – edit to fix mis-guesses

YouTube (30 secs) = 10x Facebook time (3 secs) to count as a view

Drop off points – 10, 30, 60 secs. Re-edit if too many drop off – add interest

Can create Facebook segments based on how much video they’ve seen and then create lookalike audiences. Great for targeting.

Facebook algorithm is prioritising live videos and 360 videos.

Posted in Takeaways

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