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Noob Needs Some Video Critique

MazdaMan's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 05/23/2009 - 5:43am

Hi Folks!!

I've been lurking around the site for a few months now soaking up all the info I can. I own a website for mazda trucks and about a year ago I thought about making tech moves but didn't have any way to get a camera much less the materials needed to have for each video. To make a long story short I mentioned it on the site and after a few hundred dollars of donations have my first 3 tech videos online. I have footage for about 4 more already on my computer and 20 or 30 on the list to film in the future. Anyways, I'm a technical person great with anything that requires mechanical skill but am not photogenic by any means. My readers all seem thrilled with the tech videos and when I ask for their oppinions never get anything negative or suggestions on what could use work but I know there is tons of room for improvement so I've decided to post here for some 3rd person feedback.

Equipment:

Cannon ZR930 Camera (Modified to fit UV filter)

Vantage TR-250 Tripod (with plastic swivel head "cringes")

Lighting: Shop clamp lights covered with baking parchment paper

Software: Pinnacle Studio 8 and Paint Shop Pro 7

Here are the videos in order of production starting with the first one I made:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llCvyymzBn4 (1:34 min)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvoAy8AfBQE (1:38 min)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko24-OZ9Km8 (7:27 min)

Thanks for all of the help and advice, everything I've learned to make the videos has come from Videomaker.

Edit: Sorry if the videos in the post are a problem, I didn't know the script would automatically parse the links, lol.


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

Not sure if I'm missing something, but I can't view your videos. Could you direct me to the download link for the plug-in - "Get the Video Plugin" link does not work.

By the way, images and videos cannot be directlyembedded inside of posts. If you want to post a video, you'll need touploadandlink to an external source (URL).


MazdaMan's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 05/23/2009 - 5:43am

I'm not sure why you can't see them, they are uploaded on youtube and I posted a URL to each one. When I view the topic the forum script automatically parsed the links and embeded the video from youtube's site.

Here are the page URLs as I have them on my website again in the order of production starting with the first:

http://www.mazdatruckin.com/B2200/Video/High_Altitude_Compensator.html

http://www.mazdatruckin.com/B2200/Video/Vacuum_Control_Valve.html

http://www.mazdatruckin.com/B2200/Video/Testing_Vacuum_Solenoids.html


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 4 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Maz,

Good effort. Having made a number of training videos, here are some tech suggestions;

1. Get a lavalier mic or record your narration in a quiet room. Nothing puts a training video viewer in a trance faster than that 'mic buzz' coming from your on-camera mic. Recording your narration separately will give you more flexibility in editing as you will have a 'clean audio' track and an on-camera reference track to work with.

2. Use more camera angles. The next thing that will put your viewer on 'snooze' is using the same camera angle throughout your production. Getting in close particularly when you are pointing out specifics on the subject is not only helpful to the viewer, but will keep them interested.

3. Use more graphics. Putting those little 'thought balloons' in the second video was quite clever and was a backup to the info you were talking about. You did it once and never did it again. Don't do that. When introducing elements to a video the old rule is, 'Either or, neither nor'. Continue to use the graphics once started or don't use them at all. Definitely use the graphics.

4. Don't use autoexposure! The only time you need autoex is when transitioning from the outside to the inside or vice versa in one fluid shot. You're in a studio setting with a steady and unchanging light source. Put the exposure settings on manual, set your exposure and leave it alone. In the third video the autoex was trying to expose for the black background and your white hand each time you pointed to the subject. Going from normal to overexposed constantly was annoying.

5. Use more music. You started out okay in the third vid and then stopped. You'd be surprised how an unobtrusive music loop in the background audio can liven up a training video.

6. Use cutaways. Cutaways are graphics, still images or clips that you use to emphasize your talking points. Some photos or short video clips of where the part is located in the vehicle will do wonders at keeping the interest level of the viewer up. This is helpful not only to the novice repairperson, but a good refresher for old hands as well.

Try these minor additions and watch the quality of your TV's leap forward.

Good luck.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


MazdaMan's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 05/23/2009 - 5:43am

Awesome, a lavalier mic, shotgun mic, and 8" portable LCD screen are my next things I'm looking out for. The videos I decided to work on first were ones I could do inside that were short and simple. It won't be long though before a majority of the filming will have to either be done outside or at a friends garage. My dad did have a cheap clip on mic that I tried using while filming myself for an intro for a suspension video but when I played it back I had no audio at all. The small LCD screen (like what they make for cars now) was also going to be for the videos were I may be more than 5 or 10 ft from the camera because I can't see when I've moved out of shot.

lol, the bubbles in the tech video were becuase I said "the yellow vacuum line" instead of "the white vacuum line", they were put in using youtube's editor and I planned to make the correction and take them out the next time I updated the video. If those are good to have though I'll structure something more deliberate in the future although my current editor (Pinnacle Studio 8) doesn't make it easy for me to add them.

I'll see what I can do about the rest, the editor is a pain to work with in it's over simplicity. When I try to cut out a scene to put in a still image or another section of video I have to lock and then unlock the audio then sometimes the audio gets out of sync with the video, other times it will still be in sync but the wave form will be out of place so then I have to list through the audio for my editing instead of looking where the wave form goes dead.

I just found the manual online for my camcorder (bought as a return unit and the manual was missing) and found were the button was for the manual settings, lol. I thought I was missing something. Played with the exposure and lighting settings then filmed a few minuets. The difference was night and day!!

Thanks very much, I'll definatly be tweaking some things for the next few videos and might even reshoot the first two since they are short.


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

Guess it'sonly a problem with my computer. My Internet protection software blocks Youtube for R-rated content, which I'm assuming that the videos on your website are also linked to.