Noob Needs Some Video Critique

Anonymous (not verified)

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.


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: (1:34 min) (1:38 min) (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: 4 months 3 weeks 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).

H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator


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.

XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks 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.