Argleton video

by Suw on June 8, 2010

Over on Kickstarter, they say that projects with an introductory video end up raising “way more money” than those without. Well, it has taken me a while but I’ve finally managed to get this all important video together for Argleton.

I have no real experience with making videos, but luckily I had my lovely husband on hand to help. Even though he left the BBC three years ago, some video editing mojo clearly rubbed off on him!

But even with Kevin’s help, I had to have two stabs at recording the original footage. The first lot was just too ponderous and rambling to really work and wasn’t even amenable to cutting. Second time round, I had a better idea of what I wanted to say, but even then I had to do take after take after take to get something useable.

If you’re doing to do a Kickstarter project video yourself, then I recommend you read Robin Sloan’s guide first. I found it very helpful, but would add a few more points.

Plan your video in small chunks
Think about three or four main points you want to cover and then plan what to say for each point separately. Make notes for each section and even write out what you want to say. Practice reading it out aloud a few times to make sure that it flows and change anything that makes you stumble.

Record each chunk separately
It’s almost impossible to do a long piece to camera without screwing up, so record in sections that are 45 to 90 second long. Because you’ve practiced what you are going to say before you started recording, you should find it relatively easy to get a good take.

Pause before and after
It makes it much easier to cut footage together and add effects like cross fades if you have some leeway, so when you hit record, pause for a while, say your stuff, then pause again before hitting stop.

Pace yourself
Don’t talk too fast, but don’t talk too slowly either. Unless you’re speaking slowly for effect, a ponderous delivery will make you sound like you don’t know what you want to say. (My video suffers a little bit from this.) If you talk too fast, you make it harder for people to understand you.

Listen out for background noise
Sadly, there’s nowhere in our flat that’s as well lit as our lounge, and nowhere noisier either. The human brain is great at filtering out background noise, but mics will pick it all up, especially bass rumbles from passing buses or lorries. If you don’t have somewhere quite, try to time your takes for in between the buses.

What’s behind you?
When you are setting up your shot, think about what is behind you. You should never be surprised by something in the background, and there should be nothing there that looks distracting. No lampshades growing out the top of your head, for example.

Keep it short
A video that goes on too long is likely to be boring. I’d say three to four minutes is a maximum.

Think about cutaways
A four minute headshot is both hard to do and boring to watch, so think about other images that you can add on top of your narration. Screenshots of blog posts about your project? Footage from your work so far? Even a shot of your hands (watch for this in TV interviews!) breaks things up enough to make your video more watchable.

I learnt a huge amount from doing this video and i know that there’s even more to learn. I have no doubt I’ll be making another video before the project completes, so hopefully the next one will be much better! And I also hope that the lovely chaps at Kickstarter are right and that this video helps me to meet my target of $2700. I’m already 27% there, so please do lend your support and get me to 100%!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: