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Online Video Production Tips: How to Light, Frame & Shoot Online Video

Last month we attended the 2013 Streaming Media West conference in Huntington Beach, CA and ran two sessions for the show’s new Producer Live track. These are the key takeaways from our first presentation – How to Light, Frame and Shoot Video for the Web.

  • Video compression is something that videos go through before they’re published online. This causes online videos to be reduced in quality and detail along the way. Shooting in the highest quality format can make a big difference in the long run. Check the final specs of your delivery destinations and use the recommended settings provided when exporting your videos.

  • Viewing habits have changed from passive to active in online video. In most cases, you should keep your content short and engaging, as your audience is most likely multitasking while watching your videos. Capture the audience in the first few seconds and maintain good production value throughout your video. Bad audio, lighting, and improperly white-balanced shots can distract your viewer and cause you to lose them.

  • Shoot tighter than you would for traditional broadcast as we’re producing videos for the small screen. Interviews should be framed with medium close-up shots so that audiences can better engage with the subjects. Less is more with your backgrounds for online videos. Keep them simple and avoid gradients or high-motion backgrounds as these can cause issues during the video compression process.

  • Brighter is better when it comes to lighting for online video. The encoders used to compress our videos have a difficult time with dark shadows and hard lighting setups. A flat soft light approach is ideal for online video production.

  • Shoot more footage to allow for a quicker edit. Brands and companies are getting their messages across in 6 to 15 seconds with platforms like Vine and Instagram. Having more footage will give you more freedom and creativity in the post-production process. This can create a more engaging video that moves quickly and holds the audience’s attention.

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