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Weekly Video Tip: Thinking Little

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By Stephen Schweickart

Sometimes, thinking small can be a good thing. We’re not talking about your business strategy, but rather remembering the impact of technology on your product. Specifically, mobile technology, and the fact that more people are viewing online information on their smart phones than anywhere else. That means your online video will be seen by an ever-increasing smart phone audience—and that your shooting and production techniques may need some fine tuning.

Start thinking small by remembering to fill the screen. Wide angle shots, group activities, and breath-taking scenery all have their place in video—but not on the small screen. Instead, make it up-close and personal. That means tight shots that focus on a single point of attention, with a minimum of distraction. Eliminate everything from the screen that doesn’t help tell the story, because if it doesn’t—it’s a distraction. Keep the production brightly illuminated, and remember that graphics and titles, if used at all, need to be large enough to be easily seen. Make certain that audio levels are sufficiently high, and use an external mic to minimize echoing. Position the camera close to the action, and avoid zooming. If you must, use optical zoom and not digital zoom…which simply enlarges the pixels. And finally, remember that smart phone viewing is usually a brief activity—so keep your video focused, short and sweet.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s site at http://www.vscreen.com/

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