Show and Tell – Add Value with Video

Using video to Document a workshop on my iPad

Hey, it’s another blog post… I’ll pass thanks!

No, but wait… this one has a video… maybe I’ll stick around..!

We’re all a little bit impatient when it comes to finding the information we’re after – any yet how often have you ‘happily/accidentally’ lost an afternoon on YouTube? Just me? I doubt it! So, without question, if you want to deliver short chunks of information, quickly, and in an engaging manner then you can’t go far wrong with a video clip.

Tip 1) Video can be hosted free of charge at YouTube, Vimeo and others, and if you have a site hosted by the likes of WordPress then it’s a cinch to embed the video into a web page or blog post.

Video is a great way of visually getting a message across. I for one should use it more often to support my blogging activity but I do use video a lot in my work (see image above) in Service Design capturing user-journeys, for documenting workshops or illustrating a project – as I did here for Totally Dundee:

Video can also be great for sharing your working process. What better way give your audience insight into your daily routines than putting it in front of them! Imagine you work for ‘Carvers – The Pumpkin Carvers‘ – The average pumpkin takes around 30 minutes to sculpt into something scary – not an Oscar winner to be fair – however, get a little creative and you can achieve all sorts of wonders – like this:

or, how about this:

For more on Time-Lapse have a read of this.

The video below is for a project that I’ve been helping out on for a while.
Dementia Diary is about to begin the process of being piloted in Scotland. I created this video to bring the social services professionals who are less familiar with the concept up to speed. Given that time/money is precious, this video negates the need for an someone to visit various teams and explain the concept – we just send them the video.

UPDATE: Another aspect of this project was creating storyboards to tell why a Dementia Diary might be used, how it might come together or how it might look when it was finished. There are two ideas below which were illustrated by two key workers from Alzheimer Scotland, ie not illustrators. But with some very basic FREE software I made a slide show of their storyboard panels and added the audio from the feedback session of the workshop to tell the story.

In film-making (the Hollywood kind) this is similar to a process called Animatics – it’s a quick and inexpensive (but effective) way of telling a story using lo-fi techniques. And of course, if merited, a more polished version could be done afterwards.


Tip 2) If you want to get even more technical about your traffic then there are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plugins like this one which has the video show up as ‘on your site’ in Google listings (as opposed to its host destination on YouTube, etc…). It carries a cost but clearly a lot of people think it’s worth it.

And you don’t have to be a multi-media whizz. This video and the one directly before it were both created using Keynote (similar to Microsoft Powerpoint) – they’re essentially slide presentations exported to a movie clip and music added.
Again, if you get creative (and not too ‘bells and whistles’ with the effects), you can do a decent job.
There are also a range of simple tools available for mobile devices. I use iPhone and iPad so the apps I have are simply iMotionHD for time-lapse and animation and iMovie for editing. There are other apps too such as ToonCamera for a real-time comic-book effects – Video magic for photo-booth like distortion and colorisation. Also , and  – my final film below was captured, edited and exported to YouTube entirely on an iPad. (The Apps used would all work on iPad, and iPod touch.)

So it’s worth thinking about how you can use video to attract an audience to you blog, business or ideas – you don’t have to be a Steven Spielberg behind the camera or have a James Cameron budget – with a little creativity even the phone you already own can bump-start your movie career!

Action!

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