Speaking out loud

Today I’ve been having fun. It started when I picked up a copy of the Times and checked the supplement on collaboration, published by Raconteur. I have two articles in this, and although I’ve been a journalist for 25 years I still get a kick out of that. Look, stop staring.

The other fun thing has been a video shoot. Video shoots are becoming increasingly popular because the hard copy newspaper and magazine is no longer the dominant form – or it won’t be soon. And once you’re on a phone, tablet or computer, you’re no longer wedded to the written word only.

So I’ve recorded six brief pieces to camera for Computer Business Review, for which I’ve been given the title “Contributing Editor” for the New Style of IT hub, sponsored by HP. They’re little more than video blogs, drawing from recent news items. I’ve also done video interviews for them – a screen grab is above. I’ll be in shot initially on the new vids, then fade to voiceover.

Some stuff I’ve learned about video work is:

  • I get up in the morning, think I look terrible if I’m supposed to be filming, I apply more moisturiser, still think I look dreadful, and nobody notices. This must mean I look like this all the time.
  • I don’t do stereotypes but it’s always the woman in the room who notices my tie isn’t straight.
  • If you decide to do “tieless” (see above) you run the risk of undoing one button too many and looking like a faded 1980s rock star but without the glittering career behind you.

More seriously there are some practical points:

  • If you’re doing a set of videos for uploading at different times, remember to take subtle changes of outfits – nothing major, your hair won’t change length so anyone who wants to check whether they were all filmed at the same time can do so. Today I recorded six videos using two jackets and three ties, for example – just enough so they don’t look too identikit.
  • Always use a professional crew when you can. Today I was working with 7 Storey Media, the video on my journalism page was shot by Jeremy Nicholas (and for what it’s worth the photo at the header of my pages is from Will White). Each has been a pleasure and I’d recommend them without hesitation. They know the bits I don’t about pictures and composition.
  • Upload the videos to a place that’s good for sharing. Professional Outsourcing Magazine uses Vimeo, and you can see I’ve shared a video from this on my journalism page. Computer Business Review uses something else and in spite of entering my WordPress username and password constantly, it won’t let me do any more than share a still as I’ve done at the top of this post.

Do you use video on your website or publication? If you don’t, it’s probably about time to start thinking about it. If I can help you as a presenter, voiceover or with scripting for videos, do drop me a note by clicking here and I’ll look forward to working with you. If you’d rather leave your details below, feel free to use the form.


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