Tuesday, January 27, 2009

video for the small screen

This morning, I'll send you to the radio to learn what to do with online video, as you can find several useful tips in this National Public Radio story about how online viewing has changed the music video genre. Music may not be what you're communicating, but the story gleans great tips from music-video producers that can easily translate to your efforts, such as:

  • Assume viewers will see your work on a small screen, with plenty of distraction: IMs, email, noise, social networks and more.

  • Use plenty of eye candy, if appropriate, to draw viewers in.

  • Alternatively, keep it clean. No background and high contrast will help viewers focus on your subject.

  • Stay close, as in close-ups and face shots of those speaking. Crowd scenes and long shots don't translate well on the small screen.

  • Frame your shot in the center, to accommodate square or horizontal screens on both laptops and mobile phones.

  • Get creative. A winning concept goes further on the web than expensive production values.

The link to NPR's story lets you see a variety of music videos that exemplify the shift in production values from TV to online genres, with examples ranging from Beyonce to Michael Jackson. Check them out for ideas that may apply to your next online video.

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