A camcorder is not just for holidays, weddings and Birthday parties. You have in your hands a powerful tool that can get you noticed, appreciated and even followed by the social media. You don’t need to have learned your chops through years of making TV adverts like film directors Ridley Scott and John Boorman.
This article encourages you to push the envelope and has a go at making a quality video that you, your friends, and strangers will appreciate. I remember how thrilled I was to receive some unsolicited positive comments from people I’d never met on YouTube in respect of a video I made and posted there, accompanied by my own music soundtrack.
Here are five steps towards making a good quality YouTube video with your camcorder.
1. Audiences Have Low Attention Time Span
This is the 21st Century. Everyone has an attention span of a fickle butterfly. Check out how long you stay on a site before moving on when you’re just browsing. Usually less than 5 seconds. Whatever you film and upload to YouTube it has to have something that is going to grab people by the collar and shake them in the first few seconds. It could be that the main highlight of your film is premiered in the opening seconds of the video, rather like a film trailer shows you all the main action bits of the film in 20 seconds. The hook could also be a clever attention-grabbing title, but without a “wow” factor in the first 10 seconds of your film, most people will skedaddle off to another site.
No point shooting a video that people have to peer at their monitors at to make out what’s happening. If shooting indoors always have strong supplementary lighting. It will not only make the video more easily viewable, but it will be crisper and up the quality, especially if you are zooming or panning. I have seen the most sophisticated and expensive camcorders produce videos that I’d be embarrassed to put my name to on a public site. If you don’t want to buy a good video light then hire one for a day, or better still borrow one from a friend or find some friends to buy some video lighting between you. You all won’t want to be using it every day, will you?
Always use a tripod. Nothing gets people annoyed more than a shaky camera. Tripods are cheap and can fold up small. They are also very light and thus easily transported. It will transform your video from an amateur tossed off the shoulder type of disposable view once and forget type of affair, to one that people will admire, and pass on to their friends. You may be well on your way to be the next viral sensation!
4. Read and Follow the YouTube Rules
These can change from time to time, but at present videos uploaded through YouTube’s Single File Uploader have to be under 2GB. There is also a 15-minute length limit for all videos. However, as I said earlier, you want something that is going to grab someone from the off, and not meander like a slow-moving semi-stagnant stream through a dull landscape.
YouTube accepts a wide range of video file formats such as.WMV, AVI, MOV, and.MPG transferred from most digital cameras, camcorders, and cell phones. Optimise your video if you can- consider converting to MPEG4 at full resolution and then resizing to 320×240 using a high quality resizing algorithm. To make HD vids you need to have 1280x720p at a bitrate over 5mbps so a high compression codec is needed to keep the file size down and at this time YouTube recommends using h264 with aac audio. If all this sounds a bit “techy” just look around the internet and see what other people do. I worked out the best way for me to convert from my camcorder after I praised someone’s video on YouTube and asked them for tips.
Silent videos belong to the silent era of pre-1920s cinema. You need sound to complement your video. This could be just cleaning up the sound so that the background noises are reduced and any speech is enhanced, or perhaps a subtle score to your video. Music can be your own original piece of music or your favorite desert island disc. Just make sure the music doesn’t distract from the video action.
Finally, combine all the above and experiment. Don’t post inferior work on YouTube. Film a lot with your camcorder: Trial and error is the best way to eventually arrive at that video that you will be proud of and that will garner admiration and have people adding your name to their favorites on YouTube.