Tips for better videos from Mike Filsaime’s new baby… many of these are totally obvious to a pro, but a few are worth making a note of – so here’s the entire list.

  1. First few frames use a simple graphic or fade up, as the players often choke about 1 second in it seems – this is worth testing
  2. They refer to a “Cold Open”, which really means immediate benefit to a “cold audience” i.e. someone who doesn’t know you, like you, and/or trust you – what’s in it for me to watch this? Show it up front i.e. 13 video tips for more sales or 11 secrets to XYZ.
  3. Uneven audio.. easy to fix really. Use a limiter if needed.
  4. Tighten your edits.. this one is pretty obvious
  5. Always expose for the face and white balance – [beyond their video always shoot neutral, then color balance / correct in post]
  6. Lens should be about the same height as the subject [they don’t say this, but this is purely for business, when you want the subject to appear neutral or business-friendly. A low angle makes the subject domineering, a high angle makes the subject seem small, emotionally.]
  7. Audio: Normalize first to baseline i.e. to avoid the really loud / really quiet parts.
  8. Solid colors are best, no patterns (see Moireing). Avoid solid black or solid white unless you really know lighting well – ┬áideal might be light blue for example with a grey suit for a classic business look.
  9. Name cards – the first time we see anyone on screen, take a tip from news teams and add a title card with their name and title.
  10. Pricing – show value (benefit, more accurately) way before you ever show pricing, regardless of whether the product is a nickel. [Even better: Show why you need the benefits i.e. sell to implication, i.e. how life will be when you have this or don’t have it, then cover some features, then build trust, then call to action.. we have a whole series on copyrighting – check it out]
  11. Tight edits – again, they say 6 frames after or before you stop speaking, which at 30FPS (standard video, well, technically it’s 29.97 for most due to TVs on USA AC power but anyway, 1/5th of a second).
  12. Doing a screencast? Your desktop, if you’re going to show it at all, should help your branding / image / call to action. Hide your icons.