5 Takeaways: Speed Rounds

Video vibes: Tips and tricks to make yours even better

Jeff Dillon has owned Dillon Video Productions in Ocala for 37 years. He came to Ocala expecting to stay for four months and never left, first working for Jim Kirk of WMOP Radio then for WCJB TV20 and WESH TV2 before starting his own business.

Dillon said the most important part of any video is the ability to tell a concise and cohesive story. Determine whether a story is worthy of capturing the target audience’s attention. Since the human attention span for viewing content is only about nine seconds, it’s critical to hook the viewer and grab their attention right off.

  1. When it comes to producing a video – the pre-production, production and post-production – the most overlooked and important area is pre-production.
  2. Pre-production essentials should include a specific shot list, script if possible, gear list, contact sheet and model release form – this is mandatory, and if children are involved, will need parent’s or guardian’s signature.
  3. Many videos, especially short form for quick turnaround, can be shot and produced using our phones.
  4. Know the lay of the land ahead of time. For example, if a building is in the shot, what direction does it face? That will help determine the best time of the day for the video shoot, and where to the people being interviewed feel most comfortable.
  5. If an interview is involved, always do a pre-interview by phone or preferably via videoconferencing. Going into the project with a comfortable relationship, rather than trying to establish one on the day of shooting, can also net valuable information that enhances the story.

Research? Who has time for that?

Allison Campbell, APR, CPRC, owns her own public relations business, A&A Campbell Group, and also serves as an elected member of the Marion County School Board. Campbell has extensive research experience in nonprofit, communications and healthcare industries. She is also a doctoral candidate with emphasis in communications research.

  1. It may not take a lot of time, or expense, to get off to a great start.
  2. Formal research is scientific, sourced, objective and can include content analysis, but it is more time consuming. Informal research often takes less time, can provide quick results and is typically subjective, e.g., feedback in an exit survey.
  3. Regardless of whether research is formal or informal, it will be primary or secondary – done with original data you collect (primary) or using someone else’s work (secondary).
  4. In setting up or reviewing research, questions to consider are: who, what, where, when and how.
  5. Recommended resources: “Influence: Science and Practice” (fifth edition) by R.B. Cialdini; “Diffusion of Innovations” (fifth edition) by Everett M. Rogers; and Google Scholar, which provides abstracts of peer-reviewed literature.

Heads up: Here’s your headshot

Danielle Veenstra, digital marketing manager for CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, earned national recognition in 2018 as part of the University of Florida’s multimedia news team for work published in the Miami Herald documenting Cuba’s water crisis.

  1. Whether taking or receiving a photograph, upbeat energy is what makes or breaks a photo session. Keeping the energy high and your clients happy, while cultivating a comfortable atmosphere, are all part of capturing a great photo.
  2. Communication is key: giving genuine compliments to your client or asking about their day, their family or their passions reveals the true person behind the professional mask.
  3. Light is your friend. Having a main light source as well as a fill light will cast flattering shadows, while highlighting the best planes of a client’s face. 
  4. Posture is important even if we don’t see it in the final photo. The way your client holds their shoulders and their head, and even how they stand, contributes to a confident or unconfident facial expression. Take a moment to walk through positioning the feet correctly, rolling the shoulders up and away from the face and clasping the hands in front or behind the body.
  5. Finally, reassuring and talking through next steps of the process with your client makes the photo session end with a positive experience. Let them know when to expect the photo, what kind of crop they will see and the type of post-processing you plan to do. Wrapping up a photoshoot is just as important as starting one.