Sunday, June 28, 2009

Spelman's Video Retreat


Thank you for your interest in learning how to leverage digital media to improve your communications efforts at Spelman College.

Internet technologies now allow organizations, individuals, and institutions to produce and distribute media quickly and at greatly reduced costs.

Before we get into the presentation, I want to share a little bit of information about myself. I'm the founder and Sr. Producer of a media consulting/video production company called Visual Eye Media. I've worked as broadcast news reporter for more than a decade. I've worked for WTVT-TV Fox 13 in Tampa Florida, Black Family Channel, HDNews (freelance correspondent), and the Associated Press (freelance video journalist).

I also founded a video blog called My Urban Report in 2006, which features independent news and information. I've covered the Jena 6 March, President Obama's 2007 campaign stop in Atlanta, I've interviewed Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and have produced more than 150 video podcasts that are syndicated, and distributed throughout the Internet.

In addition, I'm working to complete a Masters in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida, and teach digital media production, host workshops, and speak on panels about digital media, social media, and media relations.

Today's workshop is designed to give you some hands on experience, and practical instruction to help you produce videos for online distribution.

The agenda for the workshop is as follows:

1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Introduction: How to Leverage Communications and New Media

* Video and Social Media Best Practices
* Cameras and Equipment
* Shooting Basics
* Group Project
* Regroup/Critique of group projects
* From Camera to Web
* Video Editing Demonstration

Introduction: Leveraging Communications and New Media

The Internet is revolutionizing the way news and rumors are spread, shared, and reported on by the media.

"Citizen journalists" are breaking news, and capturing newsworthy moments.
Blogs have become a popular and cost affordable way to publish information.
Social networks, and communities like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have sped up the news cycle, and pose many challenges to mainstream media.

Social Media: The collaborative process of sharing information, engaging in conversations, and building knowledge through networks, communities, and sites.


Video is the most compelling medium for persuading, informing, and communicating. Until the rise of online video, producing and distributing video was cost prohibitive.

from Comscore
In March, Google Sites once again ranked as the top U.S. video property with 5.9 billion videos viewed (40.9 percent online video market share), with accounting for more than 99 percent of all videos viewed at the property.

77% of the total Internet audience viewed video online
99.7 million viewers watched 5.9 billion videos on YouTube
Avg. view length was 3.4 minutes.

Benefits of social media
1. Free
2. Marketing/Branding/PR
3. Leverage the power of key influencers and fans
4. Distribute communications without tradition media
5. Create grassroots buzz

Challenges of social media
1. Loss of control
2. Time consuming
3. Easy to make mistakes


1. Important to develop a social media policy for your organization.
2. Only engage in social media if you have well defined goals, and a strategy to measure results.
2. Understand your audience, develop, your message, and outreach strategy.
3. Identify your supporters, fans, and key influencers.
4. Have a social media crisis plan in place.
5. Monitor the conversations about your brand/organization.


1. Know your audience, purpose, and reason for producing a video.
2. Determine your available budget/resources.
3. Plan and prepare
4. Find ways to make videos fun and entertaining
5. Include videos in PR/Marketing efforts.
6. Produce videos that will appeal to bloggers, social media consumers.


There are a variety of cameras and equipment that can be used in a production.
In general a 3-chip camera (or HD) with XLR inputs, and a tripod will produce high quality video.

A consumer grade camera w. microphone, and tripod can also provide adequate production quality if professional production methods are used.

A flip camera can provide adequate quality video, and is great for one take interview segments (Easy upload).


1. Know your basic shots (WS = Wide Shot: Establishes location; MS = Medium Shot: Follow action; CU = Close Up: Intimacy)
2. Keep camera still (minimize pans, zooms).
3. Hold shots for a minimum of tens seconds.
4. Understand the rule of thirds.

Rule of Thirds Video

Group Projects

Break into 4 groups
Group #1 3 People
Group #2 3 People
Group #3 3 People
Group #4 2 People