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All Video is Not Created Equal: Building, Parading & #McConnelling By Jennifer Donaldson

Urban Land Institute’s Building on Innovation Video

This is an example of a video that misses on all fronts… the camerawork, lighting and audio are all subpar. Even if someone produces a video for free for your organization, it would be better to have text only on your Site trying to get these ideas across than a video that is so distractingly unattractive.

In terms of the camerawork, the framing and camera placement on all shots is poor. For example, note the first shot of the panel from the side. The edit in the middle of a bad pan at 1:40 was jarring. The pan left across the speakers from 2:49 – 2:59 was unacceptable.

In terms of the lighting, the participants look sick and/or alien because of the lack of professional lighting and a misunderstanding of how to use available light. I can tell the lights in the room are on and there is a large uncovered window in the room. I’m guessing it’s a bright day. I know this because the natural light is making them look blue and the lights above their heads are giving them streaks of yellow. Natural light and tungsten light have completely different light temperatures and colors. Outdoor light reads blue and tungsten light reads yellow. It is not a good idea to try to use both kinds of light in the same shot.

In terms of audio, there are microphones on the participants, but the audio is inconsistent. The moderator sounds hollow as if his microphone is not on and his audio is coming from someone else’s microphone. The gentleman next to him holds his microphone for the first part of the session and then clips it onto his tie too low to get good audio at the end of the presentation. The microphone wire that is not tucked in, or “dressed” does not look very professional.

Jeff McCormick’s St. Patrick’s Day Video

Here, we start with a bang. The opening grabs your attention and takes the viewer to the heart of the parade. Thanks to sharp editing and great natural sound, the energy of the parade comes through the screen and makes you to march along.

Going through, you get to know the candidate from his perspective as well as from the sidelines, thanks to short clips of community members and parade-goers who share their insight on what it will mean to have a new Governor who is an Independent and whose focus is creating jobs. The messaging is strong.

The top notch videography as well as crisp editing work well together to move the story along. This video is a tad over two minutes, but seems much shorter.

The crowd comes off as a fun group that is giving a positive response to a new name in Massachusetts politics. After all, the camera found and focused on those people who were dressed to the nines in green getups and essential St. Patty’s Day dress. All of these details create an atmosphere of excitement that leaves you wanting more. What politician doesn’t want curiosity from a new crowd?

McConnell Working for Kentuckians Campaign Ad

Hahahahahaha! This is a scream and a current YouTube sensation. It has over 100,000 hits in only 6 days.

Senator Mitch McConnell is running for re-election and this simple 2 minutes plus video has no natural sound from any of the situations Senator Mitch McConnell is shown in and no interview sound from him, or narration explaining who he is and why one should vote for him, just music. There are no special effects or clever edits, it’s just Senator Mitch McConnell looking icky sitting behind desks, signing pieces of paper, accepting file folders and smiling. The smile looks so staged and uncomfortable that this video seems like a joke. In fact, many beginning with Jon Stewart have produced parodies of it.

What does this tell us? It tells us that Not All Videos are Created Equal and you never know what’s going to catch people’s fancy.

Note to self, next time I produce a video, I’m going to send it to Jon Stewart.

By the way … here’s Jon Stewart’s parody.

Please send a link for any video that you would like to have critiqued.

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