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Topic: New Promo Video
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Jul 7, 2013 02:17PM)
Hey Everyone,

Over this 4-day holiday weekend, I've put in over 20 hours towards a new promo video for my corporate site. I used pics and video clips I've been collecting and used Pinnacle Studio to do the edits. I'm not terribly skilled with making video's. I don't need it to be perfect just yet, I just need to get something done to post on my new corporate site. I've yet a bit of work to do on the corp site and will ask for your input on that later.

Some day I'll hire a professional to film and make this video but for now I welcome any thoughts you may have on how I can enhance my homemade version with my limited skill set. Thanks guys...& ladies too.

http://youtu.be/IuH8T7NzjiE
Message: Posted by: JoshLondonMagic (Jul 7, 2013 03:54PM)
I applaud you for taking the time to put together a video. I recently put together a 2 min video for kid shows and it took me 6 hours (you can see it at http://www.TheSanDiegoMagician.com). When I did my corporate video I got a pro to do it hahaha

Your video though, I would add a few more seconds in for the written testimonials as I didn't have much time to read each testimonial.

Also, ask yourself this question after viewing the video again: What's in it for me?

If you were a potential buyer would you hire yourself after seeing that video? I'm not saying its bad and I'm not saying its good, I'm just saying that there were no benefits to booking you. Just something to think about.

Josh
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Jul 7, 2013 05:01PM)
Michael;

This is just my opinion.

In a 3:17 you tube video, I did not see one magic trick performed.

If I were going to hire you as a magician, I would like to see the flair and style in which you entertain with at least one magic trick on the video
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 7, 2013 07:26PM)
I was thinking the same thing, very little magic or amazement. I now the trend is to include testimonials, but there can be such a thing as too much of this and not enough contents and benefits to the customer.
Message: Posted by: JoshLondonMagic (Jul 7, 2013 08:57PM)
That's because testimonials are easy to get with your phone right after a show, but a few good shots of a routine is more difficult without a good camera and audio.

Josh
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 7, 2013 09:25PM)
I understand the purpose and reasoning of testimonials, but I think they are quite over-rated and over used, especially on a video. On a web site or printed promotional sheet they can be read in full or in part or ignored if desired, but on a video you are forced to have to sit through them.

More and more people are finding they can have a adverse reaction, especially from audience member testimonials. It may be one thing for a CEO or corporate HR person or event coordinator, but everytime I see an audience member testimonial I immediately think that the performer just told then what to basically say, which is how it usually happens.

My personal rule would be mo more than three absolutely great multi-purposal (I just made that up) testimonials strategically placed, no more. Rarely do I feel they contribute to the buying or booking decision. Social proof used to be at one time a contibuting factor, but with social media being what it has evoloved to I believe it's lost its impact.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Jul 7, 2013 09:59PM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-07 21:57, JoshLondonMagic wrote:
That's because testimonials are easy to get with your phone right after a show, but a few good shots of a routine is more difficult without a good camera and audio.

Josh
[/quote]

I did not say recording a video was going to be easy; I said it's my opinion that it was necessary to have a performance of parts of the show in a promotional video so the person watching it can decide for themselves if they like the style and routines of the entertainer
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Jul 8, 2013 10:20AM)
Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. I've never really liked clips in a promo reel of a trick done in a "studio" setting. I'd much rather that an event planner see the trick in a setting with an audience responding. With that said, capturing performance video that is clear and brief enough for a few second clip is more tricky. If it's a close-up effect, you need to have someone helping you who knows how to zoom in at the right time to catch the effect's detail. Also, I feel a bit awkward at times when performing and I have a cameraman following me around. I feel that it just makes the spectators slightly uncomfortable. Lastly, I lean towards not wanting to tip my hand too early on material that I might actually use at their event. I guess that I fear someone rewinding the clip 54 times to try to reverse engineer how it's done. Maybe I could go back and add a clip of something very fast like Extreme Burn or a card color change.
Message: Posted by: JoshLondonMagic (Jul 8, 2013 12:19PM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-07 22:59, Howie Diddot wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-07-07 21:57, JoshLondonMagic wrote:
That's because testimonials are easy to get with your phone right after a show, but a few good shots of a routine is more difficult without a good camera and audio.

Josh
[/quote]

I did not say recording a video was going to be easy; I said it's my opinion that it was necessary to have a performance of parts of the show in a promotional video so the person watching it can decide for themselves if they like the style and routines of the entertainer
[/quote]

Seems like what I said was taken out of context. All I was getting at is the reason we are seeing so many testimonial videos is because it's super easy to whip out your iPhone and record a testimonial than to have a professional shoot.

I agree with Mindpro that there is a time and place for video testimonials, but only a few and for a few seconds.

Josh
Message: Posted by: JoshLondonMagic (Jul 8, 2013 12:28PM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-08 11:20, MichaelDouglas wrote:
Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. I've never really liked clips in a promo reel of a trick done in a "studio" setting. I'd much rather that an event planner see the trick in a setting with an audience responding. With that said, capturing performance video that is clear and brief enough for a few second clip is more tricky. If it's a close-up effect, you need to have someone helping you who knows how to zoom in at the right time to catch the effect's detail. Also, I feel a bit awkward at times when performing and I have a cameraman following me around. I feel that it just makes the spectators slightly uncomfortable. Lastly, I lean towards not wanting to tip my hand too early on material that I might actually use at their event. I guess that I fear someone rewinding the clip 54 times to try to reverse engineer how it's done. Maybe I could go back and add a clip of something very fast like Extreme Burn or a card color change.
[/quote]

I'm sorry but this is just silly. You're a magician and if you offer a video on your site there should be a magic trick shown. I understand that getting good video is difficult when you're a solo performer, but invest $300 in a HD camera with a mic input. Invest in a wireless mic set up (the one I use is: http://www.amazon.com/Azden-WMS-PRO-Wireless-Microphone-System/dp/B00006JPD8/ref=sr_1_40?ie=UTF8&qid=1373304154&sr=8-40&keywords=camcorder+mic) and get a tripod.

Total cost = About $500 depending upon which camcorder you get.

At every show take your set up and shoot from different angles. I have over 20 hours of footage for my kid shows that I am going to have edited (by a professional) soon.

If you are serious about making money as a performer you need to have good quality stuff. If you can't hire a professional to shoot and edit the above solution works perfect. Granted you should try and get as much footage as possible so the pros have more to work with.

"Lastly, I lean towards not wanting to tip my hand too early on material that I might actually use at their event. I guess that I fear someone rewinding the clip 54 times to try to reverse engineer how it's done."

What if the trick you choose to keep out of the video because of this silly notion is the trick that lost you the gig.

In your video if you took out the word "magician" I would have no idea what you did.

The point of a promo video is to show you're not a weirdo, that you can do amazing magic, that people love you and that when someone plunks down $XXX to book you you're not going to embarrass them.

Josh
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Jul 9, 2013 05:36AM)
Ok...thanks everyone. It's time for some edits. Fewer testimonials and add footage of some effects. I know prices vary around the country somewhat, but what rates should I expect to pay for a pro to do the edits? Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: jugglery (Jul 9, 2013 12:21PM)
HI Michael,

It is always good to work on editing skills. You will learn a lot about the process (mostly, how difficult it is).

People here have made some valuable points. I'll add my own thoughts.

Not enough of you up front. The video of you actually working the show comes sooooooo late in the video. We see stills of you and we see lots of great reaction shots, but you need to establish who you are and what you do right in the beginning of the video.

I would slow down the Ken Burns Effect (where the camera pans across a still photo). It should be used sparingly, if at all. Because it is so fast and so prevalent, it confuses the eye. I was getting a little sea-sick from the movement :) That shot of you and another guy at Camp Diva is not seen, because it moves too fast AND it has a caption under it. The eyes can't take in that much stimulus all at once. If you are going to use that photo with a caption, you can't have the image move. And besides, I have not a clue who is with you in that photo. It doesn't show you doing anything except posing with a man in a suit.

Video is prime real estate. EVERY shot should have a purpose and should forward the narrative of why the viewer should hire you. Read that again. EVERY shot should be filled with purpose and be part of the story.

At :13 there is a wonky edit. The guy repeats himself and then the audio breaks off into another sentence. It doesn't flow.
At 1:20, the audio cuts out with every photo. Sort of jarring.

The best indication of who you are and what you do comes in at 2:37. From that point on the video gets stronger.

One other thing to keep in mind. When you use copyrighted music, you run the risk of being shut down. I don't know if it is still the case, but YouTube used to go so far as to remove the sound from a video if it was under copyright. It is best to use royalty-free music in your videos.

Another reason to use royalty-free music is the fact that there are dozens of other performers using that very same music. You want to differentiate yourself, not look and sound like just another magician.

Another thing you might consider is adding a voice over. That way, you can actually TELL the audience what they need to know. It will heighten the images and will make the benefits of hiring you much more clear.

Best of luck. I look forward to your next edit.

Steve
Message: Posted by: jugglery (Jul 9, 2013 12:30PM)
Oh, and I don't want to be seen as pushing a product, but I do video editing (since you asked for info on having it done for you).

You can get a feel for my work at http://www.steverusselljuggles.com/steve-does-video

You can contact me through my website and we can discuss things further, if you wish.

Steve
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Jul 9, 2013 12:35PM)
Thanks so much Steve. I really appreciate the specific comments you and others have made. I'll make those corrections. The guy in the suit is an actor in a couple of popular TV shows. I'll omit that shot since it doesn't convey much value to the reel.

Yes, Josh getting footage of kid shows is much much easier for me. One of the hard things about my stand-up corporate shows is that it's common for them not to allow me to video them or even take photo's of their employees. Even so, I'll work to get some quality clips from restaurant gigs where this is not as much of an issue.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 12, 2013 09:00PM)
I basically agree with what was mentioned above. Add some effects with flash so it can grab the viewers attention. I did noticed the spectator's amazement at times, but I did not notice the effect. A fish appearing in a glass is too small to notice.

Work on having multiple promo corporate videos. One video showing your close-up effects for corporate. Another video with stand up effects at the corporate event. Another video with testimonials from people dealing with corporate. No more than 3 testimonials should be on the video.
Message: Posted by: JoshLondonMagic (Jul 12, 2013 11:24PM)
Nice to see you here Steve!

Steve does tremendous work btw!!!

Josh London
Message: Posted by: Herr Brian Tabor (Jul 13, 2013 09:41PM)
I like the video. I agree that maybe the testimonials were too abundant, but if I were going to place some magi in there, I don't think it'd be an entire effect, rather a few clips of something visual happening, and the reactions. Just my two cents.
Message: Posted by: Vick (Jul 14, 2013 05:55PM)
What kind of work are you trying to promote with this video?
Only watched about 1:30 (video froze), up to that point all I saw was strolling ;-(

Everything else that was said here and maybe it was just me but it seems the video volume was a bit uneven.
Message: Posted by: Greensboro (Jul 15, 2013 05:03PM)
Michael,
Your editing skills will likely get better down the road. You may get better video equipment tomorrow. But if you want something better to put up right away, I would suggest a 90-second video in which you speak directly to the camera, describing who you are and what you do. Remember that people aren't hiring the tricks, they're hiring you. Get your personality across and you'll sell some shows. The shooting and editing for this type of video could not be easier: stationary camera, stationary you, consistent sound (for better or worse). If you feel that you want to have a trick in the clip, do a coin roll or a top change while you are explaining the services you offer. Best of luck.
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Jul 17, 2013 12:08PM)
Thanks again everyone. Steve Russell, I've sent you a message.
Message: Posted by: InstantMagicBen (Aug 4, 2013 10:09AM)
This video was very good, as said previously more tricks and less time talking. Also, 3 and 1/2 mins is a bit lengthy in my opinion! You need to get there attention in the first 10 seconds
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Aug 26, 2013 09:57PM)
Hi Michael

It is not a bad job for video editing. The more you do it the better you get & the easier it becomes. Your 20 hours was worth it. Next time it might only take 15 hours. Here are the things that I noticed 1st.

1. It seems like you have used the image stabilization feature to post process the video the remove shakey camera effects. However you have laid text over the video before doing the image stabilization. That is why your text appears to move & wave about because it is getting manipulated along with the rest of the image in the stabilisation effect.

2. I don't like the constant fade to blacks. Usually a fade to black would signify the passing of time. For example the end of a night shot followed by a morning shot. In your video you have the fade to & from black but the same background sounds runs through. This makes it confusing. I'd probability just stick to simple snap cuts.

I agree with what the others said about the over use of testimonials. The amazed reactions & laughter from the audiences I feel is much stronger than the spoken testimonials. If you use testimonials you are better to have the type that instead of saying what a wonderful time they had are more like eye witness accounts of miracles. Think of the old David Copperfield TV specials. They used a different type of testimonial from the audience. To see what I mean look at this video from the 2:30 mark : http://youtu.be/VAEw-gtDkO4

Also the sound quality was quite poor. Having a good quality microphone makes a big improvement and is so often overlooked. I just got a TASCAM DR-05. Take a look at something like that. I think it would be well worth it.

Did you start with a script for this video? Try starting with a script before anything is filmed. That way your camera operator knows what kind of shots you are going for.

Also take a look at this video: http://youtu.be/4tcWMoxjYEE

I think it is a nice example of what a magicians' promo video could look like.