What Video Tools are YOU Using?

by | Feb 20, 2014 | Video | 5 comments

videomarketingYes, I said Video…and don’t give me that lame:  “Well, I’m a voice-actor, and I don’t USE video” argument.

I try to hammer away at this theme at least once a month.  Video is the new air, food, and water.  It’s the hottest content going anywhere online, and you can’t afford NOT to be using it.

Basic video shooting and editing skills should be part of your toolkit….and you already have a smartphone (or tablet), right?…so you don’t need much more than that to get going.  Sure spend some bucks on a real video, webcam,  or digital cam if you want very crisp pics, but YouTube has changed all that.  HD is nice, but YouTube has proven that people are quite accepting of video that’s shaky, grainy, unprofessional, and poorly-framed.

You won’t allow that, of course, because you believe in a quality product, no matter the medium, right?

EDITOR

OK, so you have the camera, now you need an editor.  There are AMAZING apps for editing on smartphone or tablet.  Apple’s iMovie, ReelDirector, or Splice for iOS.  I don’t know about Android phones, but for Android tablet, there’s Magisto Video Editor.

But really, you’re gonna want a full-featured video editor for your computer, because they have all the bells and whistles.  I have no idea what to use for Apple/Mac ’cause I’m a Windows guy, but there are about a-million different 3rd-party programs for ANY OS.  My favorites are Serif’s MoviePlus, and Adobe Premiere Elements.  Both are amazingly rich in features, and Serif’s MoviePlus is ridiculously inexpensive for what you get.

POSTING, STORING, SHARING

Now comes the fun part.  How to post, store and share videos.  YouTube.  Hands-down.  Google friendly, easy as pie, and everyone uses it.  Vimeo is a wonderful alternative; also very popular, and in my mind, ScreenCast probably comes in 3rd.

Mentioning ScreenCast (by TechSmith) gives me the opportunity to also mention the value of screen-capture software.  In my estimation, no other program comes close to CamTasia.  Not cheap, but Holy Buckets…it just does everything in screen capture video editing.  Unbelievable what it can do, really.

TECHSMITH, FTW

TechSmith also is just now debuting a new video service that does it all…from start to finish.  It’s called  TechSmith Relay, and it appears to have been designed for teachers, instructors, and educational team settings.  Of course, Voice Actors have to adapt everyone else’s software to THEIR needs, and this one looks to be perfect for our uses too.  TechSmith is anxious to gain acceptance for Relay, and are offering a free 3-month evaluation.  ‘Not sure how much it costs after that, but, as I said, it’s quite a package.

I X’d through the above lines, because this system is waaaay too expensive, and designed for huge groups. I apologize that I did not research better.  For TechSmith, two other products are probably more suited to VO’s.

Jing (free pop-up screen capture)
SnagIt (rich-featured screen cap for a decent price)

Screen Captures from both Jing and SnagIt can be shared to Screencast.  I adore SnagIt, and use it every day.  A warehouse of add-on widgets and sharing apps make this so useful in a myriad of ways.  Well worth the price!

IT’S THE BOMB

Finally, in the video realm, I just have to mention BombBomb.  BombBomb is a video email service that has developed a full set of marketing tools.  So, think MailChimp for video.  You can make your own templates, mail to lists, and keep track of metrics…all built around your video message.

You can also hire a videographer, rent a studio, and have an editor do a professional job.  Obviously, that’s tops, but certainly more pricey.

I’ve posted some suggestions for maximizing your appearance on camera as someone making a personal appeal.  You can see it all for free…no strings attached at OnCamTips.

Video.  For marketing, for promotions, for telling your story, or just for bringing attention to your voice-acting.  Consider even putting your commercial demo to video as a way to post your wares on Pinterest, FaceBook, and Twitter.

CourVO

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5 Comments

  1. Paul Rarick

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the Tools Tips! You mentioned Techsmith and I have been using one of their programs called “Jing” for a long time. Great for easy capture of anything on your computer screen. I use it almost daily for various needs that arise. We’ll have to look into BombBomb. How are you thinking a voice talent would use that? Just the basic emailing a recent project once a month (or some frequency) to your list? We still use Constant Contact and have tons of links to videos in each email blast. I think there’s a point of overkill when it comes to sharing this stuff with clients and how often you do that. But it could be useful even as a social media item (sharing archived BombBomb blasts). Thanks! PR

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Thanks, Paul for mentioning that.

      I keep hearing that TechSmith is going to discontinue Jing, but there it is, still chugging along!

      Since I use SnagIt (another Techsmith product), I’ve uninstalled Jing… but you’re right. It’s mighty helpful.

      Thanks again for commenting!

      Dave C

      Reply
  2. Lee Pinney

    Dave,

    Although I read every blog that you write, I am guilty of never chiming in. This time is different. This blog hits home with me, as this is my primary source of income, with VO being a fun side gig for me. I was thrilled to read your comments on the added value of video content. Any time that I produce a video, I preach to my guys that video is as important as audio, and vice versa.

    How many times have you seen an movie on television, and found yourself continually raising and lowering the volume due to poor practices on the set? Similarly, how long will you stay tuned in to a movie with pristine audio, but you can’t make out any detail in the picture? I’m not talking about an intentionally dark scene filmed dimly lit for dramatic purposes, more so the camera operator that couldn’t find the iris, not to mention everyone else after him/her that let the project go out that way.

    This brings me to something that I didn’t necessarily agree with you on at first, and then I read your next sentence. Not since “The Blair Witch Project”, has it been cool to have as much shake in your camera as you get from cell phones and tablets. Unless you are incredibly talented, or use an accessory like the iOgrapher, you will most likely lose your audience before the end of your video.

    Which brings me to another point that has several caveats, none of which I will get into on your blog. Video length. Much like a voice demo, you will want to keep most of your videos to two minutes max. Even at two minutes, you are likely to lose your audience if you don’t get their attention with a) the title, b) a hook in the first 10 seconds, or c) an impactful visual that ties into the story in some fashion.

    I want to thank you for sharing the links to offerings in each category, as I am always looking for a better service, or perhaps a better workflow. As it turns out, in my business as with most, time IS money. FYI, I just signed up for a trial at TechSmith, thanks for that link.

    Unless I missed something there, the pricing for TechSmith Relay begins at $14,995 for 500 users in business and government organizations.

    And now you see why I had yet to post a comment on your blog. Brevity is not my bag baby!

    With much respect for you for keeping your insane schedule, a loyal fan,
    Lee

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Lee!

      Thank you so much for your comments…much appreciated!

      You are absolutely right…TechSmith Relay is WAAAAY too expensive for voice-actors. I shoulda drilled down further. You’re right about the price, and they only work with teams of 500 or so… I may take that reference out. Techsmith’s “JING” is more the speed for most VO’s on the go. 🙂

      And having said all that I did in my article, you’ll notice that the video on my home page was shot in a professional studio with professional lighting and cams and everything you need for a polished product. But that’s the TV guy in me. I know the difference between quality and schlock….especially with lighting….so important!

      And YES! Length…spot-on observation! Keep it less than two…in fact a minute or 1:15-1:30 is best with the attention span these days.

      Lee, you made my day with your visit and comments… no worries about the length… write soon, write often!

      Dave Courvoisier

      Reply
  3. Marc Scott

    Last year one of my goals was to invest in Final Cut Pro. I was really excited when I finally was able to make the purchase. It’s surprisingly user friendly, and I’ve really enjoyed creating videos with it.

    Mostly, to this point, I’ve used it to create videos of my voice over demos for posting them on my YouTube channel, but I’ve also used it to create a couple promo pieces for myself.

    As I get more familiar with it, I look forward to having a lot more fun!

    Reply

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