Do’s and don’ts of Web video

You don’t need to hire Martin Scorsese to create your agency’s online videos, but for whoever handles those duties, Keenan Howell, communications director of Virginia’s Prince William County Service Authority, offers the following guidelines.

  • Don’t show shot after shot of people talking if you can avoid it. Back-to-back sound bites are preferable to narration, but it helps to film locations or activities to show while people are providing their commentary.

  • Do get a shot that establishes where your story is taking place, and then film your subject walking in the door of the building and other cutaway shots that you can edit in later to increase visual interest.

  • Don’t frame your video so that your main subject is in the distance. Users often view Web videos in small windows, so try to fill the frame with important information.

  • Do make sure that any music you use has been composed for your production or can be used for free without violating anyone’s copyright.

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