Any advice on my instructional videos?

davidwlazdavidwlaz Beginner grinnerRegistered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
edited August 13, 2012 in Video
Hello,

We're filming tango instructional videos, and are getting ready to do our 2nd batch of videos. Sample video:

http://learntodancetango.com/video/35863752/#section=comment

Right now we are using 1 wireless mic (VHF audio technica), and 2 video camera's (Panasonic HDC-TM700K). We are

going to probably add 1 camera to get feet shots, as well as moving to 2 wireless mic's, so she is miced as

well.

Any advice? Particularly on how to improve the sound or the overall video quality.

Thanks!
David

Comments

  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,330 Major grins
    edited August 11, 2012
    Just my random thoughts for what they are worth... I make technical instructional videos.

    Overall I think the instruction itself is good, but I think the video could be improved.

    1:12 "...side to his right to, to his left..."
    Verbal typo? When you do instructions live in a class you can correct yourself on the fly, but in an instructional video you have to do a retake to get the words right.

    Woman in dark top and jacket blends into the unlit curtain in the background. The movement of both of your legs is easy to see, but the movement of your torsos is hidden by shadows between you, and for the woman dark top and jacket.

    Woman's voice is just a tad muffled and at times noticeably lower level than the mans, probably because she has no mic and her voice picked up only by the mans mics' So the additional mic should help.

    For me I think it might be a better to start by explaining why you are teaching the "basic". Assuming I'm seeing things properly, I don't know anything about Tango, it might help to preface everything with something like...

    "The tango has basic step and everything else you learn in Tango will depend on you mastery of this step (then in a humorous voice) which interestingly enough is called the basic."

    ... you want to give the user a compelling reason to learn what you are about to teach and the user wants to know how what they are learning fits into the overall topic.

    At the end asking the viewer to practice along with you is good, but closing with something like:

    "Practice the basic along with us to master it and you will be ready to move on to more complicated steps."

    ties back to the opening and remind the view why they want to learn the basic.

    In general this opening and closing fits in with "tell the viewer what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them", which usually works well. Which breaks down into intro, topic, summary.

    Sometimes the man is giving instructions with his back to the viewer... this is disconcerting because you can't see his lips moving. Unless it necessary it better to have the speaker's lips visible to the viewer. In this case you could turn the couple 180 degrees or have the woman, who is facing the view at this point, give the instructions.

    Overall the video is very engaging and I feel like I did learn something. However the lighting, or rather lack of it, detracts from the video.

    Your instructional technique is not intimidating at all and easy to follow, which is important and your personalities show though and connect with the viewer which is also a good thing.



    davidwlaz wrote: »
    Hello,

    We're filming tango instructional videos, and are getting ready to do our 2nd batch of videos. Sample video:

    http://learntodancetango.com/video/35863752/#section=comment

    Right now we are using 1 wireless mic (VHF audio technica), and 2 video camera's (Panasonic HDC-TM700K). We are

    going to probably add 1 camera to get feet shots, as well as moving to 2 wireless mic's, so she is miced as

    well.

    Any advice? Particularly on how to improve the sound or the overall video quality.

    Thanks!
    David
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Registered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited August 12, 2012
    davidwlaz wrote: »
    Hello,

    We're filming tango instructional videos, and are getting ready to do our 2nd batch of videos. Sample video:

    http://learntodancetango.com/video/35863752/#section=comment

    Right now we are using 1 wireless mic (VHF audio technica), and 2 video camera's (Panasonic HDC-TM700K). We are

    going to probably add 1 camera to get feet shots, as well as moving to 2 wireless mic's, so she is miced as

    well.

    Any advice? Particularly on how to improve the sound or the overall video quality.

    Thanks!
    David

    I think Dan did a great assessment!

    I like the overall ambiance in your video, but just off the cuff I would tend to want to light the space much, much more than you have. Ambiance is fine for a scene in a film, but this is an instructional video, so light is paramount since you never really know what a given learner may want to focus on to aid them.
    tom wise
  • davidwlazdavidwlaz Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
    edited August 12, 2012
    Dan7312 wrote: »
    Just my random thoughts for what they are worth... I make technical instructional videos.

    Thank you so much! Your feedback is really detailed and actionable, and I appreciate it. Its really hard to get "real" feedback. So, THANK YOU!.
    Woman in dark top and jacket blends into the unlit curtain in the background. The movement of both of your legs is easy to see, but the movement of your torsos is hidden by shadows between you, and for the woman dark top and jacket.

    Thank you! I didn't notice. I'll make sure our outfits always contrast more in the future!
    For me I think it might be a better to start by explaining why you are teaching the "basic".
    ...
    At the end asking the viewer to practice along with you is good, but closing with something like:

    I thought a long time about this (earlier on), and we actually did a version that was much longer and more complete / ordered /etc.

    We put them up and tested them, and this does better.

    There is _a_Lot_ of stuff we cut, because this is free video for online delivery, and people seem to have a very short attention span.
    Sometimes the man is giving instructions with his back to the viewer... this is disconcerting because you can't see his lips moving. Unless it necessary it better to have the speaker's lips visible to the viewer. In this case you could turn the couple 180 degrees or have the woman, who is facing the view at this point, give the instructions.

    Often times I try to show the different parts of the step from different angles, but if you think it wiser I could remove the "back to the viewer" angle. However, this is also the easiest angle for the leader to see, as the leader can then mimic behind me.

    Your thoughts?
    Overall the video is very engaging and I feel like I did learn something. However the lighting, or rather lack of it, detracts from the video.

    Thank you. We have 3 lights, which can put out between 600 and 2000 Watts (Halogen). Right now we are using 2 (one to the left, and one above and a little to the right). What do you suggest?

    Thanks so much!!!!
    David
  • davidwlazdavidwlaz Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
    edited August 12, 2012
    I think Dan did a great assessment!

    I like the overall ambiance in your video, but just off the cuff I would tend to want to light the space much, much more than you have. Ambiance is fine for a scene in a film, but this is an instructional video, so light is paramount since you never really know what a given learner may want to focus on to aid them.

    By lighting ... do you mean it should be brighter overall? (For example, by adjusting the brightness on the camera / upping the amperage of the lights) Or, do you mean we need to change what we do with the lighting?

    We have 3 lights, which can put out between 600 and 2000 Watts (Halogen). Right now we are using 2 (one to the left, and one above and a little to the right). What do you suggest?

    Right now we are using 1200 Watts each.

    Best,
    David
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Registered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited August 12, 2012
    davidwlaz wrote: »
    By lighting ... do you mean it should be brighter overall? (For example, by adjusting the brightness on the camera / upping the amperage of the lights) Or, do you mean we need to change what we do with the lighting?

    We have 3 lights, which can put out between 600 and 2000 Watts (Halogen). Right now we are using 2 (one to the left, and one above and a little to the right). What do you suggest?

    Right now we are using 1200 Watts each.

    Best,
    David


    Hi David, I just mean brighter overall. If someone was to come to me and ask me about making a Dance instructional Video the first thing I'd think of is using a totally White Space. Why? Because it is about the movement. The nuances can only be ascertained by really being able to discern the movements well and often times that requires high contrast between dancers and BG. So While it may be gosh to think of using such bright lighting on such an intimate dance, having a bunch more light might simply help folks to be able to visibly see the nuances of the routine.

    Hint: Google; Dance Instructional Video's.

    Have Fun!
    tom wise
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,330 Major grins
    edited August 13, 2012
    When the man's back is to the viewer have the woman give the instructions. The back and forth between them would help keep up viewer interest and make an already engaging video more engaging.

    Even in a promotional video I think you still want to follow the "tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them" formula. In fact in a promotional video it's important to put your best foot forward, so to speak:D

    Another way to do a promo is to put together lots of really short cuts, where the cuts are obvious to the viewer, to give the the big picture view of the product. I don't think that works for an instructional video though, I think a short lesson, as you are doing, will be much more effective.

    davidwlaz wrote: »
    Often times I try to show the different parts of the step from different angles, but if you think it wiser I could remove the "back to the viewer" angle. However, this is also the easiest angle for the leader to see, as the leader can then mimic behind me.

    Your thoughts?
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