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Video content: how to produce and when it is time to refuse

Over the past few years, research has regularly been published on what the future of video content is. For example, the American company Orchestrate predicts that in 2016, 1.5 billion people will be consumers of video content. However, most of the works do not specify what kind of video in question. Online cinemas is one story, ugc video about cats is another, training videos are third.
Should the editors spend money on producing their own video? Stories when a video shoots and “explodes the Internet” provoke online media to produce their own video. But the truth is that not all video content is equally promising.
We tell about the experience of “Lady Mail.Ru”: what it is like to create our own videos, what difficulties we encountered in the process and why in the end we stopped shooting videos.
Which movie format to choose
Training videos on cooking and beauty have been on Lady Mail.Ru since 2011. Since 2013, we began to release them daily and expanded the theme – we added fashion, fitness and home.
A freelance team from the producer, cameraman and editor worked on the production of the video. On average, one video cost 10,000 rubles. 3-4 rollers were usually shot per shift. Less is unprofitable, more is difficult, quality began to suffer.
For two years, we tried different formats: videos without music and with music, with voice and without voice, with subtitles and without, with a person in the frame and without a person. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. There is no ideal format; it is only a matter of taste and the tasks assigned to the project.

One of the first beauty videos
Movies with music, without voice and with subtitles are a convenient format for educational videos, because its meaning is understandable regardless of whether there are headphones on hand or not. This is an important criterion, since the main traffic to the site falls on daylight hours, and at work not all users can watch video with sound.

The clips with the person in the frame are perhaps the most unpredictable: their success is 90% dependent on whether the audience likes the character or not, whether it looks good or not. So, over the year of all the chefs we tried, readers fell in love with only one – Alexei Zharikov (CulinayOn Culinary Studio). Fell in love in the literal sense – take a look at the comments.

In fact, the person’s qualifications and experience in the frame are not critical to the success of the video. Readers will always find something to complain about. In the kitchen without a headscarf – hair falls into food, with an scarf – ugly, slowly chopped – the first day in the kitchen, quickly chopped – found something to brag about, often come out with one presenter – tired, replaced with another – whom you offered us, return how It was. Nevertheless, the comments of the audience, of course, should be listened to, they are rational.

Video example with a man and music, but without subtitles
Rollers without a person, to music and with subtitles are my favorites (for example, Allrecipes is shot this way), but they are one of the most difficult in terms of organization. Despite the fact that there is no person in the frame, he still has to take part in the process. To persuade someone for free (budget, alas, not rubber) to spend the shooting day so that you will not be shown in the frame later is an almost impossible task for streaming work.
This problem could be solved by handing over the production of rollers to one person who himself knows how to cook, and remove, and assemble. But, firstly, finding such a person is not easy, and secondly, he is likely to be able to work well only within the framework of one topic (maximum two). Again – not for conveyor purposes, since a serious human factor is included: fatigue, routine, personal circumstances.
Some useful tips
Do not duplicate videos with text (it’s not about subtitles, but about a transcript), even if the audience insists on it. This is especially true for recipes. If there is text, people will read the text.
Set the movie player to autostart to quickly engage the user in the video.
The average duration of watching a training video is 2 minutes 35 seconds. If the script turns out to be too complicated, consider whether it is possible to split it into several clips. And ideally, try to avoid complex topics for video tutorials. The best videos are those that look in the same breath: one or two – and you’re done. For example, how to make a cupcake in the microwave:

If there is a need for final credits, overlay them on the last frames of the video, and not on the black screen, like in a movie. Then the likelihood that someone will see the names of the creators and thanks to the partners will be higher.
With each participant in the video, sign an agreement on the use of its image in the frame. This is necessary so that unforeseen problems do not arise in the future if one of the participants suddenly decides to rewrite his story.

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