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April 17, 2009 2:30 PM   Subscribe

How do I create a YouTube channel to promote my business?

I want to utilise video to promote my business. I'm thinking that creating a channel on YouTube (or similar - Blip.tv? Vimeo? Other? Open to suggestions) with videos on content relevant to my line of business would be cool.

Problem is, I don't know where to start in terms of equipment. Here's what I have currently:

A 24" Aluminium iMac with built-in iSight camera running OS X 10.5.
iMovie pre-installed.
Um. That's it.

I've done a little video and audio track editing in the past, so my question is really around the equipment, setup and planning side of things.

I want to record in some form of HD, so I think that rules the iSight camera out.

Each video will likely be between 4 and 5 minutes long.

I'm an okay writer, but unsure whether to script, bullet-point or memorise a monologue. I have done a few presentations and generally memorise but in that context I have immediate audience feedback (body language, mainly) to feed from.

Any and all help hugely appreciated!
posted by mooders to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Somebody will suggest camera equipment, but with regard to scripting -- my feeling is that is absolutely critical. If you are an OK writer, not a great copywriter, considering getting help with this part. The best business videos in the business, in my opinion, are the ones that Google puts out to explain various site features. (Examples: 1 2 3 4) The explanations are crystal-clear, the delivery is straightforward, and usually they come off sounding off the cuff and unrehearsed, but in reality they are planned, scripted, and practiced to T. If you write the script yourself, try it out on lots of people, out loud, to see if there's anything that leaves a question in their mind, and fix it. My recommendation would be to practice until it's memorized (this can be done in snippets if it's a voice-over or there are camera cuts).
posted by beagle at 3:06 PM on April 17, 2009

You probably want a flip mino HD if you want to do this on the cheap. It'll let you record 720p video.
The main deal though will be taking that and getting it onto youtube once you've edited it (presumably in iMovie or Final Cut, iMovie can certainly do an adequate job but use FCP if you've got the $$$ and time to learn)

after that, uploading to youtube is a good idea.
The one thing you've gotta remember about them though, is that the format you give them determines what they give you back.
I've figured out that you need to upload 720p video at 30FPS to get youtube to recognize that it is HD. This should be easy enough to output from either iMovie or FCP.
Have fun!
posted by TimeDoctor at 3:49 PM on April 17, 2009

You'll probably need some kind of mic beyond what's on-camera, plus a camera that'll let you add a mic, and an audio-editing program. I use a Samson wireless lavalier for event recording, and a simple Plantronics USB headset for my computer demos, which works well enough, but I find I have to delete occasional lip and breath sounds, which may be fixable by adjusting the mic arm, but are easy to handle in SoundTrackPro, part of Final Cut Studio. SoundTrack's ability to sample ambient "silence" and use it to replace any duration of deleted audio (instead of with dead silence, and without changing the clip length or sync) is a godsend. Amadeus Pro is a reasonably priced alternative, but it doesn't have that sample ambience feature; OK noise reduction, though.

You could edit audio in Final Cut Express, too (I assume it has the same audio-editing functions as FCPro, which are OK) which would be a good way to step up from iMovie without spending a grand and would be very smart if you plan to add any kind of overlays on your clip beyond the minimal presets and titling in iMovie. Having a layered timeline makes a huge difference in ease and flexibility the minute you start adding graphics, stills, even text. And it comes with LiveType, which is a surprisingly capable animation program. If you don't want to go beyond iMovie, download iMovie HD for much easier detail and audio editing.

If you'll be doing any software or computer-screen demos, by all means check out ScreenFlow, the best video screen-grabber/grab-editor for the Mac. IShowU Pro would be a goodish 2nd choice.

As for a script, do a test run without one and see how you sound to yourself. I don't agree that scripting is essential, unless you need flawless, air-brushed delivery. I found beagle's google examples corporate, sterile, distancing, very obviously scripted and practised, and so evenly paced that they were actually hard to follow; it's better to be slightly impatient with an explainer than to be slightly struggling to keep up, I think, and a script tends to encourage you to go faster than normal, or at least to reduce pauses un-naturally. I guess it depends on what your business is, if it's a voice-over or live, and what you're showing/demoing. If it's in any way about you and your presentation manner, I'd suggest doing it naturally, repeating anything you mess up until you get it just right without stressing and clean it up at edit.
posted by dpcoffin at 6:10 PM on April 17, 2009

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