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Looking For Feedback

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Dan AsselinLooking For Feedback
by on Jan 9, 2013 at 1:54:41 am

Hi Folks,

Happy 2013. I sure would appreciate some feedback on a video I will be pushing prospective clients to in the new year

2 Things.....
a....Yes I know that using Digital Juice backgrounds look less professional however the clients don't care
b....Stay tuned at the end for a tag line I'd like to use but am unsure of.

As always thanks...............Dan

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Stephen SmithRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 9, 2013 at 2:34:36 pm

Your link doesn't work. Post your video directly here on the COW. Click on the video tab at the top of the page or in the response where you type a response to this click on the icon that looks like a film camera.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page

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Dan AsselinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 9, 2013 at 6:09:34 pm


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Nick GriffinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 9, 2013 at 6:20:56 pm

In regards to the tagline, as well as most aspects of the promo as a whole, remember this simple idea: Less is More. You're trying to convey too many ideas rather than identifying and concentrating on the most important and meaningful sales points. Less is More.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 9, 2013 at 9:13:00 pm

A few critiques... I'm sorry if they come off as harsh... I only mean to help because you asked for it. I wanted to be honest about it and not shine you on if I see something that you could improve. Only your best friends will tell you when you have your fly unzipped, as it were.

So, the points I didn't like:

It makes it hard to read your text screens when you rotate them in from a direction opposite from how you read them. In your case, you have the blocks rotating properly for Hebrew, Arabic, or Japanese. We read English Left to Right, so rotate the blocks into view such that we can start reading instantly, subliminally, as the block is in motion, instead of waiting a microsecond for the image to stabilize before we can read the first word. It's a microsecond difference, but it adds up and makes you impatient over time if it repeats a lot.

I'm not a typographer, but your text formatting needs work in the leading and other spacing issues. You have letters touching randomly from underneath, and having the top line wider than all the rest looks clumsy. You are cramming too large and too many words in each panel, and warping or scaling overall to fit it all in, that's not right. The font is not great, either. The contrast is harsh.

The PIP image blocks you put in would look better with border effects and some drop or cast shadows to enhance depth. The DVE moves are linear and might be improved with more ease-in and out key-framing. Yet these are the best slides in the show. Add more of that.

The section touting the gear looks dated and frankly doesn't support the claims you're making; it would be much better to use motion video here of you actually working behind the scenes on a shoot, USING the gear. Even if you have to fake the shoot event.

Overall, the messaging is kind of static and doesn't use enough motion video. The audio track should be reinforcing your messaging with great narration and sound effects instead of silent cue cards but the audio track really adds nothing here, you could turn it off and never miss it. Video is about showing more than telling, and your message here is all tell and no show. It's what I call "radio with pictures".

This piece is very text-heavy, and that makes it run long, but basically it looks like a dated powerpoint slideshow, flying in animated text slides. It's not leveraging the motion and audio mediums to maximum effect, which is exactly the sort of thing you're trying to promote as your specialty.

I'm not down on your use of the jump backs for visual appeal, but your text blocks and other images don't feel like they fit along with the jump backs you used, they are not thematically tied together. Most jump-backs come in a unified package with lower third and still background elements and even suggested fonts, so that all the elements work in harmony, looking "of a piece".

I know it sounds like I dumped a lot on you here, but I tried to call it how I saw it. You were brave enough to put your work up to be critiqued, something I don't have the stones to ever do myself, so you deserve honest helpful opinions. I think you can turn this around, the way we do in our "Save This Script!" article series. ( I swear to Farnsworth I am not bringing that up here as a marketing ploy, just as an example). Some of what we talk about there relates directly to this sample.

If you need a lot of type, do kinetic type or have someone with real typography knowledge compose it for you and pick good fonts and templates. Nobody is the ultimate expert in everything and there is no shame in recruiting skilled niche experts to improve your work where they can.

Put most of the slide text into audio instead, then use the screen to reinforce the audio message. The classic test for this is, play the thing audio-only, then video-only, and see if either alone can tell the story effectively by themselves. Once they do, putting them together MORE than doubles the effectiveness of the message.

Your best opening line is what you stuck at the end about young creative attitudes coupled to an old fashioned work ethic and experience. You're "burying the lede" in writing parlance. Open with that statement and make it the heart of your argument why YOU are the guy for the job. That's your unique value proposition.

I can't wait to see the next iteration because I know it will be twice as good as this one.

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Dan AsselinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:39:48 am

Dear Mark;

Excellent input. For me putting my work out there is the only way I learn. If you think I have guts to put my work here you should know I sent a direct link to Bob Zelin. Now there was a moment to ponder. He really liked my "credits".
There are a few points you make which I can easily fix. The rest I am going to do on the fly.

The one thing I have promised myself to do this year is to do more marketing and less preparation. Maybe this version will cost me some work but I think it will garner some interest as well.

By the way do you have a link to an online PowerPoint that you would consider not to be "dated".

Thanks again for your feedback and time. Both are very appreciated

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Mark SuszkoRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 5:40:17 am

There's a huge collection here, some of them look decent:

But powerpoint type slides have kind of an unavoidable "look" no matter where they come from. To keep it fresh, I think you have to avoid falling into the presentation "paradigm" that .ppt imposes.

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Dan AsselinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:20:24 pm

Thanks Mark;

I have already done a new version based on comments from yourself and Nick and will continue to update as time allows. (25% shorter to begin with)

I will review the links you have posted and browse through them for ideas.

As you can see from the type of work I am attempting to do I don't consider myself a "film maker" but more someone who helps people explain ideas and opportunities. I have also begun to do on-line tutorials for businesses but can't show examples due to NDA's.

There's no way I can match the quality of the output created by many of the professionals here on the Cow but then my turnaround time and rate sheet reflect that as well.

These days there are worse things than having a small niche within which you feel comfortable where you can provide good value for your clients.

Thanks Again;


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Dan AsselinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 1:39:05 pm

Feeling Inspired........See new version if you have time....TX Dan

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Nick GriffinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 2:29:36 pm

Much improved!

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Dan AsselinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 5:47:25 pm

Thanks Nick. By the way, as a friend of his, have you got any updates as to how Ron Lindeboom is doing. I miss his regular dose of common sense.

P.S.....By the way for anyone who ever doubts the recent level of activity we've had on this forum my first version had 48 views in just over 5 hours before I replaced it.

So while we may not have all of the questions and answers we once had in this forum there are still lots of people out there viewing.

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John CuevasRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 6:54:16 pm

I noticed when you transitino between "Individual Interviews" and "Multi Camera Presentations", 2 of the interview picture-in-pictures with the text but the third one fades out underneath the next shot. That looks like a mistake and should be fixed.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 7:06:58 pm

Lose the countdown at the front; it just makes people wait for no reason and it's not a proper countdown with a 2-pop anyhow. It's an affectation.

I think the fonts will pop better if you blur and dim the blue and white waving motion back behind them. Right now, parts of the text are hard to read wherever they line up white-over-white, with just the black edges of the letters really showing.

A good trick is to look at these using the blue-only button on your monitor, or if you don't have one of those, look thru a piece of blue lighting gel or look at a B&W monochrome monitor (or turn the chroma all the way down on your screen) to check contrast and value relationships of colors.

Also, try viewing it from at least 12 feet back from the monitor. Is everything still reading well?

It IS much better, but I still think it needs a voice-over and less text. Edit ruthlessly, then cut some more.

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Dan AsselinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 8:37:10 pm

Thanks Mark;

I will blur and dim the bkg. Makes total sense.

the reason that I don't use a voiceover is that I am trying to reach people in their offices and many people I know don't have the sound working as their default configuration for their desktop.

Does that make sense?

I have the countdown and auto-play in an attempt to make the viewing idiot-proof when they hit the link on my page. Having said that, however, I think you are right about the countdown.....especially now that I have unburied the lead message.



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Mark SuszkoRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 9:35:16 pm

Auto-play will get lots of people swearing at you, don't enable that. Instead, leave a clearly labeled play button and mute control.

When people browse at work, they may have their speakers turned up and when an auto-play pops up, it announces to the entire floor of the office what they are doing. You just lost a sale and made an enemy. People want the choice of enabling audio to be theirs, and the choice of starting a play-thru to be theirs.

I work in a very large organization with thousands of computers across it, not all of them have sound cards, then again, the folks that don't have sound cards are not as a rule the ones that would be decision-makers or recommenders of services such as yours. You can believe that managers have sound cards installed today. Not only that, your presentation will be seen on phones as well as monitor screens, so you really have no reason not to add voiceover today, in 2013.

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Dan AsselinRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 10:26:08 pm


One more version for today....Thanks again Mark

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Mark SuszkoRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 11:33:47 pm

Getting closer now.

You still have the first two text boxes rolling in from the wrong direction.

The text typography is better but not quite there yet.

The web address needs to go up and stay up right to the end, so I don't have to scroll back thru the video and park it to write it down. The address is also longish; have you considered a shorter, nickname-like link?.

The regions where the web address is should have a linking region to it so that if you click the address in the video, it takes you to the home page directly, no need to write the address down. Make things as intuitive as possible. If the viewer says: "can I click on that? What would happen?" - you should already have a planned result implemented.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 11:35:18 pm

Lose the disco music. Try ambient electronica, or light jazz.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Looking For Feedback
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 3:34:12 pm

The Text Parts That Are
Sentences Should Not Capitalize
Every Word,
As That Reduces Readability.

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