Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Art of the Vodcast

I have previously burbled on at some length about vodcasts - here. This post will be less detailed.

In the context of coursework, podcasts which summarise research are great ... as you can re-edit these for your Evaluation, including comparison with what you actually produced/did.

A vodcast is a podcast with video. It is likely to include your voice, though you can use titles to the same effect.
A SHORTER GUIDE TO GOOD VODCASTING PRACTICE: brief, pithy, well illustrated, creative, expressive, analysis, terminology, concepts, opinion, titles, chapters, top ten, short clips, fair usage copyright law, mix audio levels, limit face time, branded, ident, channel watermark, target audience, tags, YouTube, links lists...

It will be quite brief. About 2 minutes is good; 5 minutes is starting to push it ... and don't go beyond 10 minutes. If you can't fit all your content into that time limit, think about how to split it up into themed chapters.

Brand your vodcasts, as I do. Once you've created a basic 'opening title' sequence for one, you can copy/paste the sequence into any future vodcast and simply edit the titles. I also recently started adding a watermark, in the style of the company or channel logos you see on TV, asserting my brand but also ensuring my work can't be ripped off!
I've created quite a few vodcasts, and will be adding more - a playlist is embedded below

Visual material is key: whatever point or theme you're explaining/exploring, you should illustrate on screen where you can. By all means film yourself in a simple close-up, or in a mock-up of a TV chat show (or other creative approaches), but don't keep your face on screen throughout.

Screenshots, titles and video clips should be gathered up, put into specific folders with file names reflecting the content. If you do this, you can drag/drop directly into Final Cut Pro X and tags will be added, and your folder structure maintained, making it much easier to find what you need.

Clips from film and music video, or other copyright content, should be kept brief to stick within the legal framework of 'fair usage': so long as you're using short clips, this is fine. Use too much footage and you'll find YouTube kicks your work off. Only use the specific copyright material you need to make a point. Furthermore, only use its audio where you need to. Freeze frame at points if you don't need to show continuous footage.

Downloading such material from YouTube is straightforward - see simple guide. Remember, this should be done only for the purposes of creating edited work.

Chapter titles help to break up the footage and make it more user-friendly. using a 'top ten' format sometimes helps.

Take care with audio levels: depending on how you've recorded your voice it might be MUCH lower than the other material you're using; listen through and try to adjust audio levels of clips to get a fairly even level throughout.

Consider throwing in an ident to close the vodcast, as TV shows tend to.

Think about your target audience: have you made the tone fun as well as informative?

Look for good student examples, and look at my examples too (you'll notice my style evolved over time). I add tags to attempt to drive an audience to my work when I upload these to YouTube, and I'd encourage you to do the same - challenge yourself to get more views than anyone else! You may even get a YouTube invite to be a content partner (that has happened with some past Media students' YouTube channels!).

Add vodcasts to a vodcast links list on your blog AND a links list for the topic of it.

Here's a playlist of my vodcasts on various aspects of music video work; I will be adding more vodcasts over time ...

Over to you...

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