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What Anthony Galima Taught E-Commerce Students Over a Decade Ago About VIDEO

Original Speech from 2006 delivered at Smithtown High School covering everything from Content Management Systems (CMS) to long shots, jump cuts, and how to create engaging video with great audio quality. All of this information is even more relevant today and can help you succeed in business.

Largely because of the way youth utilize technology, technology today has been forced to change and adapt. Students like yourselves and many traditional television viewers are moving away from their “televisions” to their computer screens or flat screen televisions which keep getting thinner and bigger and being utilized as computer monitors. Many more people are even moving towards handheld gadgets connected to or capable of accessing the Internet.

The Internet Television Merger and next technological age is upon us. In the very near future, traditional broadcasting signals will no longer be broadcast in analog, but only digital; and all “Televisions” will be infused with Bluetooth, Internet Browsers, and Web 2.0-3.0 features. Any device capable of accessing the World Wide Web will be considered a computer; and Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Content Management Systems (CMS), pieces of software compatible with all Internet Browsers and technological devices will be necessary in order to have a successful and trusted E-commerce business.

Video content is the most demanded form of “new media” web content. Interactive dynamic content is one element contributing to the Internet’s organic “alive, fluid, and moving” nature and sets it apart from other traditional mediums like newspapers and magazines. Video content on the Internet is unlike that of cinema and television today because it can be “interactive.” Video content is an absolutely necessary component establishing of a Global Web Presence™ and video content can surely become an integral part of any student E-commerce business. Not only is video capable of informing and engaging individuals about your E-commerce business offerings; video can generate different forms of revenue previously only available to traditional television broadcasters.

Directing, shooting, editing, and ultimately making high quality video content an integral part of your E-commerce business poses many challenges. For the next few minutes, I’m going to share with you “tips” and “terms” that will help you create excellent video content for your E-commerce business.

Most video content on the web looks a lot like “amateur hour” because of the lighting and audio. “Natural lighting,” “digital cameras,” and additional “microphones” are an effective way to shoot bright and crisp video. The very first films were shot with a single set and scene, a single camera fixed on a tripod, and not edited. This is the ”fixed camera” style of filmmaking. Today, the majority of video content on the web is “user generated” and shot with “web cameras” utilizing poor lighting, horrible audio, and the “fixed camera” style of filmmaking. If you want to make your video content really stand out, I suggest moving away from this style of shooting.

“Jump cuts” are very effective and a really cool way to shoot video. Jump cuts are edits made in a continuous scene or footage, without a transition, giving the impression of “jumping” forward in time. Cooking shows use jump cuts notoriously; they prepare and cook meals that would take hours during the course of a 30 minute show.

The opposite of the jump cut, and extremely prevalent in web video are “long shots.” A long shot is a continuous scene with no edits at all—one continuous take. “Set-up shots” can include landscape, building, product, or environment shots and can be used to introduce the audience to the scene by placing them in a particular “visual context.” When using set-up shots be very careful; many web videos are displayed in small viewing areas.

Effective videos shot for the web almost immediately go straight to “close-ups.” “Full shots” where a person is visible from head to toe might be good for a quick set-up shot, but ultimately full shots do not render well on the web. Successful video content on the web usually goes straight to “close-ups.”

Directly speaking to the camera, known as “direct address,” is an effective way to captivate your viewing audience. If you have ever seen the MTV Real World “confessional booth” or watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off you are familiar with direct address and this form of shooting video. Any person/subject in your E-commerce business videos should be directed to “act naturally” and address your viewing audience. Acting naturally means DO NOT READ what you want to say. Have a clear idea about what you are going to say, loosely rehearse it a few times, and talk to the camera/your viewing audience. Do not confuse “acting naturally” with “improvisation” and making things up as you go along. Improvisation is not effective for E-commerce business video content.

Lastly, video content on the web is far superior to that of the cinema and television today. Flash video and Flash animations have been a part of the Internet for sometime, but I urge you to not rely heavily upon them. With that said, learn about 3D models, animations, green screens, and “special effects” because they are all excellent ways to give your video content that little extra something.

It has been a privilege and honor for me to be invited here to speak today with all of you. I promise, if you utilize some of the strategies I have shared with you when building your E-commerce stores you will no doubt begin building to your dreams, and not your limitations. Thank you.

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