15 Top Tips & Professional Secrets For How To Make Better Videos

As someone who’s spent many years working in television, I usually get requests for advice on how to make videos look better at this time of the year.  A lot of people received new video cameras over the holidays, they’ve tried them out, and don’t understand why their movies look pretty… Ed Wood-ish. I probably should have posted this BEFORE Christmas, but better late than never…

So here is a list of my personal best practices and tips:

  1. Think about your end product before you start shooting. Is this going to be a 2 minute video?  Is it going to be a 2 hour opus?  Is it just for your family to watch or is it going up on YouTube for the whole world to check out?   Is it a montage of your kids opening Christmas presents or is it a documentary about holiday traditions?  Is it supposed to be funny, informative, sweet, sad, or dramatic?  How much context does your audience need to understand it?  Is your audience younger or older?
    If you know the answers to these questions, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort. You’ll also have taken your first step to a focused video shoot, which is a must-have ingredient in a great final product.
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The Most Creative Resume I’ve Seen In Years

I get sent resumes every week and since the financial turmoil kicked in a few months ago, the number of resumes coming in has increased noticeably.  This week, I received one that I will not soon forget and thought it was worth sharing here (with permission!).

Creative vs Standard Resumes.

There’s always a great debate in resume-writing-land about how unique and creative to be with your C.V.   You want to stand out from the crowd, but you don’t want to come across as a showboat, an egomaniac, or a weirdo.  Some will say anything you can do to get noticed is good, from using coloured paper to having it couriered directly to the hiring decision maker (so they have to sign for it, will open it themselves instead of H.R., etc).

Others will say that you need to be professional, stick to standard formatting, and make yourself stand out with a customized version of your resume tailored to the particular position you’re applying for.   I’ve seen both work and have hired people with each type of resume.

As a rule of thumb, though, plain resumes are generally tougher to distinguish from other plain resumes.  And when you get a brilliant, creative resume like the one I’m going to show you, you won’t forget the person today, tomorrow, or next year when you’ve got the right position for them.

Success and Failure with Creative Resumes

About 10 years ago, I had a lot of success by using this site’s URL to host what was at the time very new – an online video demo reel.  I got so sick of dubbing and sending tapes that I put the reel online (in a VERY small quicktime window) and instead just gave everyone the link.  Some didn’t like it, but the ones who did were the ones I wanted to work for anyway.  And it helped let potential employers know that I was interested in digital media and was trying out new ideas.

And before I show you the amazing example of a creative resume, I should say that creative resumes can backfire pretty hard, too.  I once had someone applying to be an on-air host send me a giant plastic tube of candy… nice, except that there was  a GIANT, NUDE PHOTO of himself taped to the outside of the tube.  Creative yes.  Instant no for the job?  You bet.

The Most Creative Resume I’ve Seen In Years

So here’s the gold!  Sabrina Saccocio is a TV, radio print and web producer who has put together the perfect eye-grabbing resume for a young, creative type looking for unique and interesting work. Check this out and tell me you’re not impressed…

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10 Twitter Tips For Traditional Media

It seems like Twitter is finally starting to penetrate the mainstream media. CBC recently invited some experts in social media in to share their ideas about how a traditional media company might use tools like Flickr, YouTube, Facebook… and Twitter. While I wasn’t there, it sounds like it was a big success and got people excited to dig in and use these new tools as part of their show programming.

Twitter even seems to be replacing blogs as the ‘cool’ go-to news source for ‘what’s happening on the web’. However, many mainstream media companies are still clearly struggling with what Twitter is and how to best use it.  So I’ve put together my personal…

10 Twitter Tips For Traditional Media (try and say THAT 10 times quickly…)

1. Twitter is NOT an RSS feed.

I know that the New York Times, The Globe and Mail, CBC, and others are using Twitter as a news feed, but I don’t personally subscribe to any of them. I can get that EXACT same information from an RSS feed (which I do…) and I don’t personally like my Twitter feed clogged up with every news item under the sun.

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