Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Looking Your Best in Online Video: Wardrobe Choices

Do you appear in a video podcast? Or do you interview guests on your video podcast? Then, you may be wondering what kind of clothing looks best in online video.

According to professional stylists, what you wear in a video appearance can not only make what you say more believable to your audience, but can also help the camera do its job to create a well-focused result. For this reason, it’s quite important to give serious consideration to what you wear.

Overall, just remember to dress simply in well-fitting, attractive clothing and avoid red, black, and white. But if you want to look your very best on video — and who does not? — then pay close attention to these tips.

Tip #1: Invest in Two-Three Video Outfits
There are some great shopping bargains around right now, so take advantage of this cost-saving opportunity to find two new, flattering outfits to keep in your closet for your next online video appearance. From now on, whenever you shop, it would be a great idea for you to keep your eye open for clothing on sale that would look good in photographs or video, keeping these considerations in mind.

Wear new clothes to look your best. On video, you will look best in clothes that are new or almost new. This is because clothes that have been frequently washed or dry cleaned do not look as well as new clothes. Resist the urge to wear your video clothes on other occasions. If you don’t have the budget or inclination to reserve an entire outfit, or even a blouse or two, for your video appearances, then just wear the clothes you have that are in best condition.

The confidence that you project when you look great will also have an impact!

Tip #2: Wear New Shoes (or Shoes in Excellent Condition)
While today’s video does focus on tight shots, you never know if your full body, including your a view of your shoes, will make it in the final version, or in promotional photographs. To be on the safe side, wear shoes in new or excellent condition. They don’t have to be expensive, just not worn-looking. Don’t wear your video shoes on the street; keep your video shoes in a shoe bag, and bring them with you to video shoots. The bottom of your shoe may show in a video.

Ladies, closed-toe shoes will look best, as will a shoe with some heel. Well-worn women’s shoes have a tendency to curl at the toes. If you can, resist wearing your video-reserved pair except on camera.

Men, if you wear a worn pair of shoes, have your shoes shined, and check the soles (and don’t cross your legs and show the bottom of your sole if the soles look worn). Be sure to wear socks that cover your entire calf; knee-length socks are safest.

Tip #3: Wear Clothes That Fit Well
Wear clothes that fit your body. A little too snug is better than baggy, because the camera adds ten pounds and shapeless apparel will make you look heavier and also less polished on camera.

Tip #4: Wear All-Season Clothing
Online video is aired and viewed year-round. So, wear something that would look well in all seasons. It would look odd to your audience to see you in a light, sleeveless top if they happen to view your video in December, and viewers will stop watching your video if you wear a heavy cabled sweater and they view your video in the summer.

Tip 5: Adapt a Simple Style for Video
Your best bet is to wear tailored, classic clothes. If that look is not your style, and you prefer a high-fashion or casual look, select clothing that is simple and devoid of pattern to help the camera do its best focusing job.

Men look best in a suit or jacket. But if it’s not your style, or you prefer a more casual look, you can also wear a solid colored polo top, or shirt without a tie.

Women, consider wearing pants with a longish hem. In general, they look better on camera than skirts and dresses, especially if you are sitting for an interview. For a more casual or high-fashion look, dark wash jeans are fine. Just be sure your jeans are new and pressed, and consider dressing them up with heels. Do not wear capris or gauchos, and, of course, shorts are out of the question.

If you prefer to wear a skirt or dress, there are special considerations. First, make sure the hemline is well-below the knee. Secondly, about hosiery on film: sometimes it does not look well. You may want to wear flesh colored fishnets instead of hose. Some people can even go bare if they have nice, well-moisturized legs that with sunless tanning or a non-sparkling bronzer. Another option is to wear nice boots that reach the knee.

Tip 6: Wear Microphone-Friendly Clothing
If you are being interviewed, you may be asked to wear a lavaliere microphone on your lapel. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would wear a shirt or blouse with a collar or lapel, instead of a turtleneck, for example.. If you prefer to wear another style top, you could also wear a jacket or cardigan onto which you could clip the mic.

Tip 7: Wear Simple Accessories
Avoid wearing dangling earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that may rustle or make a jangly noise that could be picked up by sensitive microphones. In general, men and women should remove watches (because the crystal can reflect off of the lights) and wear only one ring per hand. Women may wear one small necklace, and small earrings that are not too shiny. Think matte finishes. Avoid diamond studs or rhinestones. A small pin is fine. Avoid wearing scarves or ties with large scale or intricate patterns.

For tips about makeup, please see our blog post on this subject.

Tip 8: Avoid Wearing Certain Colors
To help the camera focus properly, avoid sharp contrasts, and opt for solid colored tops and jackets in light to medium shades. If you have a dark complexion, don’t wear a light colored top. If you have a light complexion, don’t wear a dark colored top. It makes it difficult for the camera to operate properly if you do. Also, pay attention to your background. If your background is deeply colored and you are wearing a light colored shirt, the camera may focus on the background instead of you.

* Do not wear red, magenta, or fuschia, which may cause the camera film to flare.
* Avoid wearing black, dark brown, and dark blue tops, which can interfere with how the camera focuses on nearby shades (generally, you can wear black pants or a skirt, however). Men, do not wear black suits or jackets. Ladies, no black blazers.
* Men (and ladies), do not wear white shirts (pick blue or pastel instead); it flares. The same applies to any props you may have. Do not use white flip charts, for example.
* You may need to avoid green (if they are using a green screen; you can check). Light green may be okay.

Tip 9: Select the Right Colors
These colors look well for video appearances.

* Pastels and Medium Tones
* Blue, including royal blue
* Tan
* Purple, Lavender
* Gray
* Wine or Burgundy (works well for ties)
* Navy (men’s suit or jacket — not too dark)

Tip #10: Avoid These Patterns and Fabrics in Clothing for Online Video
The reason why solid colors look best is because certain patterns may cause the camera to blur or produce a moire effect. Reflective fabrics also do not look well in video. Also, do not wear anything with a logo or brand name on it.

* Plaid
* Houndstooth or checks
* Fine or intricate patterns, e.g. paisley
* Tweed
* Polka Dots
* Stripes (even thin striped dress shirts or pinstripes)
* Metallics or sparkly fabrics
* Sequins and rhinestones
* Any shiny fabric, such as satin or charmeuse
* Linen (it wrinkles)

Tip #11: Bring An Outfit or Two To Your Video Shoot
Ask in advance if you can change at the location, or if you should wear your outfit to the video location. Have at least one change of clothing, even if it is just a different top. If you are appearing on camera with another woman, such as a reporter or host, make sure you find out what she is going to wear, and bring another outfit just in case you are wearing the same color. If you both wear lavender jackets, you will look ridiculous on a video!

Most of all, relax, and be yourself. Most producers can probably compensate for any wardrobe challenges that may present. Whatever you wear will probably be just fine!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ladies, Look Great in HD with these Makeup Tips

Ladies, appearing in a video podcast can be an exciting and creative endeavor. But, especially if you are over 25, the camera can make you wish you had created an audio podcast, instead. But, no worries. We have a solution. Did you know that the right makeup, especially in with today's HD technology, can help you look your best? It’s true. Here are some important video makeup tips.

Why Makeup is Important for Video
To begin, understand the purpose of makeup for video. Makeup, in this case, is not to make you more attractive than you are, but to correct the distortion caused by video and lights. The camera deepens contours beyond their actual depth, ages your face, magnifies flaws, affects color, and layers on ten pounds! Careful makeup application is critical because it actually helps correct what the camera “mistakes.” Many men also need a bit of powder to look their best on video.

Foundation for Video
Today’s high definition digital video shows every crease and imperfection in your face and neck. Light makeup with even — but not heavy — coverage is essential.

Chances are, your everyday foundation isn’t right for video. Foundations with SPF or light reflective properties can make your skin look pasty under the lights.

Instead of using your conventional foundation, consider investing in a bottle of new foundation or skin colored powder and cosmetics that are specially designed for high definition video (you may not want to wear this everyday). Prices range from $30 to $75, and there are some “try me” sets that are a good value. You can purchase this makeup at Sephora. Some to try:

* Cargo Blu_Ray collection
* Make Up For Ever primer and foundation.
* Smash Box Photo Finish and related products.

Apply the foundation with a disposable foam sponge.

In addition to foundation, you will need concealer and a powder that matches your skin. The powder will set the makeup on your face and will also provide coverage to exposed skin, such as your throat and ears. Use a synthetic brush to apply concealer.
Consider purchasing a second bottle of foundation in a deeper toned foundation to contour under your chin.

Bringing Out Your Eyes
Many videos use tight shots on your face because the eyes and mouth impart so much information. However, under bright lights, your eyes may appear diminished. In addition to liner and mascara, take the time to fill in your brows with an eyebrow pencil, matched to the color of your brows, not your hair.

If you have your brows professionally shaped or waxed, don’t schedule that appointment immediately before your video, because your skin may break out in a rash or blemishes. A quick tweeze on video day is fine.

Select matte eye shadow in light, neutral shades. Bright lights reflect sparkles in frost formulas.

Defining Your Mouth
Lipstick is essential, but choose the right reds. A red lipstick with too cool an undertone can look purple on television or film. The best choice is a natural lip color in a creamy or matte formula (avoid frosts). Match your lip liner to the inside of your lip. I like Almay all day lip color. It is gentle, and it lasts.

Most experts say avoid lip gloss for video. However, I think a very light application of clear gloss or Vaseline catches the light and bring attention to the mouth. It also helps one speak well and helps prevent mouth noises. So, I usually ask everyone to apply a little bit. Men may apply Burt’s Bees lip balm.

More Tips to Look Your Best
Makeup is part of looking your best, but getting a good night’s sleep is just as important. There are several other dos and don’ts for looking your best before you appear in a video.

* DO drink plenty of water, not just on film day, but also for the couple of days before filming, to hydrate your skin. Being well-hydrated will also help prevent you from making involuntary mouth and lip-smacking noises.
* DON’T drink alcohol the night before. Even one glass of wine will make you look older the next day.
* DO sleep with your head slightly elevated, if it is comfortable for you. This will help reduce undereye puffiness.
* DON’T get a facial or a brow wax the day before, as these procedures can make your skin break out. A recent dermatological study found no benefit to facials.
* DO moisturize your skin and lightly buff or exfoliate to remove dead skin cells, achieve a healthy glow, and create a good base for foundation.

Put a little extra effort into your regular beauty routine, and the results will be fantastic!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Podcasting is NOT Dead

I just need to rant for a second... I am sick and tired of people claiming that podcasting is dead. The truth is that it is far from it. While the names and flavors may change, podcasting is alive and well. Here’s what I have spent the past week doing.

I spoke in New York City for 3 days at the
. I was joined by great podcasters like
, and
. We had healthy crowds with great questions. There were also big companies there, like TiVo and HP, as well as representation from several universities. I also had some great meetings with Apple and
... two great companies with cool things coming.

While I was gone, my crew was helping Community Health Charities create a series of podcasts to help raise awareness about health issues in the workplace. We had participation of major non-profit groups like the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and the American Cancer Society. The non-profit world is abuzz about podcasting.

I then returned for an open house at
, my company. We invited people from the Washington, DC community for free seminars. Our podcasting seminar was standing room only with nearly 40 people in the room. Nearly all those people stayed to learn creative approaches for creating web video as well. Some of you will think 40 people is small... we only invited 100 people to the event... 40% came just to this one seminar.

I then gave up a few hours this weekend to join Paul Vogelzang and we spoke together and
. The room was packed with educators, communications professionals, and non-profit agencies. I met people wanting to inspire students and reach out to others for education and political action.

Speaking of political action... I’m pretty pleased that we have a new president who “gets” podcasting. This is especially good since I live in DC and work for a company that is an authorized GSA vendor to give the government podcasting services.

What the “get-rich-quick” people seem to forget is that technology takes time. For example,
. It was invented in 1997. That took 13 years! Podcasting is already a part of 18% of Americans life... we are right on track and continuing to grow fast. The key to success, matching content, to an audience, with consistent releases and good quality.

It looks like we will have secured sponsorship for four of the seven shows we produce by year’s end. I’ve also been fortunate to help great companies like
expand their reach with quality content. Our
is selling well and the
is about to add its 150th member.

Lets just say I’m looking forward to the new year.
If you need a little ammunition for your defense of podcasting, download and
.... then pass it on.

Adding Captions to Flash Video

Looking to make your web video more accessible? Then be sure to check out this
on adding open captions to Flash video. If you are doing video work for the government, then this is often an absolute must.

“The really great thing about this feature, from our perspective as designers and developers, is how simple it is to accomplish and manage. If the timing is out or a caption is wrong, you simply change a few words or numbers in the XML file.”

This tutorial makes it really easy and I suggest you check it out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lighting Diagrams with Omnigraffle

Author and video podcaster Richard Harrington as he explains the importance of lighting diagrams and shows you how to make them with

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hoodman Makes Great Camera Accessories

Richard Harrington takes a look at a wide variety of video accessories in the Hoodman (
) booth at Photoshop World '08.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Turning PowerPoint or Keynote into Podcasts

At the '08 New Media Expo, Richard Harrington talks to David Chmura about
, which allows you to capture your presentations to create advanced podcasts.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two Great Tools for Blogs

Just a quick post.... there are two pieces of tech I’ve been using on my blogs (both are free).

adds a great search engine to your site. You can create your own search network including multiple blogs, facebook, youtube, linkedin, flickr, and more. This is really useful.

lets you turn your RSS feed into a blog widget that can be posted to numerous social sites. Very clean and will help extend your reach.

Be sure to try both out....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Publishing with mDialog

Richard Harrington discusses the mDialog (
) online video platform with Greg Philpott at the 2008 New Media Expo.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Than One Billion Users Will View Online Video in 2013

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Recently came across a new article about the growth in online video viewership. Be sure to check out what
has to say...

“Sparked by increasing broadband penetration and rising connection speeds available to a growing percentage of the world’s population, over-the-top video has seen phenomenal growth in very recent years. A new study from ABI Research forecasts the number of viewers who access video via the Web to nearly quadruple in the next few years, reaching at least one billion in 2013.


“The rapid expansion of broadband video creates opportunities across a number of market sectors,” comments senior analyst Cesar Bachelet. “A wide variety of actors aim to gain a share of this fast-growing market: not only content owners such as the BBC and NBC Universal, and Internet portals such as AOL and Yahoo!, but also a range of new entrants including user-generated content sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion, broadband video sites such as CinemaNow and Lovefilm, and Internet TV providers such as Apple and Zattoo.”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Podcast Advertising Shown to Be Highly Effective

Study results released this spring found that podcast advertising is three times more effective than online video advertising and seven times more effective than television, when measured in terms of unaided ad awareness 52 online shows and podcasts participated in the four campaigns studied and 6,869 audience members participated in the research.

Ad formats consisted of: embedded :15 and :30 host-read audio and video ads, embedded :10 and :15 produced video ads, ad banners on publisher websites, and social networking in the form of publisher blog entries about advertised brands and related topics. Podtrac developed the advertising effectiveness methodology in conjunction with TNS.

The study showed embedded advertising in online shows and podcasts to be highly effective for increasing brand awareness, usage intent and positively impacting brand perceptions across four diverse product categories: television programming, automobiles, financial service, and digital imaging. Results included:

• Average unaided ad recall of 68%
• Average aided ad recall of 89%
• 73% average increase in likelihood to use/buy vs control group
• 69% having a more favorable view of advertiser due to ad exposure

“The unaided awareness level of 68% is considerably higher in podcasts and online shows than in other offline and online media,” said Mark McCrery, Podtrac’s CEO and Co-Founder. “Narrowly targeted audiences, appropriate ad formats, content relevance, and show host involvement are some of the factors which come together to produce highly effective ads in online shows and podcasts.”

“The data also suggest audiences are paying close attention to show content and the embedded ads within them which greatly increased ad effectiveness in the studies,” said Doug Keith, former Vice President of the Media & Entertainment Group at TNS and currently President of Future Research Consulting. “The high unaided ad recall figures are no doubt the results of a less cluttered environment.”

“Online shows and podcasts have loyal audiences who pay attention to advertisers who support the shows they regularly listen to or watch,” said Velvet Beard, Podtrac’s Vice President of Products. “The studies showed a 73% increase in likelihood to use or buy an advertised product which is an indication of successful targeting, the unique relationship audience members have with the hosts of today’s online shows, and their ability to quickly move audiences from awareness to consideration to purchase. The studies showed that 69% of audience members have a more favorable view of in-show advertisers, which means a tremendous amount of goodwill goes to advertisers of online shows when show selection is intentional and advertising and ad formats are integrated into show formats.”

The 52 podcasts and online shows studied as part of the research include: This Week in Tech, MacBreak Weekly, net@night, and Daily Giz Wiz all with’s Leo Laporte; MacBreak, MacBreak Tech and This Week in Media with’s Alex Lindsey; Geek News Central with Todd Cochran;SDR News with Andy McCaskey; Feast of Fools; Filmspotting; and FlashTV.

Podcast Audience is Growing Steadily

The Pew Internet & American Life Project conducts surveys about podcast and other online media usage.  According to Pew Researchers, the number of women and the number of people over age 65 who have downloaded podcasts has doubled over the past two years, and 19% of Americans have downloaded a podcast, compared with 12% in 2006.

The podcast audience continues to be educated and tech-savvy, with a wide range of incomes and ages.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Microsoft Zune

Author and video podcaster Richard Harrington speaks to Microsoft Zune podcasting guru Rob Greenlee at the 2008 New Media Expo.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Presentation on WordPress

DCPA Member Naomi offers tips on using WordPress and blogging.

Be sure to check it out.

Bill Mandates Closed Captioning for Podcasts

A new bill has been introduced into congress that would target accessibility of web video. The "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008" (
) covers about a dozen areas. The proposed law has Internet video captioning requirements.

Eighteen months after its enactment, the Federal Communications Commission must set up regulations and deadlines for "an appropriate schedule of deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video programming distributed to the public over the Internet."

Three kinds of video would be affected:
  • Material that has already been captioned for TV viewing
  • Live programming
  • Video that is "generally considered to be comparable to programming provided by multichannel programming distributors."
It is point three that is sticky. A whole lot of podcasts fall into this category. Closed captioning and transcriptions cost.... many podcasters see little if any profit from their shows. Always nice when congress sticks its nose in the Internet.

How about instead of sending money to worhless causes... they actualy fund this requirement.

New Media Expo Coming Soon

Just a reminder that I'll be speaking at this year's
in Las Vegas. The event runs August 14-16 and I hope you can come out. My class is called:

Want to cut down editing time and give your show more polish? Learn how to create video podcasts using multiple cameras. Join veteran podcaster Richard Harrington as he shows how to harness multiple angles to improve your show. From concerts and live events to demos and interviews, multiple cameras will help you tell your story. Learn how to setup and match your cameras as well as essential editing techniques. This workshop will make multi-camera productions a snap.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Advertisers Begin To Target Podcasts

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A great article about podcasters and advertisers....
I’ve often scratched my head how I can gather 2 million people each month... but advertisrs still go with magazines that deliver less than 25% of that. This article from Investor’s Business Daily is an important read. It also features a colleague of mine... Scott Bourne.

Lend Me Your Ears: Advertisers Begin To Target Podcasts

Podcast audiences have branched out far beyond just geeks. And advertisers are starting to like them, too.
After having placed ads with Web sites and search engines, more advertisers are starting to spread their ad dollars to audio and video podcasts in an attempt to reach certain consumers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shooting Progressive

Author and video podcaster Richard Harrington explains why he recommends shooting your video podcast in 24p (or 24 frames per second, progressive).

Friday, June 6, 2008

5 Tips for Launching a Successful Podcast

Emarketer reports that in in 2007, 18.5 million Americans tuned into podcasts. In four more years, the analysts projected that this audience will more than triple in size.

Ready to hop on the podcast bandwagon? Great! Check out these tips for launching a successful podcast.

  1. Podcast on a regular basis. You’ll earn loyal listeners if you podcast on a schedule, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Try to upload your shows on the same day of the week.
  2. Keep your podcast episodes short and sweet. Online audiences have short attention spans. Five minutes is long enough. Anything over ten minutes is pushing it.
  3. Stick to informative and entertaining content. If you talk about information listeners really value, you can slip in a little promotion. A rule of thumb for email marketing is 85% useful content and 15% promotional content. It would be unwise to devote more than 15% of your air time to promotions.
    Submit your podcast to iTunes.
  4. Create a compelling podcast website. Your website or blog can feature your podcast schedule, announcements, and special offers, archive show notes, answer audience questions, and promote products or services.
  5. Measure your success. Some measurement tools to try:
    • Google Analytics: tracks users and audio file downloads
    • Feedburner: measures the number of unique subscribers per episode
    • Podtrac and Volomedia: behavioral and demographic data

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Episodic Viewing of Podcasts

Deeje Cooley from Adobe shares some interesting thoughts about episodic viewing of podcasts. Don't miss this
on what's possible with the new Adobe Media Player.

“There is a better way. More and more,
feeds, which allows for a completely "on-demand" experience. What's more,
the coolest feature
, called "Storyline Subscriptions", takes advantage of the reverse chronological order inherent in RSS to deliver every episode of a show, in order, from the beginning, at a pace determined by each individual viewer.

Adobe Media PlayerScreenSnapz001

Most video RSS aggregators will pull the most recent episodes of a show, which is great for news and magazine-style shows. But for story-based shows, viewers really want to start from the beginning, in order to follow the story arcs and character developments. When you subscribe to a show in Adobe Media Player, you can choose to either pull the N most recent episodes, or choose to pull N episodes starting with a specific episode, usually the first one. And of course you can change these settings, on a per-show basis, at any time.”
Be sure to