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Blog

Lights, Camera, Action: Directr is joining Google

jonah goldstein

Our small band of scrappy film lovers set out 2 years ago to help regular folks make great video. Today, we are incredibly excited to take the next step on that journey and announce that we are joining the video ads team at YouTube.

For now, everything you love about Directr is staying the same and we’ll continue to focus on helping businesses create great video quickly and easily. One immediate bonus: Directr will soon be all free, all the time. Thanks, YouTube!

A  heartfelt thank you to everyone who’s downloaded and used Directr - we are grateful for your support.

Stay tuned,

The Directr Team

How To Shoot a Video of a Conversation and Keep It Interesting

Kerryn McDonough

7 ways to improve the quality of your video by keeping the visuals as interesting as the conversation itself.

So you have read our previous post, 5 Tips for Filming an Interview with Just Your Phone. Now that you have had so much success following those tips and tricks, you have come back searching for more. Well, you’re in luck. Here are a few pointers for setting up for a conversation and producing a beautifully shot video. Keep practicing those angles and frames! The impact of a small adjustment can be huge. Remember, have fun!

(flickr.com)

(flickr.com)

 

  1. Location, location, location! When there is lack of action in the shots, you should find somewhere that is aesthetically pleasing, but doesn’t draw too much away from the prominence of the speakers.

  2. Background should be natural and unimposing. It should not pull attention away from the person in the shot, but stationary objects should also not appear to be deliberately positioned. If shooting in a restaurant or cafe, there will be people sitting down or walking around in the background. That’s ok because viewers will expect the movement due to the nature of the setting.

  3. Use natural lighting if possible. Artificial lighting is good if natural light is unavailable.

  4. Use a variety of angles and frames. Switching the point of view keeps the video interesting and contributes to the entertainment value.

  5. Use wide shots and close ups. They are important to telling the whole story.

  6. Use Over-the-Shoulder Shots or Point-of-View shots to spice things up a bit.

  7. Insert shots that bring the viewer into the conversation. This technique adds dimension to the video. The best conversation movies will reflect the emotions of the people speaking.

Download directr for iPhone now.

Got an idea for a post? Is there something you want us to write about? Let us know! help@directr.co

How do you set up your conversation videos? Any particular frames or angles you like using? Please do tell.

 

Think About Where You're Looking

Max Goldman

What direction you're looking can affect the message of your movie.

In Hollywood, eye line is defined basically as the direction a character in a movie is looking. It's important in fiction films to match the eye line of a character to an alternate shot of what he or she is looking at so the audience can stay engaged & believe the story. When a character looks off screen with their eyes raised, you expect the next shot to be something he's looking at in the sky. 

Eye line continuity in movies. Click through for source.

Eye line continuity in movies. Click through for source.

This may seem like a complicated movie term, it's also applicable to your movies in a simpler way. When you watch a business video, the speaker is either talking directly to the camera, or looking of-screen if they're being interviewed. Watch our video to see this in action and learn some tips & tricks: 

So, next time you're making a movie, make a decision as to where you're looking. If you're filming someone with a wandering eye, try having a co-directr stand behind the camera so it's easier for your speaker to focus. If you're solo, pick a spot to consistently look at while you film.


Download directr for iPhone now.

Got an idea for a post? Is there something you want us to write about? Let us know! help@directr.co

How is your business using video? Share with us some of your innovative ideas.

5 Angles to Try in Your Directr Videos

Kerryn McDonough

Use different angles to enhance your storytelling. 

Depending on the angle and/or the frame of the shot, the image you film will convey a certain meaning to your audience. We will explain below how various angles affect the mood of the shot and how to best portray your individual directr style. Video making encourages creativity and expression so show us what you’ve got!

1. Eye Level: This is the most commonly used angle and is shot at the eye-level of your star or from your perspective as the filmmaker.

Example from Titanic

(doblu.com)

(doblu.com)

2. Birds-eye View: This angle is shot from directly above the person or object you want to capture.

Example from The Shining

(planetivy.com)

(planetivy.com)

3-4. High Angle and Low Angle: The high angle can have great significance. Frame your subject then angle the camera down to achieve the proper form. This point of view can make your subject appear insignificant and/or inferior to others in the shot or can be introduce comedy. Low Angle: Position the camera low and tilt it upwards at the subject in order to amplify the importance and authority of the subject. High angle shots and low angle shots are often juxtaposed in movies in order to show the relationship between actors as shown below.

Juxtaposition of high/low from Matilda:

(elementsofcinema.com)

(elementsofcinema.com)

(elementsofcinema.com)

(elementsofcinema.com)

 

5. Dutch Angle: The dutch angle, an angle directors often used in horror or scifi films, is a tilted shot . Because the shot is tilted, the horizontal and vertical lines within the frame are no longer balanced, which creates an intense emotion in the scene. Use this angle to show disorientation and/or discomfort.

Example from Bride of Frankenstein:

(facetsfeatures.blogspot.com)

(facetsfeatures.blogspot.com)

When filming, try out a couple different angles for each shot or vary your angles from shot to shot. This variation will make your story more interesting by providing visual stimulation.

Directrs, don’t be afraid to play around with all of these angles for general shooting as well! The descriptions above provide examples of how previous directors have used angles to portray certain meanings, but you can use any angle for general shooting to produce something incredible.

Experiment, explore, and most importantly, have fun with your movies!

Download directr for iPhone now.

Got an idea for a post? Is there something you want us to write about? Let us know! help@directr.co

 

7 Video Ideas that Make You Seem Like a Real Person

Kerryn McDonough

A few tips that will help you craft video marketing campaigns that your audience will love.

Video is a great way to connect with your audience because it gives your company a human identity. You can entertain them with office antics or inform them with product demos. Once you start filming, you’ll realize how many possibilities you have. Don’t fret if you’re unsure of how to use video. We’ve put together a short list of ideas to get you started.

Ideas to Help You in a Pinch

1. Make your audience think.

Visually show your audience how you came to a conclusion or how you’re thinking about a problem with a video. Actually seeing something played out in front of you makes you think about ideas in new ways and can generate conscious consideration of a problem. Kickstarter videos show off a problem and how you can help solve it. You can make one of your own with the "Crowdfunding" template:

2. Announce product releases.

Let people know what’s new and give sneak peeks of what’s coming. In our "New Feature" template, you can show off a new update or facet of your service or software:

3. Tell your consumers how to use your product or service.

A simple demonstration can increase the likelihood of someone buying your product because they will truly understand how it works and why they should use it. 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process (Insivia, 2013). At Directr, we make sure that every feature has a corresponding FAQ video. This helps users get a stronger grasp of what they would use our app for: 

4. Demonstrate how to set up more complex products.

Help a friend out. You know it’s complicated, walk them through it. Our review series also has tips & tricks on how to use the items we talk about:

5. Let customers share their experiences.

Often times users come up with great ways to use your product or service that you yourself hadn’t. Listen to, consider, and share their thoughts. At Directr, we're always watching what our users create in order to produce case-specific templates. Here's a user's video showing the "behind the scenes" of a trail run course, created with our record anything feature:

6. Share stories that your customers relate to.

Birthdays, religious holidays, sports games, high school dances, family trips… The list goes on and on. There are lifestyle stories that define us as humans and enable us to relate to each other in a way that reading from a screen cannot. Our "Day in the Life" video doubles as a holiday card to our users:

7. Encourage further action.

Get them actively involved in using your product or service. Ask your users to make a movie and share it back you. Hold a contest. Encourage your users to share the movie you made. We created the "Office Haiku" storyboard and invited users to create their own haiku & tweet it at us so we can share them on our dedicated Tumblr page. Here's one created by a user:

 

Excited? Download directr for iPhone now and get started making your own pieces of inspiration!

Got an idea for a post? Is there something you want us to write about? Let us know! help@directr.co

 

Do you have awesome video marketing ideas? Share them below.