May 23, 2013

10 tips for creating photos that tell stories

Post stories

Get supporters involved by sharing your story through pictures

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers.

John HaydonThe Internet is slowly but surely becoming one big picture book.

Instagram and Pinterest have grown at astronomical rates precicely because they allow people to easily create, curate and share pictures. And Facebook has placed more importance on pictures, with cover images, full screen viewing and newsfeed preferences.

Photos are huge but simply posting photos is not enough. You have to post stories! Continue reading

May 22, 2013

What nonprofits can learn from public radio about storytelling

radio
Photo courtesy of CubaGallery via Creative Commons

Should your organization incorporate audio into your digital communications toolkit?

Guest post by Will Coley
Producer-Founder, Aquifer Media

will coleyIf nonprofits want to learn how to create content that both engages audiences and creates devoted supporters, we need look no further than the gold standard offered each day by public radio. Think about it: Radio producers can create stories that keep us in the car for “driveway moments” even when we’ve reached home, just so we can hear the ending.

iheartnprPublic radio has created legions of devotees who give money for something they can already get for free. At the same time, we’re in the middle of a renaissance of digital audio online and via mobile technology.

To take advantage of this exciting and pivotal moment, nonprofits should consider adding audio storytelling to your digital communications toolkit. Here’s why. Continue reading

October 25, 2012

How to create high-quality Web video interviews


Creative Commons image on Flickr by Reflection Films

5 steps to get you soaring on Skype or Google Hangout

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, video producers.

Guest post by Derek Singleton
Software Advice

These days, recording a professional-looking Web video interview is becoming easier and cheaper. However, it’s still easy to get things like lighting, studio set-up and the background wrong.

It’s now easier than ever to conduct video interviews or conversations over Skype or Google Hangout. If you want to interview a thought leader in your sector, or if you want to have your executive director or CEO sit down for an Internet interview, take the right steps to make it look good.

You have a lot of software options. For Skype, the Evaer Skype video recorder and Pamela for Skype both work on PCs and ecamm‘s Call Recorder for Skype is a good option for Macs. VIDBlaster is another solid choice. With Google Hangout, every Hangout On Air is automatically saved to your YouTube account.

At Software Advice we shoot a lot of Web video, and we wanted to share tips we’ve learned from trial and error along the way.

Here are five key areas to focus on to help you create great Web videos. Continue reading

October 3, 2012

7 top video editing tools for nonprofits

How to edit video in house with tools that fit your expertise

This is the second of a three-part series on nonprofits’ use of video. Also see:
• Part 1: What to consider when investing in video
• Part 3: Video for your cause: Getting giddy over Viddy

Guest post by Kyle Henri Andrei
Idealware

Before the digital revolution, videos — like still photographs — were actually shot on film. Editing them involved cutting out individual frames and splicing the filmstrip back together, a tedious and expensive process that resulted in lots of little plastic squares on the cutting room floor. You also had to move through all previous footage to reach the scenes you wanted to edit, more or less requiring you to edit the film in the order in which you shot it.

Today, software makes editing digital footage faster, easier and much more affordable, and puts it within reach of anyone with a personal computer. Even better, digital video editing is “nonlinear,” which means you can access the scenes you want to edit directly. This helps speed up the process, especially for a short, Internet-ready video for which you just need to trim off the ends and add a title screen or two. Continue reading

September 27, 2011

Techniques to add dazzle to your advocacy video

Matanya’s Hope tells stories of Kenyan schoolchildren through photos & video

Lauren MajorMultimedia storytelling can be an incredibly powerful tool for your organization to attract funders, motivate volunteers and demonstrate the power of your message.

Our friends at Matanya’s Hope asked us to create a visual story for their nonprofit by seamlessly blending photos and video footage that they have captured over the past several years with original interviews, music and graphics we developed.

Founded in 2005 by Illinois native Michelle Stark, Matanya’s Hope is a nonprofit dedicated to educating children in Kenya. Last summer I accompanied Michelle to Matanya Primary School and saw the destitution these children and their families face: severe poverty, hunger, lack of clothing. And I realized why Michelle is dedicating her life to this cause.

For nonprofits and other organizations looking to capture their stories through powerful imagery, here are some simple tips for creating professional-looking video:

  • Use “b-roll” (stills & video)
  • Incorporate stock music
  • Use narration or background sounds
How to incorporate b-roll

By using B-roll – still photographs and short video clips referencing what the interviewees are talking about – you can make the video much more interesting than by solely using “talking heads” (straight interviews of people talking without any additional footage). As we are hearing Michelle talking about the children with “no shoes and torn and tattered clothing,” the still photographs visually reinforce what the interviewee is saying. B-roll also allows us to edit the interviews without a noticeable cut (“jump-cut”) in the action or picture on screen.

Use background music to add texture

Background music was also selected to set the mood of the video. Royalty-free music can be purchased online from a number of stock music websites for a modest charge. One of my favorites is Triple Scoop Music. There are also a slew of free sites offering rights-cleared music, generally using Creative Commons — see Socialbrite’s Free Music Directory. Continue reading