If you're an online web publisher looking for some basic tips on how-to to produce your first Web-TV show, here is real world situation from which to grab some good advice.
Photo credit: mipan
Producing a web tv show may appear to be pretty simple. You just grab your camcorder, shoot a video, upload it on YouTube, and then embed the video on your site. In reality, even doing a 5 to 10 minute show may take you hours and hours of work unless you have thoroughly thought about what to do.
How long should the show be? What are the things viewers are most interested in? How to do a good opening? What kind of titles or special effect background is best to use? As you start recording your first show, the questions and doubts
In fact what you really need the most are short, hi-quality clips with a strong focus, and something valuable for your viewers to take away with them.There's no need for a big budget or shiny equipment, but you do have a mandate not to waste your viewers time with an amateurish bad copy of what they can see already on their classic mainstream TV channels.
In this video, Ryuichi Sakuma, publisher of manga and anime site Nanoda.com, asks Robin the very basic questions on how to set up a web tv show that is going to be both professionally-looking and memorable for your viewers.
Full English Text Transcription
Robin Good: Hi everyone, this is Robin Good from Rome, Italy, and I'm connecting with a wonderful place, just near Venice, where my good friend, listener, reader, and fan Ryuichi Sakuma, whose actual name is a pure Italian one, but he's adopted this name because he's an independent online publisher working with a small team and publishing on Nanoda.com.
Ryuichi Sakuma: Hi everybody, how are you Robin?
Robin Good: I'm fine, I'm all alone, there's nobody else here. I've sent everybody away, so it's just me and you.
The reason I've got Ryuichi here today is because just like many of you, Ryuichi is a small independent publisher, with quite some talent, but he's just decided to innovate, introduce something new in his publishing strategy, and that is video.
He started a new video show just this week, what's the name of your show Ryuichi?
Ryuichi Sakuma: The show... its name is Nanoda TV, and we talk about manga and anime news, and many people can go with me and present their web site too in Nanoda TV.
It's something useful to share our work and the work of many passionate users in the world of manga and anime.
Robin Good: Fantastic, in fact I did say that the first episode of their Nanoda TV, and while it lasted some ten or more minutes, there were indeed many things, they were presenting, different parts of the sites, there were some other guy from the team, they had some manga fan video interviewed showing some of her work and what she does. They really put on the table lots of stuff.
In this short five minutes coming next, what I'm going to do with Ryuichi, is let Ryuichi throw at me four strong questions about how he and his team can improve their weekly web tv show.
Ryuichi the microphone is all yours and I'm ready to give you some tips about how you can improve your show.
What do you want to ask me first?
Ryuichi Sakuma: The first question: how to catch the attention of the users who are watching the video?
Robin Good: To capture the attention of your users, the best important thing is that you go there unlike what you see on television, all pumped-up, all serious, all quite....
You should really come like a bomb, like a missile, like something exploding of energy and wanting to share this with people. You got to communicate this out of your own ability to talk, you really have to be energetic somehow, and have some good story to say.
It's not important that you have lots of stuff to say, but you got to have something major, something that you feel passionate about, something bad, something good, some discovery you've done, but something you really have a bad desire to share with other people.
Show Your Own Style
Robin Good: Also the way you dress and look may be important. It's not so important to have big splashy opening titles, and all the trumpets, and the drum rolls. It's more important to have your head with some hat or crazy haircut, the way you feel the best.
This is the greatest birthday party you're going to do for each one of your TV show. So you have to celebrate yourself with your users, put yourself in the best condition to do that.
Put on your hat, your best clothes, the way you feel best, and don't care about the technology side of things.
Have a quite background just like I do, and don't spend a lot of time building up a big, fancy opening title sequence. You'll do that later, once you've discovered that people have told you that you're really good at doing this.
The Ideal Length of a Video
Ryuichi Sakuma: Another question: how much should the show last?
Robin Good: The length for the show should be as much as possible within five minutes.
Try to keep your show as short as possible, maybe you can come in and do some blasting 30 seconds in which you're going to introduce what you're going to talk about or showcase today, then have a very short opening title, maybe ten seconds, fifteen at the most, and then go on for another three, three and a half minutes.
Maybe at the end you can put something about your site. Somebody else can present in 20 seconds the news section you can go on and visit, or some interesting stuff you want to suggest your reader to go and check out. Do this at the end, and make it very short with some compelling visuals.
Within five minutes is really the best time if you want to have the greatest number of views.
If you have some special tutorials, or guides, or you got to go in depth to discussing something, you can go on for ten, fifteen, or more time, but you really need to have a very strong topic and put a lot of energy and possibly some visuals to keep up the attention for such a long time.
Get The Best Video Quality
Ryuichi Sakuma: About YouTube and other kinds of media, what kind of compression and format is best to obtain the best quality from video?
Robin Good: Yes, I hear you there. We've been talking before about this, so I knew you had some doubts about that and I would like to share with everyone what my advice is on this front.
- First of all, I know you're shooting with a Canon FS100, my favorite camcorder.
Either if you're coming from that crazy .MOD MPEG-2 format or from whichever format your camcorder shoots, what you need to do is to go out and compress it.
H.264 is the very best codec when it comes to quality that you can get in the final compressed video. It may take longer time to produce a H.264 compressed video, but it's worth the wait.
- Put up all the options. Go for 2-pass, go for a high quality. All those options, use them. Go for the highest quality possible.
When it comes to the bit rate, to the bandwidth bitrate that you can use for compressing your video, don't go below 3500Kbps, that is 3.5Mbps as a data rate to stuck there in your compression. No less than that.
- Optimize for download, do not optimize for streaming, tough that would be the intuitive solution. Say that you want to optimize for download and let the service who's going to publish your video do that part.
- Keep your audio in AAC format, 128Kbps, and that should be fine.
- Do not reduce the size and resolution of your video, keep it in full.
- Something you may not know is that YouTube may not always be your very best solution for quality, so do post to YouTube, but also do post to some other places.
In particular this time I think that Vimeo and Howcast may be the very best encoders online for your videos, that is the places where you can share your videos, and where they will look with the highest quality by default.
In YouTube you have now the HD definition, higher quality videos can be seen. You need to wait a few hours for that little extra thing to be displayed on, and then you can link or embed directly those if you know the trick on how to do it.
Ryuichi Sakuma: Ok, thank you so much.
Robin Good: You're very welcome Marco.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share some of these advice with somebody who really need it, and let me say also thanks to your team and to Gabriele, who's hanging out of the frame just now. Let him pop-up in for a second!
Hi Gabriele! have a great show next time! Thanks a lot guys and have a great day.
Ryuichi Sakuma: Thank you! Ciao!
Robin Good: Bye, ciao!
Originally shot and recorded by Robin Good for MasterNewMedia and first published on January 5, 2009 as "How To Produce Your First Web TV Show: Basic Tips - The Nanoda.com Case".