The Digital Naturalist is an inspired forum for video, film, and multimedia with a cause. It brings together an elite panel of experts to analyze what makes digital storytelling successful, establish helpful guidelines for advocacy groups, and shine a light on the most effective and inspiring work being produced today. Through analysis, forums, interviews, and personal accounts, we hope to help nonprofit organizations and the creatives working with them better communicate the most pressing, complex issues of our time.

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If your video is comprised of interviews, try to get your b-roll after you’ve recorded all or most of the interviews. The reason is that inevitably the people interviewed will say certain things that may inspire the kind of b-roll you’ll want to shoot. Read more bladeronner.com.

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Consider this stat...

Online videos lose 20% of their viewers after just 10 seconds, and about 50% in 90. (See the chart here.)

This doesn't necessarily mean that all videos have to be short to be effective. What it does mean is that a video has to grab its viewers RIGHT OFF THE BAT. Some nonprofit groups will argue for opening a video with credits and sponsors and links, because it will make a funder or a CEO happy. Whatever the reason, I encourage them to fight the temptation. Audiences are made up of busy, fickle folks, and there's just no time for a warm up in this ring. 

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Reader Comments (2)

I agree with you that you need to grab the viewers attention right from the beginning. However, I had to please a client by putting the credits at the beginning of a video/multimedia piece. The main showing was at a luncheon and the clients did not want anything to be in between the experience the audience (hopefully) had at the end of the video and the organizations request for donations. Also, when a video is being played at a conference or a luncheon, it can take a little bit of time to focus the audience attention. I could still hear forks hitting plates for the first 10 seconds. Having credits at the beginning uses up time that could be otherwise wasted in a video from people not paying attention.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana Romanoff

Interesting point, Dana... so maybe there's a qualifier in those stats... already captive audiences versus random viewers who's attention you're trying to win online. I DO think there are other ways to make sure luncheon crowds are engaged before the real content starts rolling-- and would love to know what the rest of the panel thinks, too. Will add this discussion to the list!

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Marquis

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