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Old September 30th, 2009, 08:28 AM   #16
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Thanks for the comments Gents.

Just to clarfiy some points -

The presenter happens to be myself.

The website has a specific target audience in mind and it's working very well, it has significantly lifed conversion rates, in term of customers contacting me for work.

Your observation that I am just reading the text is correct, but what happens when someone visits with flash turned off, if the text wasn't there either how would they get the information, also what would happen in terms of SEO?

Most people on the web don't read pages fully, they scan read for the information they require.

No rules were breach regarding just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

I did it because I wanted to and I thought it would be more engaging to my target audience, the feedback I have been given has proved this to be correct, and the website is working as I want it to work.

Thanks,
Dave.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 01:42 PM   #17
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I call these presenters view limiters because most click off the site when they pop up instead of closeing the video. That said, you can find cheap drops for chroma keying on ebay or make one yourself using a roll of cheap lenolium with the backside painted with ultimatte green (or blue). You can roll it up to protect the paint when storing and roll it out & hang it with C stands when shooting. Makes a great lil cyc without spending much. I using proper ultimatte paint, you can flood it with just one or two lights (because the paint is reflactive) and then just 3-point light your talent (you in this case) as ya normally would.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 07:11 AM   #18
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Hey David,

I kind of gathered it was you as the presenter - again great job on a very professional, well executed key / flash video.

In relation to you reading the text I think what most were suggesting is that you not get rid of the text, rather you instead give a summery in the video thus making it a lot shorter and punchier.

In fact you yourself have hit the nail on the head - most people DONT read pages fully! Most people DO scan so ultimately the goal of any well constructed website is to cater to this accepted behavior and make it as easy as possible for visitors to get exactly the information they want as quickly as possible. This is where a medium paced word for word read flies in the face of this accepted requirement - it just slows the process down.

Its very interesting though the feedback you're giving us - honestly I would never dream of doing it the way you have - yet as you say it seems to be working well and has been well received. I guess as long as you monitor your weblogs and make sure you arent loosing traffic (ie have a high % of people leaving after a short period) then dont change a thing.

I do think punchier summary videos would still get you the 'wow' factor but in a more user friendly, quicker to digest format, but thats just me. In the end maybe its non of these things - maybe the success you've had is that YOU ultimately present well and in a typically faceless industry, people are choosing the nice guy with the face they can trust? ;-)
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 10:24 AM   #19
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Hi Paul,

Thank you for your constructive comments and I fully understand where you are coming from.

The idea was to absolutely strip down the website so that it would be as easy to use as possible, people could get on, get the info and get off again.

They can then make their decision.

The videos were all shot on a Sony Z7 in HD progressive using the Datavideo Chromakey system.

The post was done in After Effects.

As I work in the web industry (I'm not on this forum for my video skills!) I also understand there is room for improvement and there are some things I would / will do differently the next time.

But as a first effort I am very pleased with it.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 10:44 AM   #20
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Its well done David but like others I am just not very keen on these pop up presenters.

Now if you had a fluffy talking cat or pig that would be more effective???

NOT!

I am also looking into video content for web sites but from a broadcast angle, we feel that an infomercial or pearl and dean type informative ad will be more acceptable than a hard sell.
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Old October 4th, 2009, 10:29 PM   #21
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In general I agree with some of the other posters in regard to Presenters on web sites. Mostly I hate them and go elsewhere. However one thing that David's video did do was give a personality to his services.

Here's a couple of suggestions:
1. I would have liked to know who it was that was talking, knowing that it's the person who I will be dealing with and that he can present himself well does count.

1. As suggested don't just read the text, summarise or add value in some way.

2. Do you want people to read the text or watch the video, they can't do both at the same time. So perhaps the text is redundant. Maybe the keypoints could have been included in the video, not verbatim but lines such as - We can help you: with repairs - too set up for the internet - etc etc.

2. The default for showing the video should be stop, let the user decide to watch (think about return visitors to your site, after a while they will get sick of hearing the speel, regardless of how good it is.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #22
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The latest statistics in from my brain say that this type of thing is only effective if it's a hot chick in a bikini.
She doesn't even have to say anything.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
The latest statistics in from my brain say that this type of thing is only effective if it's a hot chick in a bikini.
She doesn't even have to say anything.
Borat in his mankini would be even more of a marketing puller NIIIICE!
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Old October 6th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #24
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I'll vote for the hot chick WITHOUT the bikini! Of course then nobody needs text - in fact nobody would need sound either.

Maybe a good test bed (!) for stereoscopic video
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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #25
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Guys we had the chick in the bikini all lined up and she pulled out the night before, something about washing her hair, hence I had to put my imense acting talents to the test and step up to the plate.

The best comment I have had so far was "wooden", but the customer was happy with the service and paid in full and that's good enough for me!
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Old October 7th, 2009, 06:07 PM   #26
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wow, i didnt realise this thread was up and running! I think the video, in principle, looks good, but agree with the comments about the content, but thats by-the-by.

I have shot chromakey footage before, my question is more about the technical aspect...is there anything else I need to know? I PERSONALLY think a short video, introducing myself, giving the visitor a personal introduction would be good, and would like to experiment with the idea at least.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #27
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there are tons of web companies selling such feature like livefaceonweb.
unfortunately , since the concept is simple, they tend to make it locked to some secret component, so you need to pay for their special player, models, etc... and makes the thing hard or expensive to use. Some offers very complex scripts allowing to fully control the player (position on page, delay to start, link to follow ,context sensitive etc...,
basically it is nothing than a flash player with no skin (visible controls) playing a video encoded with the On2 VP6 codec.
This part is mandatory since this is the only codec able to use alpha transparency in flash.
This feature is great if you have web presentation (like powerpoint slides or web application) and want some presenter walking thru the sceen to explain some parts of the slide or showing how to do tings with a menu, filling forms etc...
unfortunately to master all the parts (having a good script and model, making nice keyed video, editing into PC, fitting into web pages etc...) requires skills and facilities above average.
another solution that is also "Hi-tech" looking is using avatars (2D or 3D) that can looks very close to human presenters. The advantage of it is you can control speech and behaviour like a puppet, so possibilites are endless. (see Haptek product for example).
Microsoft got something nice like the "Agent". these are pre-programmed piece of animation you can use over application in windows (including web pages).
You can imagine to produce an Agent from video of yourself. It is a huge work, but since you can reuse it "ad-infinitum", it could worth the pain.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #28
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Ive just been doing some experiments with my financial advisor Stuart Miles, the video is here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGVYE7nit-A

Stuart is usually a bit more boring than this so it has been a challenge to get him to present his company to the world, he is a bit anti tech as well as you can see from the basic web site design.

The main point was to let him express things unscripted in his own words and to keep it as simple as possible.

Try not to fall asleep and any comments will be appreciated, we could have got the chick in the bikini but Stuart was drooling too much and my main ideas are to get the people who own their businesses to see the videos as training in how to present themselves to clients on the web.

P.S The budget for this would be £250 but as Stuart is my test victim he bought me lunch.
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Last edited by Gary Nattrass; October 13th, 2009 at 12:44 PM.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #29
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Rather nice I thought. Low key is good! I think it works quite well as a stand-alone spot.

Now the $64 (or maybe GBP64) question - how would it work on a web page? I'm not so sure. I think if there were text content scattered about people would start to read and then get frustrated when the speaker kept talking while they were reading.

By the way - I did get the impression that he was rather looking down at the camera instead of straight on. Not sure if he was or not, just an impression.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #30
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any comments will be appreciated
It's a brave and honest attempt. From an accountant, such a performance is to be lauded.

I'll throw this into the mix (as virtually all my work is done for the web, and centres around presentations):

Presenter looking directly into camera can be quite confrontational. The presenter needs to be good enough to 'make virtual eye contact' and hide any fleeting panics caused by trying to remember lines as it looks like fear, trepidation or contempt. So autocue systems can have a presenter looking like a startled rabbit doing an eye test.

So with non-presenter types I often go with an off-screen interviewer and really work at building up a rapport. It's not just for the presenter - I've collected anecdotal evidence that web viewers don't like being stared at, and a presenter looking off screen makes the viewer feel they're overhearing a conversation rather than being asked to participate in it.

As for the discussion about using 'web presenters' - we DVinfo types are a funny old lot. When it comes to these items, we've been there done that and got the stretch marks. For communicating a personality brand, it's great. But your audience is asked to focus on the person - who either has to be a stunningly compelling or totally 'puppeted' human sign post. Nothing wrong with human signposts/information boards in many cultures.

So IMHO you need a charismatic presenter who can almost instantly build trust with an audience, or a totally bland clip-presenter who is just part of the furniture. And, for everyone else, we need an intermediary 'third person' so we can observe the presenter from the other side of a secret mirror.

What gets my goat is websites that start up at you with video or audio, usually at an inappropriate volume and announcing to all and sundry what you're doing that 'ctl-W' is such an easy reflexive move. So a mute, looping 'click me!' presenter is fine so I can fish out the cans before the inevitable lecture.

But back on topic, I've always faked web presenters, but I guess I'd use Flix from On2 which has the option to include an alpha channel, either an extra channel or a chromakey. I'd make an alpha channel from the key done in my NLE (in my case, DVmatte Pro in FCP). Will try that out.

Found this - http://digitalproducer.digitalmedian...e.jsp?id=70171, and separately created a movie in FCP with an Alpha, but it's a little trickier than I hoped to get it encoded as an Alpha FLV. Will report back later.
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