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Old May 24th, 2005, 02:22 AM   #1
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My first training video

Hi all,

This is the first training video I've made for a client and I'd welcome feedback.

http://www.film-it.net/html/untitled14.html

Actually, it's more of an orientation video, about 7 mins long, designed to make the salesfloor staff of a large UK fashion retailer aware of a piece of equipment they are about to be given. It's aimed at a 17 - 21 year old age group, exclusively female, and you probably need to know something about fashion retail to understand it all!

It was shot using a Canon XM(GL)2, edited in Vegas 5 and this is a low resolution wmv version (that still weighs in at 20mb - but it should start playing quickly). For some reason, the bright white background has turned a little grey, which is not the case on the finished piece. A couple of the animations have also been smoothed out since this version was posted.

Opinions and suggestions for improvement welcomed. Thanks for watching.

Ian . . .
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Old May 24th, 2005, 01:36 PM   #2
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Good music, good energy. It was better compositing and graphics than I could do. Very imaginative and fun.

As a "rally the troops" message I think it was way too long. Cut it in half. It did not really stress what was in it for them. More time selling and making commissions? Less tedious paperwork? Less overtime? Benefits to the employee is all they care about !!

As a training video, it gets a 1 out of 100. All I know is where the power switch is and the two navigation buttons. If I ever "refer to the manual" in a training video, I want my client to shoot me. I replace manuals. It did nothing to show me how easy it would be to do an actual task.

JMO, Good luck.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #3
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As a mandatory for review peice, this is a nice departure from the standard read to me presentation format. However, the content does fall short with respect to "knowledge transfer".

Your client might just want this as an intro to the device with more formal hands on peer to peer training.

If you were to build a training video from the clips you have, you will be well on your way. This requires vetting the content into its individual steps required to do the task and building an intensive narrative to have the learner follow with on screen titles, spoken word and supporting clips.
The video just isn't an instructional peice.
I did enjoy the graphics ... looks like Vegas ships a nice set of pip transitions with resultant drop shadowed frames.

Is the music bed from a royalty free collection? If not, this exposes you and your client to copyright infringement issues unless you have contacted the publisher or rights holder of the work for a sync to video license. If you have done your due diligence, then you can disregard the above.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #4
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Bob, Jimmy,

Many thanks for the constructive criticism.

A couple of responses:

Firstly, I probably shouldn't have called it a training video! It's actually designed to be played while the store manager talks (live, obviously) through various things happening on the screen (that's why the quieter music sections often repeat at length). It was really intended to remove any fear that store staff might have about using the device, rather than being a detailed function by function explanation or replacement from hands on training and a help document.

Second, I was kind of stuck with the storyboard the client provided. Even then I managed to reduce it from a 12 minute piece to 7 minutes. After that they wouldn't budge and I had to stick with their story line.

Third, both the client and I wanted to keep voice-over to a minimum - in fact, there isn't any! We wanted it to tell it's story in images, with eth store manager explaining live what was going on. I really like that idea - I think it's a novel approach.

You are absolutely right about the employee benefits being all they really care about. I convinced the client to cut the sections that talked about improving profitability to the business! The end viewer is typically a female 17 to 21 year old store assistant and, according to the client, what they want to do is spend more time talking to and serving customers than checking for price reductions etc. I thought the video actually did get across the point that the new device would help them achieve that.

Again, the video was never intended to replace either hands on training or the instruction manual (a one page quick start guide) but rather to supplement both. To completely replace the manual would, I believe, not be realistic in this situation (is it ever realistic to expect to do that?). I think both documents have their place and should refer to each other (IMHO).

Anyway, interesting and valuable comments and I thank you both for taking the time to look and critique.

One pleasing rider to this is that the client has put me in touch with teh developer of the software that sits on the hndhelds. They want me to do some work for them as well. In turn, they spoke to the supplier of the hardware itself. They also want some work out of me. And they spoke to one of their clients today (one of the UK's largest retail entertainment outfits, HMV) who also want to talk!

Not bad for a 1 out of a 100 video!! ;-)

Finally, yep the client had already licenced the music through the original production house that pulled out at the last minute, resulting in me getting the job. Not sure they'd be that excited about the editing I did on their song though. But let's keep that to ourselves, eh?

Thanks again.

Ian . . .
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:24 PM   #5
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That explains everything Ian. Keep up the good work. When this is delivered by just the right foreman/team leader, the enthusiasm can only grow among the flock.
Live presentation with the supporting multimedia and voilà, le client looks slick.
Nice job on the referrals. So much of my work comes from the network that continues to expand.
Also, I really like the way you can take the critiques found here.
Refreshing. 100 out 100 for positive attitude.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #6
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Ian,

Considering it's intended use (and the target age of your viewers) I think you did a good job. If I dislike something I usually know pretty quick as it gets turned off and I never see the end. Your piece I watched all the way through, that's a good sign. I agree that most of the segments drag on a far longer than they might need to IF it was the only focus at the time, but combined with a speaker telling the viewer additional details... I say you hit your mark just fine.

I do have some questions though, like was the odd interlace looking transitions intentional? It’s hard to tell with the compression and final size. If so, I can understand why you might use them, but I'm not a big fan of that look. Reverse field interlace mistakes sometime happen, so intentional transitions that look similar make a video look like you don't know what your doing. That's just my opinion though, so it can be disregarded easy enough.

And how long did it take you from start to finish, including outline, concept, etc., to completion? Also, what was the final delivery medium, DVD-Interactive-Web-VHS???


Peace Ian!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 01:55 AM   #7
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Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for that. I've just completed a segment to be slotted into a live Powerpoint presentation at a trade show in a couple of weeks. I am really into the idea of a well rehearsed, beautifully timed live action/video hybrid presentation. It remains to be seen how some of the store managers get on with the New Look piece though!

As for taking criticism, I guess if I moan and whinge about what people say, they'll only give me advice once. That was my first training (well, you know what I mean) video. The second one will be better thanks to the extra pairs of eyes and years of experience on this board.

Thanks again.

Ian . . .
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Old May 26th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #8
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Hi Daniel,

Glad you made it through! Thanks for watching.

Now, before I make out like I don't know what I'm doing (ha!), which transitions are you talking about? The cubes? Give me a specific example and I'll have a think about a sensible reply!!

I did have some trouble with a couple of segments where I think I may have nudged the ratio a little off 4:3 and any sudden movement in the picture causes nasty little jaggies. That was fixed for the final master (boy, did that take some time).

In terms of timeline. I was asked to step in to make the film on Friday 6th May; I spent Monday 9th with the client going through the storyboard (they already had an outline concept and subject list). That night I sat in a pub and drew up a shot list. We filmed from 8am to 1pm on the Tuesday, I went to a funeral in the afternoon, slept all evening. I then did all the capture and shot selection etc on the Thursday. Editing was two days the following week - one day with the client and one at the office. Then one day of very annoying changes and voila. A day at the duplicators and the client got their 600 copies (on VHS by the way) a few days ago. So start to finish about two weeks, time on the job about 6 days. I did this for a flat fee (mistake) and I reckoned on 5 days. Still, turned a nice profit, and then there's the referalls!

Thanks again for making it through to the end (how much I HATE that song now!).

Ian . . .
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Old May 26th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Stark
Hi Daniel,

Thanks again for making it through to the end (how much I HATE that song now!).

Ian . . .
Haha! No problem, and I feel your pain. I did a marketing video that used a custom soundtrack far worse... over and over AND OVER during edit.

So you sat in a pub and worked on your shoot list? Damn, I knew I have been doing something wrong, I'll try that next time with a pint as well. Come to think of it I may work that way during editing too!! =)

Also, I think I know what the odd fields look is caused by. You shot everything as interlaced and when you created the Windows media version you simply didn't de-interlace the final output. I just wasn’t thinking when I posted that, tired I guess, I should have caught that. Interlaced footage looks crappy on a non-interlace monitor, try de-interlacing for the streaming version next time and it will look less distracting.

Sounds like you did fine then, I agree that a day is not much to lose especially counting the referrals.

Peace!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 10:20 AM   #10
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Well, I didn't know that about deinterlacing for wmv. Experiment time!

Yep, the pub is the best and the worst place to work. It was a tiny pub near the south coast of England. Great fish and chips. Great beer. Great reason to take three times longer than necessary to build a shot breakdown! I recommend it.

I spent a couple of great days working in Tennessee a few years ago but sadly I never made it to Knoxville. On the drive from Nashville to Chattanooga I passed a sign to Lynchburg and couldn't work out why I knew the name. Then it dawned on me - I'm a Tennessee Squire and apparently I own a small piece of land there. My mother wrote to the President of Jack Daniels and told him that I liked his product so much I had named my children after it (true story - Jack, 9, Daniel 12). They were so impressed they made me a Squire! We now have two cats called Pepsi and Cola - we thought the names mixed well with the kids.

Have one on me!

Ian . . .
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