It joins “The VideoBiz” book in my attempt to share my knowledge gained in 40 plus years of slide, multimedia, meeting, and Interactive production.
Tributes are where I got my start, producing a tribute for my father’s 50th birthday, the College of Journalism Dean’s retirement, a class graduation, and my sister’s engagement party. All were celebrations of people. Despite a life of producing new product intro’s, training tapes, corporate overviews, rah-rah rally-the-troops rousers, and major meetings with actors and flying vacuum cleaners, I always loved tributes the best. And we did them for the corporate world: retirements, award biographies, military ceremonies, memorials, and more.
I learned over the years that I had developed (in my head) a set of rules for producing good tributes. I communicated them over the years to many of my writers and producers. So years ago, I took a first stab at writing a book about tribute video productions.
But things have changed, technologically and generationally. And I now have much more time to build out the book I’d really want to share with people. Except now, it’s freelancers, video enthusiasts, or anyone who suddenly has to produce a tribute and doesn’t know where to start.
This book covers it all:
Theory of the personal story
Equipment, from soup to nuts (with an emphasis on saving money)
Acquiring and inputting assets for your story (photos, movies, clippings, interviews)
The art of building a story
The sequences you can follow to guarantee success
Public Domain photo, video and music resources
Sample of successful tribute productions
Web resources for additional learning, equipment purchases, even software
And that’s just off the top of my head (well, at least there’s something at the top of my head!)
I’m also building a home for tutorials and sample tributes at http://www.tributevideobook.com. There you will find samples of tribute videos, links to resources, and of course, more about the book.
70 is just a number. But in terms of mortality, it’s a decent number. I’d rather be younger, but I’m happy to be here. And at 6:25 this evening (2-27) I will be, in fact, 70.
At a family birthday party last weekend, my son Matt asked me what inspired my move from multi-image slideshows into video production as the primary medium for “audio-visual communications”.
We were waiting in the car for his bus back to NYC. Just as I was about to start spewing whatever popped into my head, his bus rolled up. As we said our goodbyes, I remember that I had written something about that move way back when. It was for the magazine “Multi-Images”, which was published by AMI, the Association for Multi-Image, the trade group for those in the multiple slide projector show business.
I found the article, scanned it, and sent the PDF to him the next day. It was written five years after I left my first business to start a second business on my own, bringing some staffers from the first business with me. Date of publication was 1987 or so. What I wrote was basically honest, although I simplified the motivations for starting over somewhat. Anyway, the PDF is below, and if you’re up for a magazine article sized read, you’re welcome to indulge and comment.
It’s still the way of the world: Young beats old, new triumphs over the status quo. I know. I was young once, and part of a generation that was taught to not trust anyone over thirty.
Okay, 40 MAY be the new 30. but the attitudes still prevail, and moreover, we live in a world where youth is celebrated, envied, targeted, ogled, modeled, OMG’d and TMZ’d.
There is a begrudging nod toward the “classic” or “Old Skool” (sp), but this is usually when some idea that transcends time is adopted and “mashed”.
I have a career because my partner and I though we could bring something new to the communications game, something beyond the traditional. We adopted new media, refreshing visual techniques, snazzy soundtracks, and incorporated a new style of writing.
But eschew classic forms? No way.
All of us came from journalism and communications colleges. We studied film, documentaries, and in radio production techniques. We learned what worked. Then we added our style to it.
And told a story.
The proliferation of videos on the web is proof that video cameras are reaching typewriter (ok, make that word processor) status– various uses, techniques, styles prevail, from simplistic POV to eye-bending storytelling. From screen-capture training to dramatic time lapse. From 6 second Vines to 2 hour dramas.
Short videos prevail, but these are mostly informational or slice of life, camera tricks or just plain look at the camera rants.
But a recent New York Times article pointed out that videos on the web are actually getting longer. Longer doesn’t mean better, but it does provide more room for storytelling
Perhaps today’s hyper-connected people have discovered the joys of the explorations of thought and emotional catharsis longer forms can provide.