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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Show Openers- How To Hook the Viewer

Show Openers - How To Hook The Viewer

Congratulations to DrivenTV's Pat Reeve and Nicole Jones for winning the 2012 Golden Moose for "Best Show Opener"
video

What make's their show opener a winner?
• Subject
• Shots and camera angles
• Editing
• Voice Over
• B-Roll Footage
• Music
• Speed

Subject- Make sure your opener contains subject matter that is going to instantly resinate with your audience. For example, DrivenTV chose to use the "kill shots" that will be seen throughout the season. This not only instantly draws the audience in but it also keeps them watching every episode to see that kill. Tip: Go back and watch the opener again and count how many of these "kill shots" that are there.

Shots and camera angles- Pat is a pro at capturing all angels of the action. This is done through having multiple cameras. Don't feel like you have to have 5 professional cameras to get these different angels; POV cameras are lightweight and capture HD footage and are a cost-effective way of adding more camera angels. Think creatively with this, imagine what the scene would look like if it was from above, imagine if you were hiding in the grass. Go high, low, tilt, behind, in front, with your camera.  If you don't have the budget for multiple cameras, do recreates.
Example: You want to have your camera on the animal to get the kill shot, after that shot you go back and do recreates.
Recreate 1:If you are bowhunting, you want to get that video of the hunter pulling back the bow and releasing. (Hunter in Full Frame)
Recreate 2: Close up shot of the hand pulling back (Close up video on the hand)
Recreate 3: Post-shot Excitement (sometimes this can be hard to fake the real emotion, still take multiple cuts of this, you can always delete it later)
Tip to think creatively on different angles: Take a chair, or another object and set it in front of you. Look at this list of prepositions. Now apply those words to the chair as if you were filming it. Example: Different perspectives that you can get from one chair- the chair from above, film the chair across from it, circle the chair and film around it, film the chair from below it, film the chair from behind it, sit in the chair and get the perspective from among it, film the chair "despite it" by making the chair blurry and the background in focus, you get the point. Take a look at our Production Elements Blog for more information on different camera angles. 

B-Roll Footage- B-Roll footage is extra footage that you film of random things around you that you can give to your editor so that he can use in post-production to help tell the story and help move the story along. Examples from the clip above: Time lapses, lightning, shots of animals that aren't the "kill shots", etc. Time lapses are great b-roll footage because they help convey the sense of time moving. You can film time lapses anytime and your editor can plug them in anywhere throughout the season. The viewer won't know that that sunrise or sunset didn't happen right after the clip before. Here is a great example of some B-Roll footage from one of our Video School Graduates. He created a short film, but he can go back and use some of these clips in his hunting videos as b-roll footage.

Kansas from Mike Stephan on Vimeo.

Voice Over- Voice overs are an important part of your show opener because it is the one chance you have to tell a new viewer what your show is all above. Pat and Nicole chose to explain why they are "Driven". If you decide to use a voice over in your opener, you need to make it dramatic, compelling, and intense. Watch the first 45 seconds or so of this episode of Swamp People to see how they used a dramatic voice over in their opener. http://www.history.com/shows/swamp-people/videos/swamp-people-the-last-battle
However, sometimes no voice over is needed at all, the music is dramatic enough, like the 2011 Golden Moose Award Winner for best Show Opener- DrivenTV


Music- Music is what will make your video clips and b-roll footage flow together. Go Back and play this DrivenTV Opener and close your eyes while you watch it and just listen to the music. Think about how the music changes how you feel and what you are thinking. The music should be captivating all by its self, especially if you do not use voice over. If the tv viewer was in the other room, the music from a show opener should draw them in without ever watching a second of video. To become good at choosing the right music to go with your clips you need to become more aware of the influence of music in video. Next time you are watching a TV program or a Movie just close your eyes for a few seconds and just listen or really start focusing how editors use music to convey an emotion. Explore video sites such as VIMEO to see examples of music integration into other people's work. It is important that you NEVER use copyrighted music for your video as you can get in a lot of financial trouble for this. You MUST read the agreement before you use so call "free" music because it will say that it is illegal to use if published, even to a site like youtube or Facebook. By a subscription to stock music for 100% security.

Speed- A key thing to remember is you want your music to match your video clips. Notice in the DrivenTV 2012 opener and when the music starts to move faster so does the clips, also the music gets louder as the clips get faster as well. Some editors prefer to find the music first and then edit the clips accordingly, others the other way around. There is no one set answer or one set way to do things.

Editing- The editing part is crucial. You can have the best clips in the world, but if you do not put them together correctly, it can loose its effect. A good rule to follow is take your "subject" clips and throw in some clips that don't really have anything to do with anything but help make the video flow- or B Roll Clips (time lapse, walking in the snow, etc.). To learn how to edit your hunts, I would recommend attending the Adobe Premiere Editing Class at Campbell Cameras Outdoor Videography School. Tip: Start watching your favorite TV Programs (inside and outside of the outdoor industry) and really pay attention to the different editing techniques that those shows are doing, transitions, graphics, titles, b-roll footage, voice overs, etc., to get ideas to incorporate into your show.

Don't try and create a show opener just like DrivenTvs or other shows out there, but use things you see, hear, and learn by watching different openers and transform it to make it your own! Good Luck and we would love to have you comment below with links to your show openers or if you have any question feel free to comment and we will answer them.
Show Openers- How To Hook the Viewer
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