Lights…Camera…the Return of Captain Video!

Have you heard about the New Rage, video?Video displays

Whether you need branding, marketing or training, video offers everything you need. Or at least, everyone seems to be offering video advice in one way or another. I recently caught a webinar cleverly titled, “Lights! Camera! Cash In!” where the guy explains how easy it is to create your own videos — but he can help make it easier, of course. For a small fee, of course, for his online course, advice and support.

101 Steps to Shoot Videos Like a ProOne of my favorite authors, C.C. Chapman just released a new book (with co-author, Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff) titled, “100 Steps to Making Videos Like a Pro” this past week. While I haven’t read it yet, I’ve watched C.C.’s videos on, and he definitely does “make video like a pro.”
Shauna Herman & Miles Durkee

Then just last Friday, our Austin ASTD chapter held a Lunch & Learn titled, “How-To Video: Instructional Design Geek Meets Video Chic” with Shauna Herman and Miles Durkee. While I had not seen their work prior to the meeting, they won Best Software Systems Course at DevLearn in 2012, with pointers on content & production.

Their presentation made me remember a presentation at an ASTD meeting back in the late 80s. Pam Knight, award-winning video producer, presented an overview of how to work with a video production group. I had been asked to present about the other end of the spectrum — the one-person shop with few resources. I worked with a consumer level videocamera, no editing equipment, and had to beg for petty cash to buy peripherals such as lights or microphones.

“They asked me to present on ‘Video on a Shoestring’,” I said, pulling a shoestring out of my jacket pocket. “But some of us only wish we had a shoestring.” Shoestring with aglet

Then I pulled a Harpo-sized set of scissors from the jacket and snipped off the shoestring, leaving me holding just the very end-piece and announced, “A lot of us must make ‘Video on an Aglet’ instead.

Behold the aglet!”

This presentation was so well-received, I was invited to present it for several other groups over the following, including a state-wide audio-conference for trainers.


The point then — and now — is that while production values are important, content and presentation remain more important. When you don’t have bucks, you must use brains. For example, props — such as the shoestring and the Harpo-sized scissors — help make your point with visual metaphors.

Later, I followed up with a workshop titled “Captain Video’s Top 10 Tips” for the Healthcare International Staff Development Coordinators’ Conference. Pretty much all of the same advice from both sessions applies today — with some modern modifications that make it even simpler to present meaningful, engaging training content via video.

YouTube changed the rules for viewing and loosened up our expectations of “studio quality” for all video. Quality still matters (audio especially) but today’s learner may view a video on their computer screen — or something smaller even, like an iPad or smart phone. Today’s smart phones also put a higher quality video recorder in the pocket of most people than Captain Video ever had in his heyday.

Today, it’s easier than ever to produce and present video for training. The trick remains making it meaningful and engaging.

Same as it ever was.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
This entry was posted in creativity, Learning, Training, video, youtube and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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