How to promote a website

Ingredients for a fun filled day at the studio:

Director of Photography

  • A full video production crew, each member doing and knowing exactly what they need to do.
  • Quality Talent that is confident, knows how to deliver with inflection and is well rehearsed.
  • Power tools and rigging wire.
  • About 2 gallons of Starbucks.

Getting to that point involves a lot of prep work and coordination.

General Tips for happy Graphic Designers:

KTVU-com-storyboards

For time and money, nothing beats a good quick mockup.

  1. Each project should have you trying and learning something new. Build on what you know, but push yourself.
  2. Always have your cameras set to record in higher resolution, and capture a wider shot than you need. In post, despite all your best efforts, you will need to reframe talent. Shooting extra space allows you place talent perfectly and saves time trying to ‘fake in’ extra edge space.
  3. Clearly written talent scripts, and a storyboard are worth pure gold in a production shoot.

The “storyboard” with sketches really cuts down on the production costs! Nothing is easier to communicate than a visual representation of exactly what you are trying to capture. Have your director of photography view it before he submits his project bid, have your talent review it days ahead of time, and have a copy on hand during the shoot.

“Having storyboards with even the most rudimentary sketches dramatically cut down costs.”

The client insisted we show how and where to click on the website. But as any UX designer will tell you, people won’t be drawn to a site, just because they know how to use it. We needed to sell the benefits. KTVU.com’s target market are smart, busy people, who want to know details about their local area, and not have to sit through an hour of content they are not interested in. The benefit of the website, “you control your news.”
ktvu_dot_com_dave2

Of course we also understood, we can’t just ignore the client’s input. So the idea of talent using a virtual website I hope would satisfy both. The story boards which you can see here helped seal the deal.

I think they wanted to see if we could pull it off on a shoe string budget.

The Pessimists.

Making the Website the Star of the Show.

To help make the website be the focal point, I designed it so that the talent would be purposefully out of 4 x 3 safe, if not outside of 16 x 9 entirely. At times the website even dwarfs the talent. This was a bit of a hard sell for my Creative Director, and GM who in turn had to answer to the station’s main anchors. News talent doesn’t entirely appreciate being edged out of the frame. You’ve seen Anchor Man right?

I was expecting this, even despite all the prep work and sketch ups. Which is also why I insisted on shooting in a higher resolution with extra padding. Sure it made working with the files slow. But it gave me workable footage just in case management couldn’t sell it.

Point made, here are the Results:

If you enjoyed this type of project, read my other post, KTVU Legacy Spot – Motion Tracking


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