September 2014


8 Great Tips for Video Production Virgins

How to Be a Successful Video Producer

This is a guide for how to do high quality video production. It is not about having sex on camera. The title is an example of how you can use a creative hook to grab attention for your video productions.

So, rock on and read on if you’re doing research. You’ll be rewarded for your effort. This comprehensive content will help you as a Video Production Virgin. You‘ll be ready to produce your first quality video creatively and effectively. (If you’re a novice or student who has done videos but wants to do better, come along. You’re in luck, too.)

Here’s an ironic twist. The goal of delivering 8 Great Tips for Video Production Virgins is actually quite the opposite of sex. Here’s why. I’m an Emmy Award-winning TV Reporter/Producer who turned to Internet Content Development to be the single parent I need to be. By sharing quality information and advice based on my professional experience and expertise, I’m hoping it will serve as “safe protection” for you from 2 common socially transmitted issues:

  1. Getting screwed by bad video production services.
  2. Feeling like you did it to yourself because you were lazy, cocky, or clueless.


Did You Know?…

There are nearly 5 Billion video views on YouTubeevery day!

As a Video Virgin, this one statistic shows you video is not a luxury. It’s now a necessity. If you’re not doing video, you’re behind the times, and your competition. 5 billion YouTube video views today, and at least 5 billion for all the tomorrows tells you all you need to know about the growing power and potential you’re now exploring.

Here’s more good news.

You’ll have this power in your hands when you produce and post quality videos.

Now here’s the bad news.

This power of video won’t work, or will actually work against you if you don’t use it properly.

So, because you’re a Video Virgin or novice, now is not the time to simply lay back and enjoy. Nope, not at all. Sit up. Get dressed if you must. Get focused. Engage. Learn. Take notes. Brainstorm. Bookmark this page. Or better yet, do all of the above. Let’s go.

8 Great Tips for Video Production Virgins

#8. Preparation in video production acts like a GPS. A “winging it” approach acts like a DUI.

Knowing what you want to accomplish in video production acts like a GPS. It takes you right where you want to go as a content producer. It also takes viewers right where you want them to go. Know what message you aim to deliver. Decide how to do it. Put well-spent time and effort into a script, or at least an outline or plan. If others are helping with your video production, make sure they are in on the plan.

Winging it is like driving under the influence. You’re taking an unnecessary, foolish, and costly risk. The good thing is with video you won’t injure or kill others. You’ll just bore them to death, or annoy and disappoint them by wasting their time. You’re the one who gets hurt. You’re the one who gets busted in public by producing lame videos.

Surely you’ve seen how people look and act when they’re under the influence. It’s not pretty. Do you want to be taken seriously with your videos? If so, you don’t want to come across like a fool who doesn’t know where you want to go or how to get there.

Think of video viewers like passengers. They won’t want to go anywhere you’re trying to take them unless they have confidence in you.


#7. This just in to the Newsroom. Rambling is NOT a Plan.

The top of your head is a great place for a hat. It is not a great launching pad for effective videos. As a professional on-camera talent, I can ad-lib well because of my experience, and because I prepare myself. Great ad-libbing doesn’t happen overnight. Video Production Virgins would be wise to prepare to create on-air success.

Remember the annoying line from your parents. Just because other people jump off a bridge doesn’t mean you should, too. Look out. Here it comes again.

Just because millions of other people ramble endlessly on YouTube or in other online videos doesn’t mean you should, too.

Viewers (especially potential customers) running for the exit is the last thing you want in video production. Less is more. It’s better to give viewers the right amount of content, or have them wanting more from you. Too long is too long. Your viewers exit, taking all possibilities with them. You’re a viewer, right? So, use your own experiences to guide you. If your video production feels too long it probably is.

Have a message. Have a point. Deliver them clearly and concisely. Know what to say and how to say it. This empowers others to see and hear you know what you’re talking about, and invest their time into you and your entire videos.

Now keep this in mind. One of the factors in YouTube ranking is the amount of time your videos are watched. If viewers are bailing early on your videos, the YouTube Ranking Gods may bail on your videos, too. Double whammy.

#6. Quality Content is King.

Yeah I know. There’s a lot of talking points here. I’ll take that chance delivering quality content I know will help you.

Give viewers value. Give them something they can use whether it’s guidance, direction, entertainment, or just a sense of who you are.

#5. Think in Pictures, not just Words.

Win over short attention spans and viewers wanting instant gratification. Think visually to be successful in video production. Is the background pleasing or distracting? Move the shot. Change the shot. Add footage, photos, and graphics when possible and appropriate. Keep viewers engaged by what they’re seeing, not just what you’re saying.

#4. Looks and Lighting Count.

You’re human. People judge you on how you look. Own it. Deal with it. I suggest honesty and a mirror as a great starter kit. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I wear makeup on camera. Any professional will tell you makeup makes a world of difference.

Viewers will notice if you look tired or bad. They won’t tell you. They will judge you. Look your best for the best results.

Lighting is important. In simple terms, always try to have the light balanced on your face. This means have your face to the sun, the lamps, or any light coming in from the window.

Having dominant light behind you makes you backlit and washed out. No style or beauty points here.


#3. Picture Your Audience in Video Production.

It’s not about you. Video production is about reaching your target audience. Give viewers what they want. Yes, you should tell your story. Have a purpose. However, try to deliver using ways your audience will want to receive it.

Identify your ideal audience person. What does she or he want to see and hear? Why would she or he be watching your video? Communicate directly to her or him for the best results.

#2. Editing Elevates Everything.

“Fix it in post.” This is a common saying and mindset among video production and television professionals. “Post” is short for post-production editing. Magic happens here. It’s where mistakes are covered or minimized. It’s where fresh new ideas are born. Editing is the quality kitchen where audio and video spices and finishing touches are added and mixed for serving to the public.

BONUS: If you plan on editing, you can plan for editing!

Your video productions can be easier. Rather than having to get everything right in one take, or make sacrifices in quality along the way, you can get things done in small chunks, one section at a time.

Editing elevates everything in video production from the quality of your work to your confidence doing it. Editing can raise satisfaction levels of viewers, and ultimately elevates your image and the rewards you receive.


#1. How and When to be Smarter than a Smart Phone.

I love my smart phone camera. You probably love yours. It can get the job done but not always as well as you’d like. “Selfies” work in certain situations. But if you’re on the way up, or your looking to impress high end clients, consider hiring video production professionals. This should make everything better, from the look to the lighting, audio, and even your performance.

If you value your image, and think others might, too, working with a reliable professional video production service is smarter than using a smart phone. Do multiple videos in a single session to be more effective with your time and money.

If you want to look professional in video production, it makes sense to work with talented, creative professionals. It’s like having an image and communications doctor on call.

Now it’s time for Lights! Camera! Action! Right? Wrong.

Prepare. Then turn on the lights, camera, and take action. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

By Thomas Baldrick

Thomas Baldrick is an Emmy Award-winning on-camera talent and producer/writer based in Arizona. From script to screen in video production services, he helps companies, organizations, and individuals across the country to achieve the success they and their target audience want.

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Personal 9-11 Do’s & Don’ts

September 11, 2014     By Thomas Baldrick     #azstrong


WTC. The World Trade Center. WTF. September 11, 2001.

This is personal. If you ever wanted to read someone’s diary without feeling guilty or being ripped for it, here’s your chance. What to do with 9-11 memories? I don’t know. But every time the future brings September 11th to the present, it seems like my duty to share the past. Yeah, strange but true.

I don’t want to remember what I do about 9-11. But I don’t want Americans to forget.

If you feel the same way, you can share this with others

My heart still hurts for the many victims and their loved ones. I’m just a guy who lost part of himself that day and replaced it with other stuff. I covered the 9-11 tragedies for more than 6 weeks straight as a television journalist with ABC News. My sensitivity on the job helped greatly in some ways, hurt deeply in others. First, I was in New York City. Then, weeks later after I asked to quickly sneak home to Philadelphia for clean clothes one night after a scary bomb scare at Newark International Airport, I wound up being sent to Shanksville, PA. From New York City to there, you can’t experience more of a night and day difference in America than that.

Since the horrifying day Osama Bin Laden and his band of misguided Al Qaeda assassins (let’s call them asses for short), each anniversary has been less than pleasant. Each one has been different. #ThankYouArizona for the sun shining today.

So here goes. My brain and heart are sharing my good, bad, and ugly inside in the form of personal… “9-11 Do’s and Don’ts.”  

DO: I do get touched deeply by the annual September 11th Moment of Silence.

DON’T: I don’t think my neighbor’s yappy dog knew or cared about it this morning.


DO: 13 years later, I do remember. I remember sights and sounds. I remember smells, thoughts and feelings.

DON’T: I don’t wonder for a second why many men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces have PTSD. I also don’t understand how these brave yet battered wounded warriors been so mistreated by their fellow Americans at the Phoenix VA Hospital.


DO: I do remember September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday.

DON’T: I don’t believe I can still hear Brian K. from the ABC News Bureau saying to me, “Pack a bag! We need you!… Oh by the way, can you come?”


DO: I do admit to having a love affair with the World Trade Center. Every time I saw those magnificent twin towers from New Jersey, I always got excited to be returning to New York City.

DON’T: Despite a beautiful photo in my home, I still don’t have the ability to think of those buildings without seeing them on fire and smoke rising to the heavens above the 5 boroughs.


DO: I do vividly remember standing near a bearded man in a turban as we both tried to use a pay phone. We said nothing to each other. We didn’t take our eyes off each other, or turn our backs on each other.

DON’T: I don’t deny judging him and wondering if he was Al Qaeda, wondering if I should just kick his ass before another act of terrorism happened.


DO: I do know I’ve kept my word since 9-11 and have been forced to act on it, never letting fear get in the way of some idiot possibly taking me and others down on an airplane.

DON’T: I don’t understand why more American passengers aren’t this way.


DO: I do remember being absolutely terrified on 9-11, literally thinking the world might be coming to an end. I know others were thinking the same thing.

DON’T: I don’t think there’s any way to measure the power of that fear, or the extraordinary acts of bravery, courage, and patriotism which shined in spite of it.


DO: Honor and thank #FDNY, #NYPD, the great people of the Greater New York City area for their kindness, courage, and leadership.

DON’T: Fail to include honor and thanks to the Shanksville Fire Department, the super people of Shanksville, PA, former Pennsylvania Governors Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker for their kindness, courage, and leadership.


DO: I said that day and many times since 9-11 how not only is tomorrow promised to no one…but neither is later today.

DON’T: I hope you don’t ignore what I just wrote. Tell people you love them every chance you get.


DO: I do admire New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for becoming Superman after 9-11, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

DON’T: I don’t think you can underestimate how he also rose to be part Gandhi, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Captain America, Statue of Liberty, and Humpty Dumpty. Really.


DO: I do remember using my journalistic skills to reach the Newark Airport Terminal just hours after United Flight 93 took off and was hijacked.

DON’T: I still don’t know how at least one of the dozen or so police officers who were so scared and angry that day didn’t pull an itchy trigger finger on their shotguns all pointed right at me.


DO: I do know 9-11 brought out the goodness inside many people.

DON’T: I don’t know if you can comprehend what a small town the Big Apple was for a while after September 11th.


DO: I do know being blessed to serve as host of those life-changing retreats for children who lost loved ones in the World Trade Center was one of the greatest, most incredible honors of my life.

DON’T: I don’t want to believe any of the rumors about the Todd M. Beamer Foundation, the amazing people, and the mighty heroic mission I knew.


DO: I do know there were many victims who were lucky to escape with their lives on September 11th, 2001. I do know there were many heroes such as those from FDNY Engine 40 Ladder 12 in Manhattan who knew they were going to their deaths at the World Trade Center…and went anyway.

DON’T: I don’t know if I could ever be as brave as the heroes on 9-11 or admire them enough.


DO: What I can’t do yet is forgive. What I can’t do yet is forget.

DON’T: I don’t know if I ever will.


DO: I do have many more 9-11 Do’s & Don’ts memories to share.

DON’T: But I don’t want to do this anymore right now. Thank you for caring enough to read.


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