Video

Many of the web sites you’ve seen in previous lessons here offer some way of embedding video files within your pages. So let’s explore some ways of getting some videos that you can upload. You may have a webcam that you feel comfortable enough using that you might just want to take a few video “selfies” where you talk directly into the camera for a more personal presentation. First we’ll explore a few alternate options of making movies for your visitors.

Remember how you were playing around with logos and graphic editors before? With http://www.intromaker.net, you can upload one of those logos, and this service will make a video out of it. This way, even a logo that’s just simple text can be given a little motion slickness that you can put in the header of a web page. Just be aware that the free version of this video will include the intromaker.net watermark on the bottom of the video, and the file size may be quite large. This may be a good project for a video editor later on!

At http://www.flixpress.com there is an even better implementation of this approach. This service also makes very brief title videos, but there are more free templates to choose from, the file size is smaller, and there is no watermark placed on your video. You don’t even need to have a graphic logo to make a video. When going through the video creation process, you can simply type the text of what you want to be animated. Using the “cinema intro” free template, I inputted my name and “attorney at law” in the 2 available lines of text to make a very usable video for the header of a web page.  After making your video, you can convert to several different formats through the service or download it to your computer.

Just as we were able to create minimal web pages in the first lesson by typing some text and then having it appear as a web page with its own web site address, the same can be done with video. At http://vidd.me you just choose a video file from your computer and this site makes a web page with that video. There is little other clutter on the page to distract from your video, so you get that clean viewing experience. You can quickly shoot and save video even from your phone, and quickly turn it into a web site you can share or use as you wish.

If you’re brave enough to try a little cartoon animation, http://www.powtoon.com is a popular choice. Powtoon animations are like whimsical clip art pieces come to life. It certainly takes some tact to apply a comic tone to serious legal matters and still be convincing and respectful. The upside is that cartoons can make an upbeat emotional appeal to the heart in a way that a real lawyer in a suit couldn’t do. The idea of real people cheering with their arms in the air due to their hiring of a divorce lawyer seems unthinkable. But it works in this animation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYP-YsC3qrI as it focuses on the law firm’s role in limiting the unpleasantness in the divorce process.

Powtoon animations can also be used to frame information in the context of a business presentation. See how a lawyer raises a few points about sole proprietorships in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7Vii5xk-JQ. The video is a casual yet instructive commercial that never becomes overly silly. Remember that with Powtoon, the free versions of their animations have their logo, are limited to 5 minutes, and can’t be saved to the creator’s computer. The Powtoon format has been used extensively by tech companies to explain their mission, so when used responsibly, you can make it work to explain your value as a lawyer to potential clients.

We’ve done some nice things with sites that automate the process of making videos for you. But ultimately you’ll want to get the most exposure for your videos on sites like Youtube and Vimeo. And you may desire to learn more advanced editing techniques to add more effects and polish if you’re really aiming for a commercial you can use all over the web. So we’re going to take one more lesson to focus on video content resources.

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