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Producing Videos for Online Viewing on YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu & More

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 4/27/2011

Here is a look at a few areas and considerations around online video production.

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    The new world of professional video production is not one that is limited to the push media environments of film and television. Instead, online streaming video and distribution methods are fastly becoming the primary place for video consumption and the way that these forms work now and will work in the future are different than video has been traditionally. The way that online video production works, the way it is formatted and run through post-production, as well as the way it is consumed, is all creating a changing series of content types and production expectations. Here are some key points to consider when working on videos for online distribution.

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    Corporate Web Videos

    YouTube Logo, Currently, most sources for online streaming video are not yet efficient enough to deliver high quality content when they are part of a website. This is definitely changing, but for the average corporate video production that is created for online distribution the ability to show the video in a format that is comparable to most standard viewing methods is going to be years away before it becomes a standard.

    This is for a number of reasons, one of which is that the abiilty to host videos from the website specifically is not Vimeo Logo, always easy or cost efficient. Instead, using services like Vimeo or YouTube to host the video and then embed them on the page is going to be much more important. Vimeo can come in incredible quality, but this does not mean that it is going to be able to be viewed in full resolution when in the context of a website.

    All of this leads to one primary element that is important to online video producing: budget. Since the videos tend to not have the resources to be viewed efficiently, and since they are watched as part of a website and not an idendifiable piece of video content on its own, money is not usually poured into online video productions. What you can expect when being hired to produce an online video for a corporate client is that the workflow will be much faster and the quality will be lower than with other types of professional video production, so you need to have a comprehensive workflow ahead of time that you can present to the clients. Often times you can just offer a few online videos as part of a full package that includes regular commercial productions and full service corporate videos.

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    Web Videos

    Web videos can mean a lot of different things, but in this context it refers to independent video content that is intended to be viewed online. In general, these have tried to employ the unique nature of the online environment by providing shorter videos, ones that tie into larger properties, and items that are heavily serialized. These types of online video productions take on a closer purpose to formats like traditional filmmaking, yet try to employ the pull interactivity. This remains a field of new media that is not clearly defined, yet the facilities are now emerging for the producers themselves to define the content.

    If you want to become a web focused producer of professional video production content then your first task is to find web infrastructures that are already monetized and in support of web content. This is difficult unless you already exist as part of a media company, such as one that produces short news content, or have a name as an artist, author, or filmmaker ahead of time.

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    High Quality Streaming

    Netflix Logo, Professional film and television has already made its way over to the internet because of the major advances in Hulu Logo, technology. Online video production does not always refer to this as services like Netflix and Hulu have brought the traditional form over to the internet. This is changing, however, as the form is reflexively altering the content on these sites. As Netflix continues it will begin to produce original content that will be chosen based on the same principles that a television network would. What is different here is that the consumption patterns and preferences are different for Netflix, and so this means that they will begin shifting the type of work they produce to ones that are likewise based around the internet functionality. What this means for traditional filmmakers who hope that producing videos in these venues are going to act as their new primary exhibitors then they need to remain abrest to the ways that internet changes the expectations of the viewer.

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    Source: author's own experience.