Steven Baker is modding up this panel, the room seems pretty empty, but it is a very niche topic.
Robin Liss, Founder and President of Camcorderinfo.com is up first. For a few thousand, you can create quality videos that rival big media.
Picking a Camcorder... You can probably find a camera that will fit within any budget. If you are uploading the YouTube, you don't need to be that concerned about the quality, but that is changing. Low light performance is the most important thing to quality. The format you want to use is either hard drives or flash based media, go tapeless. Audio quality is very important. Manual control is important also and also handing and editing workflow are also important.
$500 to $700 is a fine budget. Low light performance is important. If your not editing, hard drive is fine, but tape and HDV is much better if you plan to edit. Audio is too often overlooked. Buy a camera with a mic port, most don't have it.
Stabilization, Bags and Batteries: A good tripod is the most important accessory. Plan to spend $150 - $300 on a tripod, it will last decades. Good brands are bogen.manfrotto, vitten, smith-victor, gitzo. Look for a "fluid head." A bag is important. Get lots of batteries, possibly a battery belt.
Audio Equipment: People will tolerate bad video but not bad audio. Do not buy a camcorder without a mic port. Camcorder shoe for mic mounting. Lavalier is $15 for wired, but wireless is $200. There is a boom mic, but you need a separate person to operate it. Conference hall video can have bad audio, use different channels to try to solve this issue.
Lighting and Sets: Make sure you have an interesting set, don't use white backgrounds. Get an on camera light for walking around shots. If it is on stage, then just buy a three point lighting solution - can be cheap.
Filming Tips. Don't put someone in the center of the camera, put on left side or right side. Two camcorders setups rock. Use B-Roll for illustrative or cutaway shots. The worst thing is having someone talk into the camera for a while (like I do in my videos). Only use video if your going to take advantage of the visual aspects. Keep panning and moving to a minimum.
Editing and Graphics: Software ranges from $50 to $1,000. Most software packages do all the basics, just be comfortable with it. Just cuts do not use wipe outs. Use the lower third for a banner. Do intros and "outros". Say the site name in the video and also use graphical site names. Music is great to add, but make sure you have rights. DigitalJuice has premade back drops. Make sure to spell your guests names right.
2008 Update: Videos do not make money, not through YouTube or direct sales. It is really hard to sell ads on video. Don't plan on making a business model around selling ads on video. It is just not ready, she said.
Videos are also very expensive to make. These video views translate into small a number of pageviews on your site. The only people making real money online is like Hulu.com, she said.
They now look at videos as photos. They do 30 to 90 second videos now. They are not abandoning video, but they will reduce the resources to put to it.
Just because everyone is talking about it, it doesn't mean it is right for you. But this is going to change, but be careful.
Brett Tabke, CEO of WebmasterWorld.com is next up with his "So You Want to Go To Hollywood."
SearchEngineWorld started in about 2007. Cameras between $500 and $5,000 or so. The web is forgiving to quality, very forgiving. Brett would underspend on cameras. Lighting, go as cheap as you can, such as a $200 system at Home Depot. He is not a fan of wireless mics. From lavaliers, handhelds, desk, boom, convertors, mixers, etc - it can get messy. Brett uses Sony Vegas, but there are lots of software apps. You will likely spend a lot more in software than you expected. Staging ha slots of options from virtual props, green screen and real studios. Finding talent is very hard, it is highly competitive, high turnover and expensive. Videoographers are also very expensive. 1 hour for editing a single minute of footage.
Brett spent a lot of money his first year on his video stuff.
The traps are underestimating your workflow, streamline that workflow. Getting into it is hard cause of the costs. Not having a business model is also typical.
Michael McDonald, Managing Editor of iEntry Inc is last up to talk about WebProNews. Now Mike makes the best videos in this industry. They have been doing it since 2006 and today, it is still even a work in progress. WebProNews has been around since late 90s. They added video not as a money making thing, but as a content enhancement tool. By years end, they will have done over a 1,000 videos.
They spend a lot on equipment. Sony PMW, HVRs and so on, their favorite is Sony EX HD, it costs almost $10,000. Tapeless saves them a lot of time.
Sound is incredibly important. The on board sound on cameras stink. They use Sennheiser equipment, both wireless and wired. For lightening they use Sony HVL LED light system. A Lowel DV creator kit. Kata camcorder pack. Sony tape deck and FS-4 Pro Firestore device.
Their studio is very cheap. They spent about $500 at home depot, on flooring, desk, etc. They use a green screen, but lightening is important.
They prefer Sony software. For compression they use Sorenson Squeeze, he loves it.
To introduce video into your existing content... Internet is a visual medium, so its a great place to start. Make sure to keep your viewers engaged in the video. Adding video to existing content. Videos at WPN is a value add.
Distribution methods include an online vide player, RSS and XML feeds, get your video into iTunes, plus brand awareness. Embedded code is a big deal. They don't care who watching the video, where they watch it or how. So give them embed code. And optimize for search engines, such as through Google universal search, feed content to search engines, and add meta data. They use TubeMogul to distribute their videos and it also shows tracking.
Video quality is something they are really big on. Broadcast quality, quality broll, and quality images.