A few days ago I was asked what the latest development was in the world of learning technologies. I quickly answered "mobile learning" and then went on to qualify that by saying that we were still grappling with what that meant. With hindsight, I should have added the use of video within the corporate learning and development world to my response, for when we're not talking about mobile learning, the subject of video comes up time and time again.
I've commented too before that the publishing industry often provides a good idea of current trends and - all of a sudden - there is some activity in this topic space, starting with Creating Video for Teachers and Trainers from Pfeiffer, a few weeks ahead of Rapid Video Development for Trainers from the ASTD, which I'll also review in due course.
I'll say at the outset that with just over 200 pages, its paperback list price of £42.50 is terribly overpriced. Even with its discounted price of £27.62, this is either a book you should borrow or buy the once for your corporate learning library; or download onto your Kindle for £20.72.
Anyhow, to the book itself.
Its divided into five parts focusing on planning and managing video projects, selecting the essential equipment, the video production itself, followed by post-production activity and its eventual distribution and use.
The opening part sets the scene with some examples of how you might use video for training. The second chapter gives a useful helicopter view of the entire video production process. The detail follows in the other chapters. The importance of planning is the next topic covered, before we get onto the subject of writing the script, including a suggestion for a practical two-column script format. The fifth chapter covers off other ways to produce video, including using webcams and screen recording software. Chapter six looks how to manage a video project. I found the estimation of time formula presented here to be very useful, together with a valuable and easy-to-follow introduction to basic project management principles.
The second part of the book looks at the essential equipment you will require and starts with a discussion on camcorders, before looking at some hints and tips for using the camera, including positioning your subject (the so-called "Rule of Thirds"). The next chapter focuses on light and lighting, including the positioning of your lights, before the book covers the subject of microphones and sound.
In the part about production, we start with selecting the best location for your video, then move on to the other key preparation aspect - planning the shoot, which - if done well - will minimise the time required and maximise the productivity of al those involved. This part finishes with the tasks to be compeleted on the day of the shoot itself.
The next section of post-production begins with a review of some of the options for video editing software, including some examples of typical editing ideas that will improve the finished footage. The next chapter looks at editing the accompanying audio, before looking briefly at special effects.
In the final part, the book looks at the final distribution and use of the training video. Starting with physical media, such as the DVD, it then moves on to consider the different formats of web-based video, but before concluding with another look of how you might use the finished footage within your training programmes.
Each part of the book ends with a short assignment designed to coach you through each element of a video project.
I mentioned at the start that this book is just over 200 pages long. Therefore, each of the chapters is quite short. At times, I would have appreciated more detail on certain aspects, but overall this book is a very good primer for anyone interested in doing more with in-house developed video.