When to Go Video with Your Podcast

By Tee Morris, Chuck Tomasi

Podcaster Chuck Tomasi fancies himself as moderately skilled in the ways of live and produced video. He’s been working with digital video (DV) at home and work since 2007. However, other podcasters, like Tee Morris, sport a longer track record with editing video, both in a linear (the traditional two video decks tied together to one central deck with a control board offering basic post production effects) and a nonlinear (all on a computer, in a digital format) method.

Even in those early Flintstones-esque days of digital video, Tee found the digital filmmaking art nothing short of amazing. Today, with terabyte drives and gigahertz processors, a lot of things have changed, and Tee’s opinion has changed as well.

He now finds editing video on his Mac a cruel, demanding mistress … that he finds nothing short of amazing.

Video production is also not easy. Some of the downfalls to video podcasting are:

  • A learning curve: Despite what the commercials for laptops of all makes insinuate, editing video is not a push-button technology. A lot goes into video, even on the most basic of levels; with video podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience, Technorama, Happy Hour from the Tower, and Universe Today, the bar to run with the big boys and girls of video podcasting is pretty high.
  • More production time: With video, you must contend with more than just ambient noise. Now you need to consider lighting, camera angles, wardrobe, make-up, and so on. Editing also proves more difficult, since you can’t just cut a flub out without the host seemingly jumping around. Podcasting audio can prove daunting in its production needs, but video is a step up and demands a great deal of time and attention.

So, with all these daunting challenges, why go video with your podcast? Here are some good reasons to step up to video podcasting:

  • Your message needs more than sound to get across to your audience. If you’re putting together a show for educational or training purposes, you may want to feature diagrams or procedures that require visual aids. With video, you now can appeal to listeners on a visual as well as an aural level.
  • You want a captive audience. The ability or temptation to multitask is removed as your subscribers are now applying the visual senses, taking advantage of the video features in mobile phones, computers, and other devices. They can’t drive a vehicle, cook a meal, or walk Fluffykins while they watch your video podcast, so you gain greater audience focus. So, make sure the video serves a purpose for your viewers.
  • You want to create your definitive vision. In travel podcasts (also known as sound-seeing tours), where the sounds of a marketplace provide the host with a background, or beer tastings (also called pubcasts, barcasts, or beercasts), where the flavor of a local bar filters into the show, or podcast novels, where a few sound effects set the scene, the listener’s imagination fills in the blanks on what is happening around the podcaster. Now, the subscriber can see and (virtually) experience walking through the marketplace in Athens, take in the sights and sounds of a Western Yorkshire pub, or see the characters as the author intended them to be seen, in the settings he or she imagined.

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