Flip video cameras are brilliant. You may disagree and wonder what is the point of having a separate device when many people have a decent video recorder on their mobile phone.
But in work would you lend someone your mobile phone?
Think of all the stories your workmates could tell with video. If you can persuade them to go out and film you can have a steady stream of good content to share online. Top quality video is important but there are times when a cheap and cheerful effort fits the bill.
Here are a couple of examples where I’ve given a workmate my Flip along with a five minute tutorial. In both cases I’ve done a simple edit using Windows Live Movie Maker. The edits and upload to You Tube took no longer than half an hour. Flip comes with free editing software but I prefer the familiarity of Windows Live Movie Maker.
For National Apprenticeship Week I asked one of our apprentices to record a short clip each day to show a typical week. Cory came back and gave me a quirky set of clips including fitting out a kitchen, being in college and a quick soundbite at Bron Afon’s weekly 5–a-side football night. Here is his video
Flips are so simple to use and produce HD quality clips. On the back is a single red button and this starts and stops any recordings. There is a zoom but that’s about it. You just point and press the red button.
One bugbear is there is no external microphone available so sound can be a bit dodgy. I heard my colleague Mike was going up on the side of The Tower in Cwmbran. Mike took my Flip and produced this interview with Andy, one of the contractors talking about exactly what work they are doing. It’s a bit windy and the sound isn’t broadcast quality but I don’t think it matters. Again this video was quickly edited and put on You Tube to show residents something they wouldn’t be able to get close to. Mike is not a TV journalist and Andy has never been interviewed on camera but this clip is a cracker.
I filmed this one myself and uploaded to You Tube within ten minutes. My colleague Gwyn Lloyd is talking about governance.
It’s a shame that Flips are no longer in production but you can still get them while stocks last.
Tips for encouraging your colleagues to try out a Flip
1. Tell them it is a chance to show others what they do. Forget emailing people about what you’ve been doing. Don’t send a long report. Grab a Flip and show them. You can say or show a lot in one minute of video.
2. “It’s something to show the grandkids”…”It’s a bit of fun” etc. I’ve used these lines to persuade someone as at the end of the day it is a bit of fun and something to show your family. People like showing their friends and family what they do at work.
3. Give them the Flip and ask them to try and use it. Honestly it is so simple. Everyone figures out the on/ off button on the side and then the big red button screams press me! As soon as they see how easy it is to use they are one step closer to doing some filming.
4. Explain the shorter the clip they film the better. Some people are worried that it will get in the way of their actual job. Or they think you need hours of footage. But all you are looking for is a few clips or even a single clip of what is going on. Earlier this week a colleague filmed this clip of a dangerous tree being pulled down. He did this on his own mobile phone but I was able to share online and show people the skills of his talented team. The point is that in just 30 seconds the clip packs in everything you need.
5. Reassure them they don’t have to be in the video. Andy in The Tower clip above came over as a natural but not all people will be as comfortable in front of the camera. This clip just shows the view from the new residents’ lounge at the top of Fairview Court in Pontypool. We used the Flip to show people who have never been to the top of this building what the view is like. Again a simple video was all that was needed. We felt we didn’t need a voiceover or sceen text.