(Seven Days multimedia producer Eva) Sollberger’s narrative voiceovers are minimized, though when she turns the camera on herself it’s just a little too close, her sense of (possible) irony just a little too ambiguous. And the videos run long — sometimes over seven minutes — much to the chagrin of her peers shooting Web videos at dailies elsewhere in the country.
But after five years, hundreds of videos and a cult following that ranges all over the country (not to mention a strong measure of local celebrity), Sollberger has become one of the tentpoles of Seven Days’ Web presence, her videos a case study of how alt weeklies might extend their patented edginess in more digitally-savvy directions.
I’m often stressing to traditionally trained broadcast videojournalists the essential difference between video stories that work online vs what works on air. The overall emphasis on quality and professionalism are basic but many of on-air’s rules about what’s acceptable don’t apply. Arguably they don’t need to apply on air either, except that it makes the video match all the other video on the show. But that is a justification for the media, not the audience.
Anyway, here is a great example of successful online video technique in terms of shots, cuts, audio, titling and structure that break a lot of the rules but certainly comes off as professional, journalistic and engaging (i.e. people actually want to watch it). The out-takes at the end keep you through the credits. I also like that the sponsor is quick-referenced at the beginning, with the full ad at the end. I might not have watched the Burlington College ad since I’m not in the market, but the brand was impressed on me.