Now that we’ve officially launched, our Mobfeed is beginning to fill up with some pretty awesome projects. And, although we’ve only been live for two weeks now, we’re already starting to see some exciting videos come our way—which got us thinking, while we can’t share them all on our blog, we should definitely share our favorites.
Hence, the MobFeed Spotlight was born: our weekly shout-out to the MobFeed videos that wow, inspire, give us the warm fuzzies, and thrill us to our very core. Plus, our insider opinion on what we think makes these videos so great and how you can use that in your next VidMob video!
So, to start the MobFeed Spotlight off, we thought we’d share a project that’s very near and dear to our hearts—VidMob’s very first public collaboration project, “Thanksgiving Dos & Don’ts,” edited by the fantastic Drew Dickler (if you get the chance to work with her, do it!).
Given that the holidays are now in full gear, we thought that this video would serve as the perfect start to our MobFeed Spotlight for two reasons:
1. It’s a perfect example of how you (yes you!) can use our app’s collaboration feature to create amazing group projects for the holidays.
2. It’s also a prime example of how to tell a story using the little moments, AKA the “B-roll.”
Tell Me More About Collaboration:
Collaboration is probably one of the biggest features of our app that we’re most excited about. For anyone that has used it, you already know how much fun it is to get all your friends, family, colleagues—even complete strangers—involved on a group project. As the project creator, it’s pretty exciting to watch how others interpret and contribute to your vision!
And the beauty of the collaboration feature is that, as the project creator, you’re the one in complete control of who is (and is not) invited to your project. So, if you’d rather not invite the whole wide world to share their media with you, that’s totally cool, too (just make sure to send your invite link to only those you’d like to join your project).
So without further ado, here are some of our favorite tips to brush up on before you begin a collaborative project of your own:
1. Invite Friends & Family: Of course, a collaborative project is nothing without its collaborators! In the app we’ve made it super simple to invite people to join your project—whether it’s through email, text, or on your favorite social platform, spreading the word about your new video is super easy.
2. Prep Your Collaborators: Let your collaborators know what you see as the theme for your project. Keep in mind that, sometimes, a title isn’t enough to convey what you’re looking for. To help them out, provide a little brief alongside your invitation to tell them what you’re hoping for. Additionally, sending them over a few tips for shooting great video (like the one we made here or here), will also help get you better footage for your editor to work with.
3. Encourage Creative Expression: Not to totally contradict ourselves above, but it’s also important to encourage your collaborators to put their own spin on things—that’s the beauty of asking others to contribute! It’s their special angle or take that will enhance the finished product. So, think of the prep as their jumping off point, to which they will hopefully take your projects to whole new heights!
4. Set a Due Date: To make sure your project actually finds its way to an editor (while still guaranteeing that everyone gets a fair shot to upload their media!), it’s best to set a due date for getting your project to bid. Because once you’ve sent it to bid, collaborators can no longer contribute their media.
5. Share It! And lastly, don’t forget to share the finished product with all who helped to make your project so great. Then, share it to the MobFeed as a way of saying thanks to your editor for a job well done—plus a chance to be featured on an upcoming MobFeed Spotlight!
What is B-Roll?
B-roll is the term that those in the film industry use to refer to those little moments that, while seemingly irrelevant to the big events themselves, actually wind up helping viewers to fill in the gap and provide much-needed context to inform these bigger events.
Here’s a few solid examples of B-roll that you can find in our “Thanksgiving Dos & Don’ts” video:
1. The Football TV Shot: We all know what a TV looks like. And almost all of us have probably watched a football game on one at some point in our lives. So you’d think capturing this shot would be pretty snooze-worthy. Instead, it’s this inclusion of the relatively “small” snippet that helps to frame the more exciting ones—like our founder tossing the ball with his son, or the live-action shots of the Longhorns game.
2. The Time-Lapse of the Buffet Counter: Time-lapse is a great way to include some meaningful B-roll. Because the series of moments is sped up, it encapsulates a lengthy (and what arguably would have been boring otherwise!) occurrence into something that winds up adding a nice direction to the overall storyline.
3. The Thermometer: As viewers, we totally get that the water is chilly when we see our founder and his family plunge into the icy depths of the Ithaca-cold pond. But sneaking in a quick shot of just how cold the water is helps to provide that extra bit of context that makes B-roll so valuable.