By Stu Herm
At last year’s DJ Expo, the guys from Red Bank, N.J.-based Hurricane Productions offered a seminar that helped hundreds of attendees navigate the turgid waters of social media. This year, they’re back, and their seminar will focus on video—“Know Your Video, the Future of Event Marketing.” (Set for Aug. 13-16 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., the DJ Expo will feature seminars, exhibits and parties.)
We spoke to Hurricane Productions’ Vincent Velasquez and asked for some guidance and some teasers for the seminar.
What’s the Internet going to look like in 2015? High-quality video is going to be the No.-1 reason why people go on the Internet—they want to see events and things that happened. The companies that are providing the video for stories that people are talking about are the ones getting higher traffic, and it’s only going to increase over the next few years.
How has video worked for your DJ company? I think video, for us—in a very niche market like DJing—people are looking for venues, party ideas, innovative ideas. We have a wedding video where the whole promo is designed to try and sell our services, but there is one clip in there of a marshmallow roasting outside, and this whole family is surrounding the fire pit, and it’s one of our No.-1 videos, because viewers are interested in using that sort of thing at their event. So I really think there’s a lot of idea-generated content on video that’s telling a little bit more of a story than a picture is. And I think that’s where DJs can be winning.
At your seminar at this upcoming DJ Expo, you’re going to be talking about platform changes. Tell us how the YouTube platform is changing. YouTube has changed because of privacy acts out there from Congress. It’s always been easy to download a song to accompany a video or montage and put it on YouTube. Those days are over. YouTube has invested a lot of money in software that flags those videos once they’re uploaded—or they’ll throw a ton of ads around it. It really depends on the agency, the artist, and other factors. But YouTube is really hoping that people create original content—someone who’s been really great at doing that that has been [SCE Event Group owner] Jason Jani. He’ll do a standup in front of a venue, talk about the event and cut to a bunch of clips with natural sounds of the party—you hear the music being played at the party, but you also hear the sounds of the real event. YouTube isn’t flagging that for removal. It’s when you’re playing the MP3 that YouTube will pull it down.
What about a mash-up? We’ve tried that, and they identified that it was a Chris Brown song, for example, and threw a ton of ads around it, so I wouldn’t advise that. It’s a pretty smart piece of software they’re using. WWE, ABC and NFL and other big brands are now giving YouTube original content every week that they’re selling ads around. They’re really looking to change the culture of online video—stressing original content, original music, which DJs can really capitalize on moving forward.
What are some tools I should be using for video editing? There are four software platforms out there that most people are using: Windows MovieMaker, which is great for those using PC; iMovie is really popular, and then there are Final Cut and Adobe Premier. Those are the four big ones. You can really tell who’s using what, but there are things that you can do to make your video seem not so template-y and make your videos unique. There are tons of brides and grooms who work in jobs or make photo montages that know, “Oh, he used iMovie for this, I can do that, I don’t need to pay anybody for this.” So one thing you can do: a lot of people use fades and transitions, to go from one clip to the next. One tip is you should only use a fade when there’s time elapsed between clips. Let’s say it’s the beginning of the day, and the bride is getting ready, doing hair and makeup, and then you want to fade to a clip of her at night. A fade is the perfect way to show that time has passed. But if there’s no time elapsing between your clips, a hard cut is the way to go. Hard cuts are the more professional way of doing it. If you stay away from fades, you’ll be able to hide what program you’re using, because a lot of programs have template fades that they use.