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Last week I uploaded a split screen video interview I did with my son Maes and asked if anyone could figure out how I did it using nothing but a single iPhone. Most folks guessed some kind of mirror or prism, which is almost right.
To get the video I used a Love Box. Not sure where I found out about this nifty little device but you can see more and buy one by visiting their website at TheLoveBox.com. Thus far the handmade Love Box is available in a limited edition -- 100 being made and sold. Mine was #67, so if this post gets you thinking you'd like one, you might want to order sooner rather than later. The device will run you about $100 and mine arrived within a few days.
So how does this puppy let you create a split screen interview? Easy. By placing your iPhone on the special mount and adjusting the mirror, you effectively record both the front and rear views of the phone.
Creating a Split Screen Video Interview
It's a little tricky at first, especially adjusting the mirror and phone so that you don't see the iPhone's camera in the view of the rear. Also, you'll have to sit at an angle to your phone (to keep the reflection of the phone out of your shot) so you have to think about where to look while you're doing the interview.
You'll see that I was busy looking at the screen during much of the interview and it just looks odd. My son on the other hand was looking right at me or the camera and thus looks pretty natural.
Creating B2B Video Content With an iPhone
One of the B2B content marketing workhorses is the "talking head" interview. I love using my iPhone to create these thought leader interviews. In fact, in 2010 I spent the entire year creating a digital thought leader video interview site where I interviewed 52 of the smartest folks in social and digital marketing -- all using nothing more than my iPhone.
But one of the most consistent pieces of feedback I received was that folks wished I had been on screen too. They wanted to see the interviewer as well as the interviewee. When you think about it, what they wanted was to see an interview conducted in a manner that they were used to from television.
But you can't switch from front to rear camera on an iPhone while video'ing (at least not in the native camera app). Thus, if I had wanted to get both the interviewee and myself on camera, I would have needed two iPhones and I would have had to deal with syncing the video and audio streams.
That's complex and time consuming, which is why I found this solution so compelling. Now, with a simple $100 device I can easily record both sides of the interview.
Further, because the mirror slides back and forth in that slot, you can actually transition between showing one of three screens:
- You can have the entire screen show the person you're interviewing (front camera)
- You can have the screen split with you on one side and your interviewee on the other (like my video)
- You can have the entire screen just show you (rear view)
It's a bit tricky to get a nice smooth transition from these three different settings, and I'd recommend that you practice and probably mark the mirror slot with the positions to place the mirror in for each shot.
But once you've done that, you can actually create a video interview that "feels" a lot more like a traditional TV interview that transitions between those three views.
Man how I wish I had this device last year when I was doing my Talking With Tom series. It really would have given that project a different feel I think.
Tips To Improving Your B2B Video Content Shot on The LoveBox
While I really like this tool, there are a few things I'd love for the makers of The Love Box to change that would really improve the device as a B2B Interview capture tool.
First, because the device sits on a table, it's too low. It would be great if the bottom of the base had an opening to allow the device to be attached to a tripod. Then you could place the camera at the optimium level and adjusting it for pretty much any circumstance.
Second, moving the mirror to create the various screen configurations above is kind of hard. Doing it without getting your hand in the picture is almost impossible. So, here again, some kind of attachment would be ideal. Maybe something as simple as a little rod that connects to the mirror base and allows you to pull and push the mirror smoothly up and down the track.
Third, include a portable carrying case. The handmade box is awesome looking and always entices folks who see it in my office to ask what it is... but it's totally impractical as a carrying device if I was to take The Love Box with me to a conference to get interviews. They also need to supply a bubble wrap or cushioned carry case for the mirror.
Fourth - something you'll need to do on your own. Because you'll be using a single iPhone to capture both sides of the conversation, you're going to need to rig up two microphones to both feed into the iPhone.
Conversely, you could use an MP3 recording device and then a program like PluralEyes to sync the audio and video, but that adds time and complexity to an otherwise simple and easy workflow.
How To Use Video Interviews In Your B2C Content Marketing
While I have been focusing on using The Love Box as a B2B content marketing tool, it's also a great tool to have in your B2C marketing toolbox.
Testimonials from satisfied clients are highly effective online content. We all like to know that the companies or brands we're thinking about buying from have a history of delivering great experiences and products, hence why testimonials are so effective.
But don't stop with quotes, let today's customer tell tomorrow's prospect how wonderful you are -- there is nothing more believable than a video testimonial. Seeing the truth and in some cases passion in a customer's eyes while they deliver that stellar testimonial for your brand just can't be captured in any other format but video.
So what do you think? Did you find this helpful or interesteing? If so, maybe take a tip from my son and share it ;-)
And if you have any questions or comments, let'em fly... always like to hear what my readers are thinking.