Video Shopping (please excuse if a duplicate- got a weird msg while posting)

Whew, just completed my first video shops today! I'd give myself overall a B-. The hardest part for me was remembering my "eyes" were the camera, not the eyes on my head, as the day went on it got better, and tomorrow will be better! What was the hardest part for you to acclimate to when you switched from written to video?

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Not having to write a report. Oh wait no that was the easy part.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
Remembering that my third shirt button needed to follow the target and being alert to cover the button when approaching reflective surfaces, like mirrors, glass doors and even some artwork. But, I must say that all of that came very quickly for me. I was nervous and conscious about these things for the first shop. Then, I was elated and relieved and relaxed into "video mode" thereafter. Even when not video shopping I tend to cover that button before elevator doors open, in case the interior is mirrored. Most shoppers fear that video technique and technology will be difficult. But,MOST video mishaps occur not due to those thing. It is lack of a cohesive backstory that the shopper can maintain during a long interaction. If you get addicted to long format video you will find that fresh and credible backstories are the greatest concern.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I had a few mishaps where I was not as careful as I should have been while putting the recorder into my pocket after turning it on and verifying angles.... I inadvertently unplugged the camera feed once or twice.... sad smiley

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I just made a major mistake today and accidentally recorded a whole shop in "pre-motion" mode. About 26 separate clips. Waiting to hear back from the scheduler if the shop is even salvageable sad smiley
Most video MSCs have editors who know how to stitch those together.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@walesmaven wrote:

Most video MSCs have editors who know how to stitch those together.
That's what I am hoping, just felt really dumb lol
Well, when the Video Gods get nasty they kick you right in the teeth. Been there; have the tee shirt.

Also, every video shopper needs to carry, in their video kit, a roll of black electrical tape. extra SD cards, scissors, a needle, a replacement button cover, and black thread. You never know when you will have to reattach a real button, or replace a missing button cover "on the fly." Use tape to secure the plug into the recorder device AND to cover the opening where you have inserted the SD card. Either one can pop out when stowing the device in a pocket or waist pouch. Before EVERY video is started, pull over somewhere quiet; turn off the radio/music, and go through setting up, taping, securing the cam, starting the recorder and stowing the recorder in the same sequence, EVERY time. There is a good reason why soldiers are taught to assemble and disassemble their weapons blindfolded! We get to do it without the blindfold, but need to exercise discipline in order to minimize the chances for the Video Gods to wreck havoc!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I've been interested in doing video shops but I was mainly concerned about the cost of the video equipment. If you don't mind me asking... where did you get yours from and what was the cost? I live in a rural area and I'm not sure if I'd make enough money to cover the cost of the equipment. Thanks for any help.
Marilyn I got my equipment from Dan at Greyhawk [greyhawkvideosolutions.vpweb.com]
He is really great to work with and very helpful, especially with new video shoppers. I think I paid around $400 +/- (there was a special going on at the time) and I did it through PayPal credit (interest free for 6 months). You figure an average $50 (+/-) a shop and it is paid off in no time.
Another note, I took the advice I had read on this forum before making the decision to jump into video shops. I completed several apartment shops to where I could basically do them in my sleep, just so I knew I would be comfortable with a camera. There are also some companies that will rent you equpiment, which is also helpful in deciding if you want to take the plunge and purchase. There is a ton of info on the forum if you do a search of video shops and change the date to the past year or so on the search function
I'm a really bad video shopper. I wire up at stoplights and electrical tape has never touched my rig. I did learn to carry an extra button cover, but since I don't sew the needle and thread would be useless, LOL!

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Lol, I don't sew either Lisa. I probably couldn't thread a needle if my life depended on it
@LisaSTL wrote:

I'm a really bad video shopper. I wire up at stoplights and electrical tape has never touched my rig. I did learn to carry an extra button cover, but since I don't sew the needle and thread would be useless, LOL!

Dear I am way worse than you, lol.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
bg and Lisa,
You two are the exceptions to almost every rule that concerns most shoppers because you are, truly, exceptional. The rest of us need all the fail-safe devices that we can carry.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
If you mean exceptionally reckless, we are both raising our hands right nowcool smiley

i can't tell you many years I traveled without so much as a back up rig and promise B did the same for quite a while.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2018 01:36AM by LisaSTL.
I'm exceptional that's for sure.......
For a very short period my backup was a fully functional rig......that's screen didn't work.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
Hi Lauraphx,

1) Keep the target in the shot when the target is standing. Be mindful not to stand too close to the target. By taking a few steps back you will widen the scope of the video getting more of the target without having to move so often. Keep your shoulders square to the target and just move your head as needed. For example, when you're both standing in the kitchen and the target points out the floor to ceiling windows at the far end of the room, just turn your head towards the windows and not your whole body. Remember, it's the target that the client want to see--not the windows.

2) Keep the target in the shot when the target is sitting. When the target invites you to have a seat at the desk, take care that your button cam is picking up the target and not merely the rim of the desk. You can make unobtrusive adjustments by simply moving your chair back to capture a wider frame, adjust the shoulders of your shirt so as to raise the button cam slightly, or keep standing and tell the target you've been driving so much your legs need a good stretch!

3) Practice at home to increase your confidence and attend one of the video conferences (VideoCon, IMSC, MSPA) to improve your skills.

4) Remember to format your SD memory card!

5) Modulate the tone, volume, and clarity of your voice, avoid incidental language, let the target take the lead, and avoid inadvertent body sway.
Excellent points. Something I discovered early on was carrying a shoulder bag sometimes caused me to lean a little bit to that side. Weird since my bags are never heavy. To solve the problem I stopped carrying a purse on most video shops. For apartments or shops requiring a purchase I have a small credit card holder for my ID, a couple of cards and some cash. It fits easily into a jacket pocket or my back pocket if necessary.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Thank you! I did notice at the beginning I was getting a lot of the corner of the desk lol. As the day went on, I did move the chair back and got a much better angle. Practice, practice, practice!
When I did my first shops, they were perfect! I was on a roll.....then I got to my last three. Something about my shirt when I tucked it in gently so that the camera wouldn't angle actually turned the camera upside down. I still don't know how that happened!!!
Lattegirl,
Everyone who has done a lot of video MS has, at one time or another, managed to create a major screw up, usually after a long run of perfect shops. Major lesson: do not stow the recorder until you have activated the cam and determined that the picture is level (not to mention right side up) and does not capture more shy than you would like.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
ALL,
Like most active video shoppers, I use a PV-500 with audio pick-up and hi-def camera that mounts like a shirt button. Actually, I have 2, because on routes it is wise to have a back-up rig. That "one-in-a-million" equipment failure is just guaranteed to occur when a route shopper is more and a full day's drive from home! I also have an eyeglasses cam for short videos, like valet parking or drive-thru banking, , where the shopper needs to be able to "capture" the target even when sitting in a vehicle, or when the target is behind a high counter. But any head-mounted camera is a big no-no for longer video where it is essential to keep the target in the frame even when the shopper is turning her/his head to look at what the target is pointing out. Also, longer video from head mounted cams id jerky enough to give most viewers vertigo (aka airsickness!).

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I have 5 PV-500s.*

* Yes I am completely serious. I go through a lot of equipment! 1 works fine except the screen doesn't work. 1 works fine except it likes to randomly shut off. 1 is full HD that I bought for a specific client and rarely use anymore. 1 is the actual camera I use. And 1 is my backup.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
Glad to hear it happens to everyone! Not that it's a good thing. Ahhh now I'm tempted to get backup equipment.....
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