Lip Dub project with NDDLH in Collingwood

I get asked a lot, “what makes a video go viral?” Well the answer is “a lot of things” but often it just takes a creative idea and little hard work to put it together.

Now granted, this particular video didn’t go viral globally but given the size of the school and surrounding community (school of 100 students in a town of 22k) it certainly did better than most other video advertisements shared by local busineses. And don’t be mistaken, this is 100% an advertisement for Notre Dame de la Huronie.

This video advertisement was created to show off the brand new school and help grow enrollment for the fully French school. Yes we could have done a real estate style tour, but where’s the fun in that? The “fun” part is why it was shared over 60 times. Plus the blooper reel at the end made it extra special. See for yourself, the end result that took a lot of creative planning, coordination, and practice.

So how did we do it? Well a huge credit goes to the Art teacher Mme Nalisa (my amazing wife) who planned the entire video with her grade 5/6 students. Together they mapped out where the camera was going plus the where and when all the students and faculty were to be. They even choreographed that dance and taught it to the whole school. How amazing is that?

We chose the lip dub style because it would be easier for me on the back end. This approach is done in one single take from start to finish so the editing process is very simple. I just dropped in the song and did a little bit of colour correction.

As you can see from the blooper reel however, there were several rehearsals before the final shoot. Because of the large colourful banner that gets destroyed and the silly string mess at the end, we had one chance to get it right and I think they did a pretty amazing job.

For businesses thinking that they want to create a viral video this is just a sample of what that takes. It may require you to step outside of your comfort zone for the sake of creativity and do something that viewers would not expect. Yes, it is more expensive than your traditional advertisement as we would take care of all that extra planning and coordination but that’s the price of creating buzz. That’s what it takes to get people talking about you and sharing your video. There is risk involved absolutely, but it is often very calculated and the payoff can be much better than any traditional advertising approach.

So when someone says to me “I want to make a viral video” my response is: “great, but do you have what it takes?”

 

How To Add Captions To Facebook Videos

I have already explained in another blog post why captions are important and a must have for facebook videos. You can find that post here. I should also add that this guide is for business pages. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started with this quick how to.

1. First thing’s first, you want to make sure you have a video player installed that can support caption or subtitle files. That’s because we will use this to preview our captions later. I use VLC by VideoLan because it’s free, doesn’t do annoying updates all the time and supports a wide variety of video formats as well as subtitles. You can download VLC here if you like: http://www.videolan.org/index.html

2. The next thing is to create a text document using notepad. Save the file as whatever you like but we will change the file name for uploading to facebook later.

3. The formatting of the text document is very important and must follow this structure but once you get it, it’s really quite simple. Here is a sample:


    
1
00:00:1,000 --> 00:00:4,000
Hello internet, this is Ben Frisch
from BFresh.Media

2
00:00:4,000 --> 00:00:7,000
I launched this video production company
back in November of 2015
    
  

bencaption_1

  • Each new caption block must start with 1, then the next 2, and so on. If you find that a certain line is not showing up in your video, check to make sure all of these numbers are in order and that you don’t have any duplicates. (easy to miss when copying and pasting)
  • This part (00:00:1,000 –> 00:00:4,000) refers to the timecode in the video. It is the exact start time (on the left) and end time (on the right) for each block of caption text. It displays hours:minutes:seconds:frames. I typically just stick to the seconds and don’t bother getting to the minute detail of what frame did that line end on.
  • Below the timecode is the copy. It will display exactly as it does in your text document with regard to the number of lines and how long each line is. I typically try to keep each line around 40 characters max and don’t do more than 2 lines at a time. 3 lines starts taking up too much screen space and drawing away from the visuals on screen.
  • Once you have your script copied into the word document or you’ve transcribed the video and timed out all of the captions, you then want to save the file and load it into your video player to test it. That’s why you want a video player that supports captions/subtitles because it’s easier than testing on your already uploaded Facebook video.

4. Next, to test the file, open your video in VLC and pause it. At the top menu select Subtitle>Add Subtitle File… and load the text document you just created. Now as you playback the video, you should see subtitles on screen. Again, if some are missing, it may be a problem with your formatting. Also note that the appearance (font, color, size, etc.) depends on the player and you don’t have any control over that. So it may look different than what you have seen on Facebook but once you upload it the captions will look the same as all the other videos. As you play the video with the captions on you may notice certain tweaks that need to be made with regard to the timing. As you change the text document, save it and then reload it to see the result.

5. The last thing I would suggest is copying everything into a word processor with spell check. Obviously notepad is lacking in that department so you can never be too careful. Once you’ve tested and spellchecked your file then there is only one last thing to do before uploading the file to Facebook.

6. “.srt” is not a common format so saving from notepad or even word is not an option. Therefore you will need to convert the file online. I use this website https://www.subtitle-converter.com/ but a quick google search for txt to srt file converter will connect you with several options. Basically just upload the text file and then download the converted file.

7. When you save the file from the conversion the name needs to follow a specific format for Facebook to recognize it. Name your file “filename.en_US.srt” (“filename” being whatever you want by the way.)

leoncaption_1

Now you are all set to upload this file to your video and increase your engagement. Aside from just capturing someone’s attention, however, is that you can include multiple languages that will be recognized automatically by the user settings. So if you want to be inclusive and translate your script into other languages, you have the option to do that.

You can include captions in multiple languages with your video by uploading a SubRip (.srt) file with it. Each SubRip file must be saved using the format: filename.[two-letter language code]_[two-letter country code].srt

And that’s it, I hope this was helpful, and now you have no excuse not to include captions in your Facebook videos anymore.. Leave a comment if you have any difficulty and I’d be happy to help.