Great Social Media Idea: Slow Motion Video Booth

Monday, Monday (ba da, ba da da da)! Can't trust that day (ba da, ba da da da). Or any other day, really. Constant vigilance. That's my motto. And Mad-Eye Moody's, natch.

A little bit of business before I launch into today's post - a HUGE thank you to everyone who stopped by this blog in the month of September, shared great social media ideas with me, and sent in encouraging notes. This is a free blog and you get what you pay for in terms of quality, but I'm very humbled and very happy that it has been a resource for some of you out there, which is all I ever wanted. (All I ever needed...)

I feature my own work on this blog from time to time, but I swear it's not because I'm crazy narcissistic. Instead, it's because 1) sometimes I get too lazy to spend a lot of time researching and 2) well... really it's just number 1. But this is a really cool one, I swear.

This past Friday, my coworkers and I set up a video booth on campus. A slow motion video booth. These are the awesome results:

I mean... doesn't that make plain old photo booths seem so staid and boring?

In a lot of ways, we lucked out on timing. Slow motion video booths, I think, are going to become the next "it thing" to do at weddings, parties, and events (oh how I pray mustaches on sticks will finally be put out of their misery). Just a few weeks ago, a slow motion video booth from a wedding made the rounds on all the blogs, to much delight and acclaim. 

Many of the students we filmed on Friday hadn't heard of it before (a cursory YouTube search shows that this is the first one from a college or university), and universally thought it was really cool. As in many things, we were rewarded for being an early adopter of this idea.

Like much of my favorite social media work, it didn't really have a purpose beyond getting students excited, having some fun, and creating content good enough that people with no affiliation whatsoever with UP would enjoy it and share it. Some might question the value in that, but an under-estimated role we higher ed social media managers play is making our schools look cool - like the type of place incoming students would want to go and current students will take pride in and (one day) support. Case in point, from a student sharing the video with her friends:

I didn't make this up, I promise! 

I didn't make this up, I promise! 

So much of what colleges produce is very formal and serious... I think it is definitely worthwhile sometimes to produce content that is fun, current, and features students in ways other than that tired old admissions hobby horse of photos of pretty girls walking under big trees (preferably in Fall). 

To make it happen, I spent about $20 at the dollar store on props (bubbles, glitter, silly string, etc.) and then collected whatever school pride stuff (flags, pom pom, scarves, pennants, etc.) I could scrounge around the office. We didn't really promote it at all - we just set up shop next to one of the cafeterias around lunch time and let things happen organically. I did post on Facebook and Instagram right as we were setting up to let students know, but beyond that I just allowed word of mouth to do its thing, which it did with aplomb.

My brilliant coworker Jeff Kennel could tell you all the technical details of what it takes to shoot a slow motion video like this, but in generalities it took a good camera with slow-mo capability (we own one, but one could easily be rented too), a white backdrop, and several professional-quality lights. We unfortunately ran into a bit of an unexpected problem with the overhead lights causing some flickering in the video... there's always something, isn't there? But overall it was a pretty easy set up. Cleaning up all the confetti and glitter? Well, that was another matter entirely.

Anyway, this was a really fun project to work on that the students have proved to be really excited about. It's never easy to get students to think something you are doing is actually cool, so I'll claim those victories when I can. They are few and far between.

Hope you all enjoyed this one, and please drop me a line if you're interested in doing one of these for yourself and have any questions.  

 

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