We just received our final video from Youniversity.tv, and I wanted to share a few thoughts on our experience with them since I know many other colleges are considering their services.
Our timeline went something like this:
April 14th – Initial Contact
May 19th – Campus video shoot
June 2nd – Approved script
July 23rd – Video Preview
August 21st – Final video published online
They said we could send them b-roll to use, so I spent a few days compiling clips before they came. In the end, they didn’t use any of it. I think it’s for the better. Their videographer had a unique style when shooting and the b-roll I got from campus relations would not have fit in well with the rest of the footage.
I was also concerned that the production would be heavily scripted, which I am not a big fan of. One of the professors I had asked to be a part of the video wanted me to email YouniversityTV and see what type of questions she would be answering. I leapt for joy when Steve sent me back this response:
“I don’t like to give out the list of questions as the interview will sound scripted and rehearsed.”
And sure enough, when interview time came for the camera it was a bunch of random questions with no retakes.
Another concern you might have is cost. Well, there is none. You just have to place a link on our homepage. (We bargained for the link to be on the Butler Bloggers page, the 2nd most visited page after the homepage.) So if they are paying salary and flying different crews and expensive camera equipment all over the US, where is their revenue? Good question. I picked the brains of the crew for a bit at lunch and heard a few thoughts about future revenue, such as a paid subscription by students to watch videos. Ads might be in the future as well. So keep that in mind as you consider their service.
Overall, I am pleased with our experience with them as well as the final production. I even make a cameo appearance in the video *slaps forehead*. I was walking by the Star Fountain, trying to get ahold of Butler Blue II on my phone and the camera man taped it, and it never hit the cutting floor. So I am forever etched in the Butler University video.
A few gripes: The site is very flash-heavy. On our video’s page, I noticed that the school name is within the flash file, and our name is not in the title of the page or anywhere else. For students searching the internet, they likely will not run across the video unless they click the link from our site. If we had paid, this would be a bigger issue for me, but it’s not too big of a deal since it was free. Also, it would be nice to have an embed that we could just put on our page, but that would not be the best business model for them since they will rely on traffic to their site.
While it would be nice to have someone like CollegeClickTV come in and do some very real footage, Youniversity.tv is a safe option if you’re wanting to put video on your site without giving administration a heart attack.
Without further ado, here is our video: http://www.youniversity.tv/butler_university.html
To see more or learn how your campus can be involved, head to http://www.youniversity.tv.