5 tips for using your video wall effectively

By Diane Fiolek

At Devlin Design Group, the majority of our scenic storytelling environments include video walls. Not only have they become the must-have in studios, they meet the needs of our clients desire to have flexibility in their broadcasts.

Video walls create a dynamic display of information. The visual power of multi-screen setups help distinguish your broadcast from those of your competitor. You can display images, videos, live content, election results, social network content, backgrounds, graphics and branding…

The list of possibilities is endless! However, in many cases we find our clients initially feel it is a daunting task. As creative services director at Team DDG, along with my extensive background as a design director and motion graphics specialist, I would like to offer a few of the tips I share with our clients for creating dynamic and successful video wall content.

1. Plan!

If you are new to video walls or a seasoned user, having a goal in mind is essential to getting the most out of your technology. Start with a meeting of the minds. What types of storytelling do you hope to accomplish with the technology? Top Story opens, graphics displays, backgrounds, live shot interaction, weather, social media, etc..

2. Have a team

Create a Video Wall ‘SWAT TEAM’. Include a producer, director, and designer as your core team. You may want to call in a reporter or anchor, an executive producer, and a creative services producer, for added input. The best team members for this task embrace change.

Video wall at WAGA-TV

Video wall at WAGA-TV

The SWAT TEAM will also be essential in training and inspiring the other members of your staff. Share your vision of what you want to do with the video wall with the team. Invite them to present ideas! Experiment, test, and troubleshoot in the studio before you go on air with the graphics.

3. Think templates

85 to 90% of your video wall graphics will be template based. Think in terms of how you currently use graphics in your broadcast and how they could translate to a video wall presentation. Now, think differently!

Consider how talent can now interact with a story. As an example, a reporter could introduce a segment (ie. health news) using an open created for the video wall instead of a full screen animation. Create a library of opens, video layouts, live shot configurations, text based graphics, branding and soft backgrounds to start. Keep building your library. It will keep your broadcast fresh.

4. Don’t forget the talent

When creating for video walls keep your talent in mind. Some are very comfortable walking and talking, while others feel comfortable standing in a position.

Video wall at WBBH-TV

Video wall at WBBH-TV

If you have the ability to trigger graphics on different monitor configurations, the video wall could allow your talent to reveal different aspects of the story by breaking the wall into separate storytelling segments.

5. Typography that’s easy to read

If you are going to add typography to the presentation make certain the type is large enough to be comfortably read. There are a number of factors to consider. How wide is the shot? Where will the talent be positioned? Once again, test before you go on-air.

At Devlin Design Group we are committed to our core values, Creativity, Knowledge, and Innovation. We just launched our new website. One of our features will be a forum for our clients to share how they are using their video walls and to ask questions of other users.

We can’t wait to see the creativity in action!

Diane “DiFi” Fiolek is the creative services director at Devlin Design Group.

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