In Brief: In the first blog entry of this series about Marketing Videos we talked about: Why a movie? Plus, thoughts about our target audience, our goal, and what is the best content.
The second part of our series covers more production tricks and examples.
How can you avoid common problems in video shoots and preparing for them?
We can provide details, because our own past experiences were a process of trail and error. To reflect on our projects allows us to optimise our working process in the future. Learning never ends and we are motivated.
This time we came up with a variety of answers to these five questions (click and read the answer immediately):
- 1. Which equipment do we need?
- 2. Who is involved and who is responsible for what?
- 3. What are the legalities?
- 4. What is the best location?
- 5. What is your opinion?
For more information read the following articles:
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Read this blog entry in German here.
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I would say, if you provide for professional lighting and sound you don’t even need to have a big professional movie camera. A good video nowadays can easily be shot with your iPhone. The image quality is more than sufficient. That is, under certain circumstances (outdoor shooting on a bright and sunny day).
However, without a high-quality microphone, your marketing video will seem amateurish no matter how good the image quality is. Synchronisation in a recording studio is possible but requires a lot more technical know-how and an experienced voice behind the mic.
If your shoot takes place indoors, you can almost never expect the natural light (from the windows) or the installed lighting in the room (usually only from above – another disadvantage) to be enough.
If you want to guarantee a professional-looking outcome, consider good-quality spotlights a must for every shoot.
And, to be honest, we from DrKPI do not make the marketing videos with our iPhones. We use camera-like camcorders like the P2HD solutions offered by Panasonic. Of course, you need a lot of accessories as well: memory cards and devices for transfer data compatibility, the tripod, and so on…
Without sufficient know-how in camera technology, you might be lost. And the same goes for the cutting. The Windows Movie Maker cannot compete with a professional video editing software like Final Cut Pro X. But this program calls for an expert, too.
In short, everything calls for one thing – and that is professionalism.
A highly authentic marketing video can be shot with an iPhone and some headlights.
Start collecting short videos (pictures only) from products that are made, hands that work on something, a walk through your company (for stabilization consider using an Osmo that fits your Smartphone), etc.
Film everything that comes to your mind.
Then contact an expert and discuss the value of your material and what can be done with your clips.[/su_note]
More equipment needed
If you work with a production team, you can leave these questions to the experts. That gives you time to think about other things you need, such as:
- clothes (also known as costumes), and
For LomMedical (more information here), we made a video about how they integrated the smart retractable syringe for single use.
By the way, this is one of our first videos. It illustrates, what can happen, if you do not have the opportunity to test the location prior to the actual shoot. Therefore, we had no time to conduct light and sound tests.
It turned out that the long and narrow conference room was poorly lit, with windows at only one end. Even with the three spotlights on (at the best positions we could manage) the lighting for this project was not the best…
What clothes should our speaker or actors wear? The director and camera operator (responsible for visuals) can help you. Start with thinking about the Corporate Design first. This should form part of any marketing video.
And then, if your project will take a lot of time, you should provide for your team. Prepare some food and drinks. Or, at least, inform them that there will be no lunch at the set, but there is a restaurant and a supermarket nearby.
Show your process on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms!
Take pictures from behind the scenes (Smartphones are perfect for a cool little making-of).
But keep in mind, everything that’s in the room – cups, plates, bottles, food, notebooks, pens – will become props. It’s worth thinking about how these things look on moving (and unmoving) digital film, and how they will be perceived.[/su_note]
Participants can be divided into two groups:
- those working in front of the camera, and
- those working behind the camera.
Choose the face on screen: should it be an influencer, CEO or an employee “like you and me”? A poor choice can ruin the whole project.
The next question is, who is responsible for what? Expertise is needed in every area. That is why it’s almost impossible to make a movie on your own.
For instance, the head of a company can instruct a manager to take on the organisational tasks of a producer, but they will not necessarily have the technical know-how to operate the camera and lights, or the eye to arrange a scene.
It would be frustrating to realise that the material just does not look good once you’re in the editing room. Or an editor from a contracted company tells you, there’s nothing to be done with material this bad.
And you will still have the production costs to deal with.
It’s helpful to include everyone from the beginning:
- actors, speakers, extras – everyone who is expected to be in front of the camera,
- camera operator,
- lighting and sound experts,
- someone responsible for legal issues
- financial officer,
- editor, and
- the marketing people.
There has to be an active exchange of important information and the communication must be totally reliable to avoid misunderstandings.
Include everyone from the beginning before taking any step in any direction. (Sometimes you will not need everyone, but it is good to have someone for everything – just in case.)[/su_note]
Do we need consents, contracts, insurance?
For everyone’s sake, any agreements should be done in writing. Especially when it comes to personal rights there should be signed consent forms. Prepare the paperwork with your legal expert and collect the signatures.
That goes not only for your actors or anyone else on camera, but also for anyone in the background, who may not want to be filmed. This is of particular importance if your shoot takes place outdoors. For shooting in public, you almost always need to obtain a permit. For privately-owned places, you might need permission to access the facilities.
Ensure that you have insurance to cover the work you’re doing – just in case. It would be terrible if you suddenly could not publish your marketing video because you unwittingly infringed on someone’s personal rights…
Start the paperwork by making a list of every consent you will probably need.[/su_note]
You have an idea that suits your marketing video? A location with the perfect atmosphere or one that is able to reflect your company’s philosophy? Be sure to do light and sound tests before the shoot.
If necessary, you may need to increase your equipment, e.g. more spotlights, a wind-attenuating cover for the microphone, etc. Sometimes you need to reconsider your choice in order to prevent budget overruns.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan ahead. There should be an alternative date for the shoot. The publication can be delayed by weeks or months if you start organising a new shoot date too late.
Be specific. The location has to be perfect.[/su_note]
Have these tips helped you so far? Feel free to leave a comment below. Or proceed with the third part of this series (coming soon) to get more answers to important questions regarding the preparation of your successful marketing video.
During production we often experience sudden insights we want to share with you as our secret tips in filmmaking. We hope to support you in optimising your own marketing video production.
- Do you have experience in video marketing? What would you improve next time?
- What interesting insights do you want to share? Tell us about your “Eureka!” moment.
- Are you planning to make a little movie for your company, for an event or produce a short video for some of your blog entries? Tell us about it in the comments. We answer as quickly as possible.