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Video Production Explained

What is B-roll? And why do I need it for my product marketing video?

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B-Roll Explained

There are generally two parts to the popular format of product marketing video. The backbone of the typical corporate video might be formed by interviews from leading figures within the organisation (for tips on managing and cutting down interviews, see our blog) But an equally important building block is “B-roll”.

Supplemental footage

B-roll is a term that originated way back in the days of 16mm film, and its meaning has evolved to become footage that is considered supplemental, and not the main ‘A-roll’ footage. In the product marketing video world, this usually means anything that isn’t interview footage.

product marketing video

So why do you need to film it? Well, for the simple reason that even a quick 2-3 minute video of just interviews can be really boring, and it’s unlikely many people will make it to the end. We’ve often said that video is the most engaging medium out there today, but that doesn’t mean that we can shoot the video equivalent of pages and pages of marketing copy and it will magically make people interested. Video is only interesting if it’s made interesting to watch, and that requires that every now and then we cut away from the interview to a dynamic, powerful shot that encapsulates and strengthens the message you’re trying to communicate.

Hiding the edits

The nature of conducting unscripted interviews means that occasionally the person speaking may go off-topic, stumble over their words, or need time to construct an answer they’re happy with. Ultimately, you’re never going to turn on the camera and record a perfect, 3 minute long interview that perfectly encapsulates all the messages of the video. This requires that the interview be cut up into a number of pieces. As these cuts will be visible and jarring to the viewer, it’s a good idea to try and hide them and B-roll is perfect for doing that.

B-roll also allows you to add a soundtrack to your video. It’s very difficult to get an uplifting or inspirational score with build ups and crescendos to work effectively when the picture never changes. B-roll coupled with music helps you to tell your story and instantly boosts the production values of the video.

product marketing video

Shooting

So how do we go about shooting B-roll? First you need to identify what is being discussed. Is it a product? If so, your B-roll will need to consist of shots of it being made and developed, and shots of it in action by customers who are enjoying it. If it’s more of a service, you need to show people carrying it out. B-roll shots can be subtle and you don’t always have to be totally illustrative of what you’re saying, but if you’re trying talking about how enthusiastic people are about your product, it’s always a good idea to show people with big smiles on their face while they use it.

B-roll is essentially a tool to make your product marketing video look slicker, and to tell your story in a more exciting and engaging way, which is what great video production is all about.

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Video Production Explained: Working With Celebrities

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Our 10 Tips For Working With Celebrities

As a video producer you may occasionally (or often) be required to work with a celebrity. This is usually the case where they act as the face of a brand or ‘brand ambassador’ but can also be for a variety of other briefs such as ‘behind the scenes’, or their own projects.

However if you’ve not worked with a celebrity before then the process can be very daunting depending on the stature, popularity and personality of the celebrity at hand.

Yes, there’s always an element of jumping through hoops and ‘playing the game’ when a celeb is on set as they are not just anyone, but that’s not to say you should be intimidated by the prospect of working with them. You’ll also need to remember that they’re not just another member of the crew and therefore their presence will require more of your budget.

So here’s a few things that we’ve learned over the years that may act as a useful heads-up for any project you may be producing with a celebrity on board.

celebs-2

They’re Not Presenters!

In fact they can be quite rubbish in front of camera. There’s an understandable expectation that just because someone is in the public eye that they will automatically be great at giving lines to camera. Wrong! We once spent two hours with a ‘trained actress’ who was struggling to deliver four lines to camera even though it was on an autocue! People who watch our finished product are thinking how great it is – they’re not thinking about the 35 takes it took to get it.

Allow for this when planning your shoot and liaise with their management as to whether they require autocue for all lines (unless they’re a presenter as their day job they often do!)

Go Through Their Manager

Don’t expect to be given a mobile number so you can exchange texts with the latest reality star! It’s usual (and to be honest, much safer) to send all communications to your celeb through their management. This ensures that they will actually be on set on time and on the right day.

Get Them a Nice Car

You’ll get more from them if you go that extra mile to make them feel special. So if you need them on set at certain time, send a car to pick them up (you should have factored this into your initial budget). And don’t just send any old car. In the past we’ve gone for an executive car with driver in uniform to really ensure that the talent feels appreciated from day one.

celebs-1

Allow For Extras In The Budget

As indicated above, there can be some unusual extras costs when working with a celebrity so allow some fat in your budget to accommodate this. I was once called at 4pm by a celebrity who want me to book her a different hotel as the one we’d put her in didn’t have goose down pillows. This apparently was going to be a deal breaker so by having a budget that allowed for such nonsense allowed the next day’s shoot to proceed as planned (thanks to the pillows!)

Show Them The Shot

Do let the celebrity you are working with see the shots you’ve got planned before you turn over. This will help you much more than you know. They will know their best angles and getting feedback on your shots before you turn over can save time and help capture them in their best light. It also fosters the relationship you have with them – if you show them you care what they think, they’ll warm to you and become easy to work with.

Give Them Something Of Yourself

So getting celebrities on-side like this is a key part of a successful shoot. A journalist once told us that one of the best ways to do this was to give them something of yourselves first. For instance when chatting, volunteer up some information about yourself that you wouldn’t normally tell anyone. It’s a great way to establish trust as you’ve already shown that you are willing to confide in them.

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Be Discreet

I’m sure this goes without saying but instantly uploading a photo of you and the celeb you’ve just worked with to social media isn’t always the wisest thing to do. Many productions need to be kept under wraps until launch and by tweeting your latest star selfie you may cause some serious problems. The people bankrolling the production will have a plan for drip-feeding excitement for the project through their own social media channels so if you want more work like this in the future, make sure you know what’s appropriate before you get your celeb trending on Twitter.

Vet All Your Crew – Even The Runners

Seasoned crew members will probably have seen it all before. However for the younger crew (usually the runners) its important to ensure that you not only select them carefully but fully brief them on what is acceptable. Runners are normally newcomers to the industry entirely and can get very excited about working with celebs. We’ve been burnt in the past (one young runner simply couldn’t stop asking the celebrity questions) so take it from us, getting the right crew for the job is useful.

Don’t Push Them

Unfortunately (and this only applies to some and not all) there can be similarities between working with a celebrity and looking after a bored toddler. Some celebs can be strange beasts and you certainly shouldn’t expect to get a 12-hour shoot day out of them! Tantrums and tears are sadly not just the stuff of tabloid tales so handle the talent with kid gloves and you’ll ensure they stay focused and friendly.

Expect The New Ones To Be Trouble

Finally, and this continues from the last point: you should expect the newer celebs or people who have only recently found fame to be more trouble than the ones who have been there for decades. Our experience has taught us that most times the more established the celebrity the easier the process is. They seem to know what’s involved and appreciate that you are there to make them look good. However the new or more recent celebs (think reality TV here) can be or are generally a nightmare. Ensure that your director has a long fuse and get a good night’s sleep before the shoot!

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Video Advertising Explained: Get the Apple Look

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Stylish Video Advertising

We’ve all seen those Apple talking heads featuring Jony Ive or some other leading Apple light telling us about their seemingly monthly announcements of new phones! (lets face it, they make great video advertising!)  They are shot against a perfectly white background, which ensures they feel clean, professional, and above all… Apple.

So many companies would benefit from presenting talking head or interview material  for their video advertising in this way. As mentioned is slick and clean but it also focuses the viewer on the person talking without any distractions. I’m always slightly disappointed when I see a corporate marketing video talking head shot with an office background. It’s hardly pushing the edge of creativity is it?

So being able to create this look for your corporate video is really useful. Here’s how to do it.

Essentially the key here is to treat the background and the subject separately in terms of the lighting plan. You will therefore need to light the background first, and then the subject.

video advertising

Now, your background can be formed in many different ways. You can hire a pop up white backdrop, use polystyrene boards, or even simply hang up some large rolls of white paper (although this will require time and delicacy). However, once you’ve got your background lighting it is pretty simple. Using a couple of large soft sources such as a couple of 2K lights with diffuser or softboxes on them, you can cast an even light on the surface then adjust your exposure accordingly until you get that brilliant seamless white look you require.

Next up you need to light your subject. It’s generally a good idea to place them as far away from the background as you can. Obviously you will be limited by the size of your shooting location and if you place the subject too far forward the edges of the backdrop may start to appear in frame, but this shouldn’t be much of an issue if you’ve lit it well enough with a nice flat light. You can easily add in extra areas of white in post to fill up the frame if needed though. Just make sure that the subject doesn’t encroach on the area you’re adjusting in the edit, or you’ll have some lengthy rotoscoping to deal with!

So light the subject as you wish safe in the knowledge that they are now presented against that beautiful, clean, white Apple-style background. This will provide you video advertising with that desirable high end, professional feel.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Professional video editing tips – Editing Interviews

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Cut to the Chase

Many briefs in corporate video and professional video editing require the cutting down of long interviews to find the essential soundbites and answers. Hardly a project goes by when we are not faced with taking 10, 20 or even 30 minute interviews and finding the right selection of 10 second quotes to efficiently convey the message we want.

In some cases we can simply send a timecoded transcript to our client and they can select the best lines, but this is sometimes misleading as what may look like the best line on paper may lack conviction and credibility when delivered to camera. This is something that can’t be communicated when simply reading words on a page.

So sometimes the role of professional video editing is to trawl through the interview content and make the call on the best final soundbites themselves. But doing this can be time consuming and complex. So here’s our approach to cutting interviews down.

professional video editing

First Cut

Firstly, create a sequence/timeline and chuck every frame of the video on it. This is our starting point. Now this example assumes that only this interviewee will be used in the video and that the interviewers questions will be cut out. This is generally the case as we don’t wont to waste viewers time when watching the film having to listen to the questions being read. Hopefully the answers are delivered in statement fashion and can stand alone in conveying the message as opposed to simply being a yes/no answer.

So the first task is to edit out and remove form the timeline all the interviewer’s questions, pauses in the interview recording, and false starts/outtakes etc. A quick way to do this is to use the audio waveform as an indication of when the subject is talking and simply trim everything else.

So now we have a timeline containing just the stuff we want to choose from for our corporate video.

Powerful Comments

Next up, copy this sequence and rename it as ‘Interviews 2nd cut’ or something along these lines. We’re now going to watch this timeline through and remove any answers that feel too long, off topic, or generally not ones that feel powerful. As we’re doing this we keep the film’s message in mind and will usually label ‘killer quotes’ on the timeline so that we can easily navigate back to them later.

Once we’ve been through this second cut we should be left with our shortlist of useable comments.

Now we repeat the process by copying the sequence again and re-naming it as ‘Interviews 3rd cut’ or similar. This is useful in case the client comes back to you once they’ve viewed the draft edit and requests a comment about a topic not in the draft you sent. To quickly scan a sequence and say “yes, we’ve got it” rather than trawling through all the footage again saves time and it’s a very common request.

So now you should have ‘Interviews 3rd cut’ and this is really where you’ll find your narrative and identify the strongest quotes. A key part of professional video editing is not being afraid to be ruthless. You may still have 10 minutes of great comments and a target duration of only two minutes, so go with your gut and if you’ve any doubts about a particular quote, delete it from the timeline. You can now also play around with chronology and try a few comments back to back or in different orders to see what flows well and works best.

professional video editing

Be Ruthless

If you’re cutting B-roll over the top of these interviews (and lets face it, we hope so as 2 minutes of a talking head isn’t going to light anyone up!) you’ll have some flexibility to cut into the actual quotes and answers. This is great for removing “ums” and “errs” from video marketing films that don’t sell what they’re saying, but can also be useful if you’ve got two takes of one question and you like the start of one and the end of the other. As mentioned, being ruthless here is the key, and if you are then you’ll find this third cut starting to feel like a powerful corporate video with a strong message.

If you’re not using B-roll but need to cut a portion of one answer there is another option open to you. You can scale down the timeline to allow you to create a two-camera look. This is only possible if you know that your client will accept a 720p delivery and you’ve shot at 1080p, or a 1080p delivery and you’ve shot at 4K. By downscaling the size of the frame you can use the footage at 100% scale as a ‘punch in’ and then scale the footage down to match the dimensions of the frame for a mid shot. Even though it’s the same shot and we’re essentially just zooming in on it, it’s a cut that audiences will tolerate and won’t look odd. It’s a useful professional video editing trick and one that we use often.

So that’s about all there is to it. The keys are to keep the first and second cut timelines to allow you to quickly respond to amendment requests, and secondly to be ruthless with your cutting. As mentioned, going with your gut is almost always the best way to choose the right quotes as you’re acting on emotional instinct and will be drawn to the quotes that connect with you on an emotional level. As we know these are the type of quotes that always form the most engaging viewing.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here. 

Digital video production explained: 10 Things That Will Surprise You

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10 digital video production facts every business should know.

Digital video production doesn’t need a big budget to create big impact!

Big ideas don’t always need big budgets, and effective video marketing can be produced on limited resources. Be flexible in your approach and make sure you hire a creative producer to give you the most bang for your buck!

Don’t expect a crew of 100s

Many corporate videos or pieces of video marketing content can be shot with a small crew (often just 2 or 3). The demands of these type of productions mean that kit is lightweight, portable and easy enough for a small crew to operate. However do be wary if just one person turns up with a camera and intends to direct, shoot, and record sound. Unless your budget is extremely limited and you can only stretch to a one man band then you should expect a crew minimum of two so as to maintain quality control.

The shoot days can be very long

The standard day for most crew working in corporate video production is 10 hours. This is what you’ll have been quoted on. However a 12-hour day is very common and 14 and even 16-hour days are by no means unusual.

digital video production

The work starts long before the actual filming starts

If you’ve found the right producer they will be busy behind the scenes way before the shoot begins. They will be doing their homework on the subject matter and checking out any and all possible variables that could affect the shoot day. See our guide to pre production for more information on this.

A video producer will know more than just how to produce video!

Again, if you’ve hired the right person you’ll find that they have a great deal of knowledge of target viewing habits, sector idiosyncrasies and sector history. They should have done their homework on your brief and be able to offer some valuable insight into how the film can connect with the intended audience based upon their research.

Not all cameras are equal (HD is not just HD)

In the early days of HD digital video production, ‘high definition’ used to mean the resolution was either defined as 1280×720 pixels (the lower end) or as 1920×1080 pixels (full HD). Today, we have cameras capable of shooting up to six times the quality of what we used to call ‘full HD’.

The majority of online video marketing content is delivered at 1280X720 but this will change as 4K becomes commonplace in the home and online. So think about how much longevity you need from your film in case you need to future proof it by shooting in 4K or above.

digital video production

The director will actually say “Action”

That’s right, the director is going to call “Action” and “Cut”. Aside from making it feel like it’s a Hollywood movie, it does have practical applications – it lets everyone on set know when it’s time to start the action and time to finish, especially for the on screen talent. Separate calls will be made to actually start the cameras recording (“Turn over”) as well as the microphones (“Sound speed”)

A small tweak when shooting can take hours

A good producer will anticipate as many issues as possible when overseeing the shoot, but inevitably there are some things that will just happen unexpectedly and everyone will need to take that on board. Small changed such as camera angle, lighting etc come with knock on effects so dot expect things to happen quickly when shooting.

A small change when editing can take days

Digital non linear editing is powerful and much quicker than the old analogue approach. However don’t confuse the software used with other applications that you may be familiar with. Changing a logo in photoshop can be a quick process but in video it will require rendering, exporting, compressing and probably uploading before you will be able to view the small change you requested.

You wont be able to email your final film

In the world of video marketing it would be great to be able to attach a HD video to our emails and simply send this straight out to our viewers. But sadly, this is just not going to happen. Even with todays powerful compression methods video files will usually be far too large to email (especially if they are HD).

A better practice is to email links to the film once you have uploaded or embedded it onto an online platform (see our guide for tips).

So there you have it. Hopefully you’re now either slightly more enlightened about the process of digital video production than before. But do email us if you have any questions about the process as we’re always happy to help out.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

How to create a Marketing Video – Timescales

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Production Timescale Explained

The first think you’ll need to know about how to produce a marketing video are the timescales involved.

Depending on what your brief requires, production of video marketing can take anywhere between a few days or several months. If the video marketing you’re producing is intended to sit alongside a range of other assets then getting the timing right may be key so you can release your materials on schedule.

Let’s assume that your project follows the lines of a pretty common brief in video production and that you are aiming to produce a 2 minute video highlighting the product, people and purpose. This is along the lines of something we are asked to produce quite often and will usually feature action footage of the product/service/brand in action, talking heads from either customers, staff, or both and maybe a voiceover added on top to tie the message together.

Now all projects are different, so the timings below won’t apply to all but in general they should be a good indication of what you should allow for your production.

how to create a marketing video

So once the brief has been delivered here’s a breakdown of what may happen and the time it will take:

Video Production Company Meeting – 2 hours

The video production company you have selected to work with will (and certainly should) want to visit your location/office to chat to you further and get a feel for your brand. For us, this is one of the most important parts of any video production. Getting face-to-face with our clients allows us to understand them, their brand, and most importantly their customer.

Brief Response – Half Day

Whether the video production company comes to meet you or not, you should certainly expect a full and detailed response to your brief. This will usually take about half a day to produce and should contain all the key information that shows the video production company you have selected has understood the brief. The response should also go into more detail about the production and cover areas such as logistics, film content, tone and style, and scheduling.

Pre-Production 1.5 Days (actual time but this may be spread over several weeks)

Further to the brief response the next stage of the project will be the “pre-production”. The actual time required to complete the pre-production on a typical video marketing project is between 1 and 1.5 days. However, due to the nature of what can be involved, this may be spread over several weeks. This is because pre-production includes elements such as scheduling and logistics, which can depend on responses and availability from 3rd parties to complete. For example, if the video production requires interviews with existing customers to generate testimonial-type quotes then the contacting, scheduling and managing of these interviews will require feedback (on availability etc) from the intended subject. Other parts of pre-production include scripting (for voiceover), shoot day planning and scheduling, and even casting (to find the right voiceover artist or possibly models).

how to create a marketing video

Shooting – 2 Days

Now we are certainly generalising here and there are many variables to this, but a typical video marketing production is usually shot over 2 days. Even a short 90 second film usually requires a great deal of different footage and capturing this footage is not something that happens in a few hours. So 2 days is really the minimum that we’d suggest for most typical video marketing projects.

Editing and Post-Production – 4-5 Days

Again this is a general guide based on the assumed brief we described earlier but we’d usually suggest allowing 4-5 days to get the project edited and mastered. This timescale factors in additional elements that are required in most briefs of this kind such as voiceover recording, making amendments to the initial edit, and mastering/compressing the video for final output (usually to a web-ready format).

So there you have it. Taking the brief described as an example, you will need to allow 9 working days as a minimum for a typical video production project. Although obviously these days will vary rarely be lined up in a row and may instead be spread over several weeks. In our experience we find that the usual timescale that forms a start to finish turnaround time for these 9 day projects is 4 weeks. This is typical of the window of time from receiving the brief to delivering the final project.

If you’d like more information about how to produce a marketing video then please do drop us a line as we’re always willing to share our knowledge.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Why Does Production Quality Matter in Company Videos?

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A Guide To Good Production Quality

Well production quality is important as it will influence that instant snap judgment that viewers make about a brand the second they start watching their company videos. When it comes to video marketing it’s essential that you cut straight to the chase in effectively representing your brand values right from the first few seconds of any video you produce.

Like it or not, we all form instant judgements about brands the second we encounter them and these opinions can be so strong that if we make a negative assumption it’s a very difficult task to change our mind. Such is the power of video.

However, get this right and you can gain the trust and enthusiasm of potential new customers right from their very first encounter with your brand.

Below is an example of various interview shots that we’ve produced over the years. The difference in what they communicate about the quality of the brands they represent is instantly apparent.

high-vs-low-production

Many of the elements that boost the production quality of a promotional video are relatively unseen. Your viewers will probably not exclaim “that’s a beautiful dolly shot!” or “this interview has been wonderfully lit”.

However all these elements will be subconsciously perceived within the viewing experience, and will be key to what our general opinion of the brand represented is. It’s these subtleties that provoke an emotional response from the audience and therefore they are powerful factors on creating that all important first impression.

Remember that if you are maximising your reach with a promotional video then you’ll probably be uploading it to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter etc. When a viewer watches your video on these channels they will more than likely experience your brand with none of the other quality marketing collateral that would surround it on your own company website.

All the time and effort put into making your website a truly wonderful experience and brand ambassador is great for adding extra firepower to marketing items placed solely on your website, but lost when embracing the power of social media channels as these video sites won’t mirror the branding, messaging and design of your own site. Effectively your video has to be strong enough to be seen as a standalone element that can deliver your message isolation.

So making sure that your promotional video or corporate film champions your brand values and ideals is essential in allowing you the option of spreading its footprint as far as the web will allow.

Ensuring you produce a film with the highest production quality isn’t always directly related to video production costs. However budget does go a long way in providing the equipment and experience that this sometimes requires. There’s a common saying in the production industry that goes – You can produce video that’s good, fast or cheap but not all 3. This is mostly true but there are some ways to increase the quality of your company videos without needing a mortgage to pay for it.

company videos

So here’s some areas where companies can enhance the way they present their brand by maximising the production quality of the company videos they produce;

Crew

Finding a good Producer/Director is one of the most essential elements in realising great visuals and high quality production while keeping a lid on the budget. There’s no substitute for experience and a good pro will know exactly how to squeeze every penny’s worth of video production quality out of your budget.

Camera

Unfortunately this element comes down to cost. Using a higher end camera for your video marketing has obvious benefits and will create an instant impact on the visuals you distribute.

Lights

It shouldn’t cost the earth to make sure that any interview content you include in your video is nicely lit. You don’t need additional crew for this as any good cameraman should be able to light a simple talking head shot effectively themselves.

company videos

Sound

DO NOT cut corners on sound recording. This is the one aspect above everything else that if done badly can undo every other element within your video. What we hear when watching video content automatically over rides what we see so capturing beautiful images is pointless if your interviews sound like they’ve been recorded in a toilet!

Grip (moving camera shots)

This is one of the key factors in increasing the perceived production quality of your company videos. Using shots that gently track, jib or dolly is one of the most effective ways to elevate the general overall feel of a video to new heights and give it that Hollywood feel. Again it doesn’t cost the earth and many of the available options don’t require extra crew.

There will also be producers/directors out there who suggest that they can add the “wow factor” in post with some funky editing and graphics. However a general golden rule is that if you haven’t capture quality in camera (ie whilst on the shoot) then no amount of digital alchemy is going to lift the video further.

So our advice is always aim high, because if the quality of your company videos doesn’t match that of your customer’s expectations you may be doing your brand more damage than good.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

How do I write a brief for a Corporate film?

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Corporate film

Whether you are producing your promotional or corporate film in house or using an external production agency, a key part of the corporate video production process is starting with a detailed and considered brief. A good production company will ask the required questions to establish most of your needs but if your staring at a blank page scratching your headand not knowing where to start then hopefully the guide below should be of use.

We put together an overview of some of the key factors and information that need to be agreed, established and communicated within your video brief.

Audience

Before you start the brief for you corporate film you need to ensure you know who your audience are. Who are you communicating to? How do they like to talk? What sort of tone and style of presentation is the most suitable for the audience to convey your message effectively.

So here are a few questions that should form the base point of any video production brief:

What is the desired response to the video?

ie – What do you want to achieve? Does it need to drive sales? (probably), deliver messaging or enhance your brand.

 

Corporate Video Production

What is the one key message that you want people to take away from watching the film?

A common mistake made in the corporate film production process is to try to load your video with too many messages. Ultimately this will bombard the viewer and result in not one single message being conveyed effectively.

Once these parts of the brief are agreed they will form anchors for the entire project and should influence many of the other elements that will follow within your brief. Your desired viewer response and the emotional reaction you’re aiming for will play important roles in answering all the other questions within your final brief.

Next up you need to think about the actual content and look of the video. The things you should consider are as follows:

People & Voices

Do you want to use talking heads, Voiceovers, interview testimony or actors within your video?

Tone

Professional, friendly, light etc

Production Values

What sort of screen and picture quality are you looking for? Everything is shot in HD these days but the type of camera you use, lighting and crew can dramatically whether the images look high end or more user generated.

 

Corporate Video Production

Feel of Vocal Content

We’d always suggest producing some sort of script even if the entire video is to be made up of interviews material. Producing a script with your desired interview quotes or “perfect world” soundbites will allow the director to develop interview questions that are “leading” and designed to elicit the responses that you noted in your script.

So now your brief should be starting to flesh out and give you a clear picture of what you want to produce. The next step is to consider and agree the presentation approach. There are a few common routes (as well as some other creative angles) that work well for promotional and corporate film. So selecting from one of the methods below assures you that you are using a tried and tested approach:

Company Figure

Delivering most of your corporate film’s vocal message and script from a key/senior company staff member gives the film authority and personalises the brand. The delivery can be either scripted (but beware that this doesn’t feel too cold) or taken from an interview situation (this is a good approach as the script will feel natural even).  You can prime the subject before hand so that they know roughly how the replies need to sound. Here’s an example of this approach.

Corporate Video Production

Customer Testimonial Film

By using you customers to tell the story you instantly get a film that feels honest and is something that viewers should empathise with. Scripting is rarely used in this approach as you’ll want your customers to come across as 100% authentic. Here’s an example of this style of video.

Voiceover

By using a voiceover that delivers the messaging over your action footage your video should instantly take on an increased production value. The strength of this approach is that you can carefully plan the script to exactly cover every single message you want to include. Additionally, as the voiceover recording is usually done after the filming has taken place you have the opportunity to tweak or amend the script in accordance with the actual film material you have captured.

 

Mixed Approach

By combining some of the approaches above you can present a balanced corporate film that has the ability to juxtapose your corporate messaging with real customer testimony and re-enforced by your key personnel. This is a strong combination but you need to be careful that the finished video doesn’t become overlong and boring due to trying to cram too much in. Here’s  project we recently produced using this approach.

So many of the factors we’ve covered above form elements that need to be considered in the corporate film production process from pre-production and even whilst physically shooting the project. However your brief should also include detailed descriptions of items that will be produced after the main filming has been done and the video is being edited. These elements are:

Corporate Video Production

Graphics

Do you want to use logo animation and illustrations? If so agree how any brand guidelines will be delivered to the editor.

Soundtrack

Do you want to use a musical soundtrack to form a soundbed that runs underneath your vocals?

And there you pretty much have it. There are other items that you may wish to include but the above gives you a blueprint of all the essentials of the corporate film production process and we do hope you find it useful.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Marketing Videos – How to get them right

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Marketing videos and budgeting

A cold hard truth is that your corporate video or video marketing tends to look as good as its budget. There’s a direct correlation between how much budget you allocate to your marketing videos and the production quality of the final video that you will produce. However the way your final film looks is not always the most important factor when producing promotional video (good video marketing should always be wary of “style over substance”) and there are of course exceptions so here’s a few thoughts that may be useful when budgeting for your next corporate video production.

Find an Agency That Understands

It’s usually true that you very much get what you pay for when it comes to marketing videos. Creativity, knowledge and skill level should be a given from any good quality, experienced production company and many of the associated costs will be pretty much industry standard costs. So finding a video production agency that understands your product and your customers should take priority over finding the cheapest.

Making a huge saving on your video production wont really seem that exciting if your final video marketing doesn’t effectively engage your customers.

Of course there are cost effective options such as sourcing a resourceful self-shooting director/producer (or one man band) for your film but generally if you’re looking for high impact and high quality on screen then you should budget accordingly.

marketing videos

Your video should reflect the values of your product

To identify where you need to be budget wise it’s useful to look at your product or service and its perceived category. If you are selling within a luxury sector or using factors such as “high quality”, “reliability”, or “forefront of technologically” within your sales offering then any marketing videos you produce should directly reflect these values.

Customers’ perception of promotional video and its production quality is a subtle and often subconscious area that should not be overlooked. Viewers will make a firm judgement call on you and your brand within the first few seconds of your video so matching their expectations with your video’s quality is vital.

Consider the Retail Price Point

Equally the retail price point of your product or service should also be considered when developing budgets for marketing videos. If your product or service has a relatively high purchase price, then the value adding factors which make the purchase worthwhile should be clearly visible within your video. The quality of your video should reflect the price paid by your customers for your product or service.

This should also apply to any post purchase video material such as user guides or user training. If you purchase a brand new quality car then you wouldn’t expect the user manual to be supplied as photocopied paper. So if your producing video marketing to add value post sale then it still needs to reflect cost to the customer.

Research Your Competitors

It’s also important to look at your competitors to assess what level of production they have gone for and how effective their marketing videos are. High budgets will certainly give you higher production value but it doesn’t always follow that they deliver the your message in the most powerful way.

Alternatively if the values you trade on are quirkiness, creativity or fun then there’s more scope to present your video marketing using these traits and focus on originality rather than high quality/high cost. In fact sometimes lower production values can offer charm, earthiness and create engaging video marketing that really hits the spot.

Reflect Your Product

Its very much a case of ensuring that your video output accurately reflects not only your product (and its value) but also the value and importance of the purchase to the customer. Your video should match their expectations of not only the product, but also the purchase experience and user experience.

So rather than starting with a figure when planning your video production budget, start with a goal. Let your customers, your product and your brand be the measure of the level of production your marketing videos need and you’ll emerge with a much more suitable and effective asset for your marketing.

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Video Production Costs

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A guide to video production costs

Its rare to see a price list on a video production company’s website and to be honest you should be wary of any company offering “off the shelf” prices and packages for video production. Every brief is different and the type of production required (and therefore budget) can vary widely. However to provide some transparency and insight into budgeting for your promotional video here are some common video production costs.

Not all the items below are required on every project and some of them have wider cost ranges than others depending on what your requirements are.

You can also pay a lot more or a lot less for most of the crew and personal costs shown here. This is usually based upon the experience that the brief demands for each crew member.

So here’s some common elements that you may require in your production and a guide on costs. These are based on a very common brief that we often get for producing a corporate video which requires location filming of simple action or actuality footage, some talking head interview shots and possibly a voiceover and/or model requirement.

Pre-Production Costs

This includes the services of your producer in providing project management, scripting, project logistics and scheduling. This particular element does differ but as a rule budget allow roughly 10% of the overall production costs for Pre-production

Cast

Good models, actors and voiceover talent will cost between £150 – £300 per day including usage buyout. You can certainly pay more (depending on talent required and their current demand) but if you’re paying less there’s usually a trade off in terms of talent and commitment.

Video Production Costs

Crew Per 10 Hour Shoot Day

Director – £400 per day and upwards depending on experience.

Camera Operator/DOP/Sound engineer- £350 per day and upwards depending on experience.

Equipment

Camera Kit per shoot day (this kit should include camera, tripod, lens, monitor and cables etc)

£250-£350 per day for a camera kit that will give you a basic corporate look (such as a Canon C300)

£750 – £900 per day for a camera that will give you a stunning cinematic look (such as a RED Epic)

Sound

Radio microphones £50 per day

Video Production Costs

Lights

Basic interview lighting kit including 3 x heads with stands (1x 150w, 2x 300w) £40-£70 per day

Location

Studio hire (small studio – talking heads size) £500 per day

Location agency (real location/set hired through location agency for special requirements) £1000 per day and upwards

Post Production Costs– Editing, Animation, Mastering etc

The amount of time you need to edit your project depends on the amount of material shot and the complexity of the requirements but as a guide editing should come in at £350-£400 per day (this should include editor and edit suite but not Director who can sometimes be required to sit in the edit).

So there you have it. Depending on your project you may need some (or many) other elements or you may only require a couple of the items in this list.

Hopefully this gives you some advance steer on where you Video Production Costs may need to be to achieve the type of video production you require.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.