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.
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.
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?
Professional, friendly, light etc
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
Do you want to use logo animation and illustrations? If so agree how any brand guidelines will be delivered to the editor.
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.