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We are all guilty of making a few mistake here and there. But, they’re are not exactly ideal when making a professional video. Below are the most common video mistakes you can make, and a few tips on how to prevent them from happening.
1. Missing the objective
It’s got to be clear in your head and everyone else’s what the main objective of your video is - if you plan well enough, you will always have something to refer back to when shooting the video gets a little lost.
Ask yourself and others - who are you targeting? Why are you doing this? What do you want out of it?
2. Script, script, script
Often created by the business themselves, rather than seeking a professional script writer. Sometimes, it is just best to invest - if you can’t get your message across properly, you’re better off hiring.
If you don’t want to outsource, read your script aloud to your colleague, your friends, your mum - just make sure that it sounds as natural as possible.
There’s nothing worse when the subject of the video sounds stilted or like a robot, so double-check all your ‘actors’ know their lines, so they’re not struggling to remember what to say next.
3. Too long = lost attention
Attention spans are waning nowadays, so you can’t make it too long otherwise you’ll probably lose a large majority of your audience. If you want to listen to the experts, you’ve got to keep it short - for a showreel or introduction video, make sure it is two minutes or less.
If you are struggling to reduce the time, break it up - not only are you not losing crucial footage/message, you’re also creating more content for you to post. Win win.
4. Not suitable for mobiles
It is a fact of life now that a vast majority of people (including me and you) watch videos on their mobiles. Often overlooked, creating video content that is ‘mobile-friendly’ is fundamental for your business - when people are scrolling through, they’ll be a lot more inclined to watch a one or two minute video than a lengthy, detailed eight minute one. Save that for your expos and presentations.
5. Time-wasting with shots
If you didn’t plan beforehand or you’ve got a tendency to go on a tangent, you can waste quite a bit of memory and your own time shooting film that is unnecessary. You’ll end up with loads of film that you don’t actually need and you’ll end up spending hours going through and editing. Just establish that everyone is on the same page when shooting and it’s probably best to come up with a detailed plan beforehand.
6. Office lighting
Everybody knows that office lighting isn’t exactly flattering. You don’t want to highlight the imperfections on your subject’s face. With this sort of issue, you’re best off turning off your office lighting and using softboxes. If you’re hiring a professional crew, they'll bring all this sort of stuff, so you don’t have to worry about that.
7. Rubbish (or anything that doesn’t belong in the background)
You want to attract people, not turn them away because they think you don’t care. It can be very distracting, much like many of the mistakes on this list - rather than focusing on your message, the audience are transfixed on the rubbish. It also creates an unprofessional image and doesn’t turn off potential clients because you’ve (unintentionally) left rubbish in the background.
8. Sunlight isn’t always the best light
For one, you won’t be able to see your subject clearly. If you want to shoot outside, move into a bit of shade (pretty simple).
9. Unsteady footage
It can make people feel a little motion sick if it is truly unsteady (but that’s the worst case scenario). Having unsteady footage in a video lacks the professional quality you may be after.
You can always stabilise the footage when editing, or invest in a good ol’ gimbal.
10. Bad audio
Imagine you’ve quite possibly shot the greatest video of all time, but all the sound is muffled. Background noise is another massive issue - if it’s too loud, it can be very distracting and draw your viewer’s attention away from your message.
And it’s not just whether you can’t hear your subjects. If your music is too overpowering, you won’t be able to hear anything anyway. Vast majority of video editing software can help control the audio, so you don’t have to deafen your audience with your background music or force them to strain their ears trying to listen to your subject.
If you’re restricted to filming on your phone, you don’t have to worry - there’s plenty of affordable microphones available compatible for your phones.
11. Jump cuts (that are very obvious)
Jump cuts are useful, there is no denying that. But, done badly, it’s pretty noticeable and can make your professional video look amateurish. It is the easiest to master of all the editing techniques and is most noticeable when a jump cut happens in the same shot. Try branching out to different techniques, or add more cameras to change the angle.
13. Music doesn’t go with the message
Music and video is like the perfect partnership. But if you get it wrong, you can get it very wrong. You can’t imagine having a quick-paced film paired with a slow soundtrack, so why would you do this with your video?
Edit your video before adding the music - your final edit may not match your original choice for background music, and end up sending out a mismatched message.
If you’re struggling, there are plenty of stock and royalty-free music out there for you to use, worry-free.
As long as you remember these mistakes and how to avoid them next time you’re producing a video, you’ll be just fine.
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