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Video is popular. You know that, we know that.
We’re producing more and more video content for our clients and for ourselves. It’s creative, attention-grabbing and it makes us tick.
We get asked all the time by our clients to help them put together a video - for campaigns, for corporate overviews, sales material, to update the website or just because video is cool.
So here is our hot list of ten things to think about when putting your video plans together.
1. Animation or live footage?
First and foremost, you need to decide whether you want your video to be ‘live’ (real footage recorded at your shoot) or animated where graphics replace any camera recordings. Depending upon the theme and content of your video, one might be more suitable than the other. Animation gives you a great deal of flexibility but live footage can feel more ‘personal’.
Where do you want to record the footage for your video? In your office, at your clients’ premises or both? If you’re shooting in your office, have you considered the best spots in terms of lighting, noise or a place which best illustrates the point you’re trying to make in your video? If it’s a corporate overview video, we want to see your office, the people in it and get a feel for your culture. If it’s a serious subject then recording the footage whilst leaning on the pool table probably doesn’t give off the right message.
Including footage from television and films in your videos might look great, but could also land you in a great deal of trouble. If you’re using footage which isn’t produced on your premises or with permission, or you include clips from movies without paying for the rights, you might run into the Licensing Police (official title).
It’s a video for your business. It’s not the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Extended Edition (251 mins if you’re asking). You’ve got to decide how long you need to get your point across and then offset that against how long you think you can hold the viewer. Too short and they learn nothing apart from that you like spending your budget on trendy videos. Too long and they turn off. Definitively lose-lose.
5. Scripts and tone of voice
First up, consider your style. Are you trying to be informative, funny or educational? What do you want me, the viewer, to take away from your video? Think about whether you want to come across as a thought leader on the subject, if you’re just trying to tell me the facts about something you’ve done or if you’re taking a certain stance on the subject matter.
You have to think ‘video’ when you write the content for your film. Writing in the spoken word is completely different than writing for someone to read. You need to take care that your script is both deliverable and engaging - just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it will translate well into video. It’s something of a specialist skill and you might need to speak to your video producer to help. It’s also worth bearing in mind while writing your scripts that that you may need to adjust your ‘usual’ tone of voice - you don’t want to spend time and money producing a great video to find that the tone doesn’t match your regular comms when you get the final edit back.
Which leads me on to...
We all like to think that we’ll stand up in front of the camera on the day, ready to deliver a performance worthy of a BAFTA, straight off the bat with no rehearsing. Trouble is you’re more likely to come off like David Brent than David Tennant. Autocue is the perfect balance between not having to learn your lines word-for-word and delivering the staccato “I am reading this line from a script that I wrote” performance which will instantly turn people off. Just watch those eyes shifting from side to side as you go.
Decision time. Who are you going to feature in your video? The MD or the Senior Partner who exude authority, experience and gravitas or the fresh-faced graduate, new to it all and full of vim? I could persuade you the benefits of either but you need to match up the content, tone and style of your video with the people you’re going to feature in it. You might think that a delicate juxtaposition of involved, formal and knowledge-led content delivered by your intern will hit the spot with your audience, but then again you might end up as part of another video - “Epic Company Video Fails Part V” .
A professional VO artist can add a level of professionalism to your video which you might not be able to match - sorry about that. A trained and experienced recording specialist can make all the difference between your video being a big hit and a tiresome three minute journey through the latest project you’re working on.
You may not want VO at all but you’ll need to consider how you get across any information which you don’t show on the screen with either visuals or text and factor the impact they have on the viewers’ ability to digest the core information you’ve spent money on making the video to convey. Remember, watching and listening is easier than watching and reading - watch any gritty Scandinavian crime drama on Channel 4 and you’ll see what I mean.
You want Bieber, who are we to judge? But you do need to think carefully about the message the background noise in your video portrays. Are you going for a royalty-free backing track, relatively unrecognisable but easy to match to your tone, style and format (because there are hundreds of thousands of library tracks out there) or do you opt for a rights-managed ‘famous’ track? Both good options, one significantly more expensive than the other.
10. Premises licence / fees
Just because your office has a solid gold real estate location and you happen to include other businesses, shops or premises in the footage you secure for your video, doesn’t mean you don’t have to seek permission to use it. Same with anyone who happens to wander into shot as you’re getting that perfect panoramic sweep of your building - you’ll need them to sign over permission for you to include them in your edit (see: Licensing Police above).
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