How to plan a successful corporate video shoot
Whether you’re telling stories about your people, services or products; or you’re providing coverage of an event or conference, there’s a strong possibility that you will be using video in your B2B marketing plans in 2018.
The increased use of video means that more marketing teams are now looking to produce videos in-house. But getting the slick and professional finish can be tricky.
We have a number of former broadcast journalists in our team, so we know a thing or two about producing video under a variety of different and challenging conditions.
Plan, plan, plan.
A successful video shoot takes a lot of detailed planning.
Even a short and simple social video shot on an iPhone can involve a complex production process. There can be a lot of people and kit involved to get the high-quality finish needed.
There’s a lot to think about. Do you have the right equipment to gather quality footage? What will the edit entail and how will you record high-quality audio? It’s easy to get it wrong if you’re not aware of the pitfalls, so here are our tips to help you make your video production a success.
Set your aims and objectives
Before you even think about picking up a camera be clear about what you want to achieve. Think about how your video will be used. This will have a big influence on how you shoot and edit the video.
Do you need to leave space in the shot to add text for a social video? If you’re planning to screen your video at an event, how big will the screen be? If it’s huge then your smartphone camera may not be up to the job.
What are the key messages that you need to get across? This will inform the questions you ask in interviews and the additional shots you need to film to visualise your story.
How long will the video be? You’ll want to make sure you shoot enough footage, but not so much that you have to spend days editing it.
Define your story
In the best videos the pictures do most of the heavy lifting in terms of telling the story – and if you don’t know the story you won’t know what to shoot.
Write a rough script in advance – but be prepared to revise it as the story can change during the video shoot.
Create a shot list or a storyboard by working through the video in your head. What are the key images you need for your video?
Do a recce
If you’re filming at a specific location, make sure you check it out before the shoot. Producers call this a recce. It’s not always possible – but if you can – you should. The location can make or break your shoot.
Things to look out for:
- What noises can you hear? The hum of air conditions, overhead aircraft, trains, church bells? These can all ruin the sound quality of your video.
- Will the position of the sun make or break your shot? Have you checked at the time you’re due to shoot? Do you know when to expect the sun to rise and set?
- Is it going to rain/snow/blow a gale? If so, you may need an alternative location.
- Do you have access to a power supply to keep kit running – or charge batteries?
- Do you have permission for access AND to film?
- Will the lovely empty event space be totally rammed on the day of the shoot?
- Is your location safe for everyone involved?
Make a kit list
There can be a lot of kit involved in a video production, and if you forget something it will compromise your shoot. Memory cards are small and easily overlooked, a lens cleaning kit has saved the day so many times for me.
Make up a detailed list and tick off every item as you pack it. Make sure each item is in a ready-to-use state. Are your batteries charged, are your memory cards empty and correctly formatted for the camera you are using?
It’s often worth having a small supply of makeup – a basic powder for all skin tones to help dab away the shine from nervous people in the interview chair.
Prepare a detailed call sheet
A call sheet is vital to a successful video production. It tells everybody involved where they have to be and when. Make sure you include contact details for everybody involved and contact details for the production office.
A call sheet lays out everybody’s roles and responsibilities. Include a list of who is bringing what kit, what is to be filmed and at which location, with dates and times. You should include details of local public transport links and car parks.
It is important to include details of local emergency services and hospital accident and emergency departments. The production insurance policy should be attached to the call sheet. Hopefully you won’t need these, but you’d rather be prepared for it if you do.
On the day of the video shoot
The day that all your planning (hopefully) pays off.
Arrive earlier than you think you should to set things up for the day. Know how long it takes to set up kit – that might mean having a practice set up in advance. Anticipate any problems you might encounter and allow time to fix them.
Complete safety checks – make sure cables are tidy/taped down. Are lighting stands secure?
Check the sound quality and then check it again. Poor audio can prove impossible to fix in post-production.
With the right kind of planning, even the most complex video production can be made easier and more enjoyable. So now you’re all set to plan out your next quality video.
Enjoyed this post? Try our 5 video tips that will transform your event coverage.
If you’d like our journalists to help you improve the quality of your video coverage, get in touch. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call our team on +44 (0) 20 7206 2687.
Simon Torkington, is an Executive Producer at Formative Content. He produces and oversees video content production for some of our biggest clients.
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