Ready to give video the green light?
To ensure the best corporate video possible, you’ll want to follow a few simple best video production practices. From concept to creation, making a quality video can be an interesting journey down a winding road. Okay, let’s be real; you’re lucky if it’s a road. Sometimes it’s a journey down an overgrown trail in the jungle with poisonous frogs in the trees. There are a lot of stages and a lot of “moving parts” along the way. That means a lot of opportunities for things to go sideways. If you’re just getting into video production, or if you’re trying to figure out how to make the next one run a little smoother, read on for our best video production practices tips and tricks. If you’re still not even sure what video you want to make, start with our 5 elements of effective online video.
Perfect is the Enemy of Progress
The surest way to make everyone miserable is to try to make everyone happy. Working with corporations, we’re often hired by a marketing “team” to produce a video. The great thing about teams is the initial brainstorming process when you have a lot of different points of view in play. The bad thing about working with teams, while the script is being finalized, is having a lot of different points of view in play.
I have worked on scripts that were absolutely eviscerated as each team member felt the need to revise each other’s revisions until the whole thing was unreadable and the message was lost. This is not the best methodology to get the best video production.
The need to feel heard is simply ingrained in human nature.
Anyone who has ever sat in a group meeting has likely fallen victim to that. Even people on the same wavelength will invariably find something to argue about. Don’t be that guy. Offer feedback, of course, and always check for accuracy, but when the group starts micromanaging each sentence, it’s time to let it go. Get the script approved, and then move on. Honestly, it’ll probably change mid-filming anyways.
Choose – and TRUST – The Director
A great way to avoid the creative-killing downfall of “group think” is to decide right off the bat who is going to take the point. Too many chefs will always spoil the soup, but a chef with some good line-cooks…that’s success in action. If you’re working in-house with your own team, agreeing on a point-person may be difficult. Especially if everyone is excited to be involved, or if it’s your first video and you’re not sure who would be the most qualified. In that case, I have to stress the benefits of hiring outside help, whether that’s a creative agency or simply a video production studio, to get the best video production services.
If you have decided to hire a production company, you already know who your director is. Trust their experience, trust your good sense in hiring them, and let them work. When someone with decades of video production experience tells you something isn’t going to work, it’s not just because they don’t want to do it!
Filming has some intrinsic challenges that we mostly learn about through experience.
Lighting is a big one. Knowing that certain patterns and color combinations are going to look terrible on film…well, we’ve learned that the hard way.
Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
Rehearsing is especially important if you or a SME from your company is going to be running a demonstration or training series. Honestly, even if you intend to hand off your script to an actor, run through it with your team before the shoot. Reading the script aloud, while performing the actions, will help ensure that everything will make sense to the audience. This is where you might discover you’ve actually missed a critical point or that you may need some onscreen text to flush out an instruction.
In the case of a new product launch, invariably certain features aren’t working. Not a big deal, just figure out how to “fake” it. There’s nothing worse than running through a procedure with the SME and it doesn’t work as planned and then trying to figure out a workaround. It’s much better to have the workaround in your back pocket.
Rehearsal is also a good time to check for redundancies, as well. Video is a visual medium, so you don’t necessarily need to describe something in detail if the audience can plainly see it for themselves. For example, the manual may describe the color and location of that on/off button you’re telling folks to press, but in a video, we can simply show it.
Stick to the plan
Never try to wing it with video production. I know I already warned you not to get too precious about the working script. And yes, a production is fluid, and we sometimes need to be open to changes along the way. Still, for the best video production possible, planning is sacred.
Murphy’s Law dictates that you will forget to film or say something you were sure you’d remember. Remember this, instead: reshooting is expensive. In some cases, it’s REALLY expensive. And there is only so much we can fix in post. Go into video production day with a list of shots you need to get, in detail, and get them. Try to have one person whose job it is just to check off that shot list to make sure nothing gets missed. As you’re planning your shot-list, keep in mind that if it’s mentioned, it should be ¬seen. Having a solid shot list, and sticking to it, will keep your shoot under control even if unexpected challenges arise to throw you off your game.
In Conclusion-Best Video Production Practices
That’s the long and short of it. Keeping a video production in line from concept to creation is a balance of knowing when to take control and when to let go. That’s no different from running a video production studio, come to think of it. Containing a studio full of creative individuals can be challenging. We all have our own vision and point of view. Of course, our goal is to make the best video production possible for another company’s marketing team, individuals with their own vision as well. It can be a delicate dance of egos. When it all comes together you get the best corporate video, though, we can create something useful or funny or inspirational. Sometimes all three. After all, isn’t that the whole point?
If you’re ready to take your video marketing up a notch, but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help. You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Give us a call.