Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things to Ask When Producing A Video

Whether you know it or not, video is likely in your future. Here's why:

From this blog post by Wolf 21 Internet Marketing, you can see some provocative statistics about video (attrib. to Craig Backman from McLellan Group):
  • Video is the preferred medium by most site visitors. According to Cisco Systems, 90% of web traffic will be from video by the time we reach 2013.
  • Video is relevant to all demographics. It is not just youth that are broadcasting their talents through online video, but people 55 and older are also finding a space to share their stories.
  • Video is more persuasive. According to Nielson data, product users are 85% more likely to buy from video content than from text.
  • Video is more memorable. Videos are sensational and require more than just one sense to understand a message. They thus attract better site traffic and higher quality content than text does.
  • Video enhances SEO results. Forrester found that video is 53 times more than text content to rank within the top search engine results. Google looks at the description, title and tags for indexing a video.
Here's the situation: I wanted to create a video series out of a project I'm working on at work. While I've worked with video in the past, I am still learning how to describe the different styles and formats of video that are out there. Fortunately, I work with a great guy that knows more about what to look for in cameras and lighting and so I'm picking up more knowledge that way.

If you find yourself starting out in the creation of a video, here are some good questions to consider...

Questions to ask yourself:
1. What kind of "look" am I going for? It helps to have examples to share with your videographer and others working on the project.
2. How long will this video be? Keep in mind what your goal for viewership general, the shorter, the better.
3. Do I have video editing skills on staff? If so, that could keep your cost down. If possible, you should always get the raw video and audio so you can use it in other ways in the future.
4. Do I need a studio or do I have a background that will work for this project? Depending on what kind of video you're shooting, you might need to search for the right background.
5. Do I need a teleprompter? These days you can use a tablet (Galaxy or iPad) as your teleprompter, but if you have the ability to speak without it, that's always preferable.
6. What is my budget? Don't you hate this question? The budget will dictate who you work with. I had someone virtually hang up the phone on me when they heard the budget I was using. Of course, that ensured I would never choose to work with them in the future, no matter what kind of budget I had available. It helps to get an idea of the ballpark your videographer is working in  for your type of project early on to save you both time.

Questions your videographer should ask you:
1. What kind of lighting do you have/do you want? Your answers will dictate the kind of lighting or lenses they bring with them to the shoot.
2. What's your timeline? Your videographer should be able to share their typical turnaround time for the type of shoot you are doing and work with you to meet your schedule.
3. What kind of nameplates/graphics/logos/intro do you want to use? Your videographer should want to get a feel for the kind of editing they will need to do with your footage.
4. Where will you use the video once produced? Your answer to this question will dictate the format the video will be in and the way your videographer delivers the video to you.

Here's the example of the type of video style I want to shoot in that I shared with our videographer:

From this example we were able to talk about the "shallow depth of field" or the blurred background look that my team wanted. We were also able to talk about the DSLR cameras the videographer would use that would achieve that result. This is why it helps to have an example or two of video styles your hoping to achieve when you talk with your videographer (and others working on your video project).
Was this helpful? Do you have other questions you think should be included in this list? If you have your own helpful tips, please include them in the comments so others can learn from your experience!
Hopefully, with the right questions and communication, your video experience will go smoothly and without a hitch!

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