First of all, if you need to enlist outside help to produce video content for your business, you need to be sure to find the right fit for your company, because their efficiency will largely dictate how much time and money you save. As a Single Person Crew (“SPC”) I make it a point to make your project economically feasible, but even for more complex projects, I know how to bring them in on time and at or under budget!
I’ve been doing video production in Southern California for a while now, so take it from me, by following a few tips, you can save precious resources in the planning and execution of your next video project.
Don’t ignore or overlook the essentials.
There are many reasons to make a corporate video and there are many different ways to save time and money depending on the reason. Are you creating a customer testimonial to showcase your customer service and products’ effectiveness or are you attempting to recruit new employees?
Perhaps you’re creating a how-to video to showcase your expertise. The point is, you need to decide, first and foremost, if you’re selling, promoting, or raising brand awareness, among other things.
But no matter what kind of video you’re creating, if you neglect the basics, which include having a firm understanding of your audience and their interests, preferences, questions, concerns, etc., it can turn into a waste of time (read: $$$).
You will want to decide, early on, where you intend to post your videos to connect with that audience. Will it be on your website or on social media? Both? It does make a difference, both in terms of compatibility and tone.
Give yourself a thought starter or two…watch other corporate videos to see if there are any particular elements you like or dislike and then share that information so I’ll have a few visual references. It’ll speed up the process and the same goes for any brand assets like logos, fonts, and specific colors that you may want woven into the video. But here’s a hint: Don’t try to create a $5,000 video with a $1,000 budget. Be honest with your video production company, and yourself, and you’ll be able to create something you’ll both be proud of.
Corporate video shoots often entail shooting at the workplace or using employees as subjects, which makes scheduling a critical component. If shooting testimonials or interviews of your customers or outside personnel in general, taking their logistics into consideration makes this point even more compelling!
Getting everyone in the right place at the right time can be like herding cats, so the best bet is to schedule the production as far in advance as possible.
Trust me as a longtime video production expert, if you can start scheduling the shoot before the script is even finished, do it. The sooner, the better.
Appearing on camera can be difficult for some people and some simply won’t be comfortable with it, so you need to make sure to lock down the key members of your company that need to be a part of the video as quickly as you can to avoid unexpected issues slowing things down later on in the process.
Carefully consider sight and sound.
As mentioned earlier, corporate video production often requires the use of the actual workplace, especially if part of it involves showcasing your company culture or giving viewers a look “behind-the-scenes.”
Nothing is more awkward than showing up for the project, only to discover that the space you’ve chosen to shoot in won’t work. Size will matter! You’ll need space to accommodate equipment, the crew, etc., and an attractive background, of course.
You also must think about the sound environment of the space. You’ll need peace and quiet to shoot because the last thing you want is to capture some incredible shots only to find out later on in the editing room that the sound quality is terrible. Pay particular attention to flooring as wood and/or tile surfaces can be particularly meddlesome, and windows are not necessarily effective sound buffers!
Talk to your space’s maintenance department to ensure they’re aware of the situation, just in case they need turn off the air conditioning or something of that nature. Make sure no major construction is going on in the area. And if the filming location is near an airport, you may find yourself juggling the shoot between aircraft coming and going! John Wayne Airport is near lots of places where I shoot, so I am keenly aware of this one!
Having said that, if the shoot is taking place in an industrial environment, some of that sound is relevant to the workplace involved and should, thoughtfully, be included.
The point is, you don’t want to waste time (remember…$$$) trying to find a new space on the first day of shooting, nor waste post-production time by making your editors have to cut out unwanted noise later. The best way to avoid most—if not all—of these challenges is to schedule a “location audit” so a full evaluation can be done.
Keep communication channels open.
Needless to say, it’s important to share any and all information that could help me better understand how you envision the project beforehand. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say anything once production gets rolling. I encourage asking questions, voicing concerns, and making suggestions.
Here is where I want to advise caution. Nothing will spin a budget out of control faster than making large scale changes once I arrive to shoot. Remember, you enlisted help for a reason and it’s important to allow for creative freedom, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to catch a problem before it leads to tons of wasted time during production or afterwards.
Don’t spend time and money on anything that’s not absolutely necessary.
There are plenty of other ways to conserve time and money spent during a corporate video production. You just need to think carefully about what your production truly requires. Ask yourself how many actors and locations you really need, and how much equipment?
The bottom line is, every little thing adds up, so be sure to invest all resources on elements that will help give your video the greatest possible impact!
Action in 5…4…3…2…1!