It’s another holiday season, so please permit me to wish you all the very best…customers, family and friends!
It’s another holiday season, so please permit me to wish you all the very best…customers, family and friends!
On many of my earlier blog posts, I’ve talked about the importance of video for any business, service or non-profit. Video continues to grow in importance and as represented by the second frame of the following infographic, by next year, EIGHTY PERCENT of online content will be video! If you’re not doing video, you are missing opportunities on an unimaginable level, if you’re doing videos and want to tap into a professional with decades in the genre, give me a call.
With thanks to WebpageFX for the creation of a terrific infographic!
Finding a great video setting is one of the most important parts of the video production process. There are a lot of different elements that go into finding just the right spot.
As you prepare to produce a video, one of the details that probably should not be left until the end is the actual shoot location. Where should you shoot your video? Indoors? Outdoors? Conference rooms? Or rooms with a view? There are several things to you should be sure to consider before making this decision and choosing an interview location for your video shoot.
Get permission first
Before thinking about the creative approach to your interview location, make sure you have permission to shoot there! If you’re hoping to shoot in a public place, you should check with your local government to get a permit. If you’re shooting in an office or the courtyard of your attractive local shopping plaza, you’ll need a release from the owner(s) of the property. Nothing will be more embarrassing than getting set up at a location, only to be chased away by security—or the police—because you didn’t get the go-ahead in advance. Many municipalities and companies in Orange County have gotten very strict about this.
Be careful about distractions
When choosing a location, it’s important that your viewers stay engaged with your video content. Lots of distracting visuals or people moving in and out of your shot can draw the attention away from your primary message. And watch out for those camera-hungry photobombers!
Consider being flexible with your shoot time. Think about scheduling, if in a space such as a manufacturing area, when machines can be powered down, and there may not be as many people talking or moving in the background. Unless, of course, you want a busy, noisy background. Sometimes this is the look/sound you’re going for!
Make it relevant
What background do you want behind your interview subject? Make sure it’s relevant to the style and subject matter of your video. Choosing an appropriate background can really transport viewers to your location and help them connect the dots with what the user is saying. But remember, you can also use supporting visuals (B-roll) to showcase more specifics about the style and culture of your company.
Find a spacious location
Choose a big location with some architectural features for added texture. More spacious locations allow for setting up the shot with a shallower depth of field, giving your video that blurred background effect and minimizing background details and focusing more clearly on your subject, putting the viewer’s attention on their face.
Don’t forget that you are looking for a location that can fit more than just your interview subject. You’ll also need room for your video production team and any equipment as well. While you don’t want an airplane hangar, it’s important to make sure you have enough room for everyone—and everything—involved!
They may be quiet and available, but there is nothing more boring than a flat wall behind your interview subject. Full disclosure: I use them frequently and if that’s my working space for the project, I shoot at an angle against the wall and try splashing some color in the background by adding a plant or art piece, etc. Another tactic is to get as much distance as possible between the subject and the wall so the background can be blurred.
A “heads up” about conference rooms: In many cases they have big conference tables that can be difficult to move. This can limit options when trying to create an interesting or unique look.
Watch the weather
It’s not always best to shoot on a sunny day, despite how tempting it may be. Typically, bright days can mean harsh shadows on the faces of interview subjects. Unless you’re going to blast your subject with expensive lights, or use reflector kits, you may want to avoid shooting on those picture-perfect days. Believe it or not, an overcast day is typically a better day to shoot video outdoors.
Listen for room tone and ambient noise
Once you have found a location that is free from distractions, take a moment to carefully listen. Pay attention to the room tone and ambient noise. It’s important to avoid shooting in overly noisy areas, unless the background sound fits the message of the piece. In other words, if you’re shooting a piece on manufacturing, you probably won’t mind hearing the natural sound from that environment in the story.
However, if your space has a buzz, hum, or echo, the microphone will pick it up also. There are a few remedies to a loud room tone: First, identify the source of the hum. If the hum comes from a refrigerator, air conditioner, or another device that can be turned off temporarily, do that. If not, pro’s tackle these issues by using directional microphones, recording room tone for post-production, or using equalizers, but all those require a level of expertise.
Consider the lighting
What many people may not realize is the strength of sunlight that you see out windows can overpower the light used on the face of an interview subject. Your video production team can help you get great front lighting, but it’s not always possible to make the subject look great AND see scenery out a window. In addition to lighting challenges, many people overlook the fact that wonderful views usually look better while standing at the window peering out than they do as a background for an interview. In many cases, what is actually seen is the sky or some buildings in the distance.
If you are planning an outdoor shoot, try to shoot dawn and dusk, especially in the summer months. The light is more mellow which creates less harsh shadows, plus it can be much more dramatic! If you can, consider a “Golden Hour” timeframe for your shoot. Golden hour is the hour after sunrise or before sunset where the sunlight is more golden and soft and makes memorable and dramatic lighting for video shoots.
Remember, preparation is KEY
You can never be too prepared. If you do all the hard work before the shoot, you can focus on your subjects on production day. Selecting the proper locations for your shoot can make a huge difference in the final product, so give a call and ask about doing a site check — even if it means spending a little money, you’ll be glad you did!
2017 was the celebration of the 5th anniversary of First Impressions Video, as a full-time venture. Each year was more gratifying than the one it followed and 2018 is already looking to be the best yet! There are many to thank for this prosperity as it is my wonderful clients that made it happen! And in no particular order, shout-outs and sincere thanks to the following:
And as we begin 2018, there are several trends worth noting, for those thinking about video in your business plans.
There are so many trends to address that it would take three times the size of this blog to share them all, but it’s December 22nd and I’ve got things to do before Christmas! Plus, I’ll be in my normal place behind Camera 1 at Mariners Church for the Christmas services! Perhaps I’ll see you there, but in the event I don’t, please allow me to wish you and yours the most wonderful Christmas and Holiday season, and a very prosperous 2018!
Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays and a prosperous 2018!
It’s been said before, but bears repeating: Every video should tell a story! Even 15 second commercials do this, so it stands to reason that anything longer should be a no-brainer, but it often isn’t.
So, let me point out that the nucleus of any story should have three main points:
Yeah, I know it’s simplistic, but this is the cornerstone of any story “arc.” Having spent 30 years in marketing, there is another way to look at it:
If you do this right, there’s one last three-point metaphor:
Note: for those interested in delving into the full complexity of story development, there are hundreds of books, blogs and videos that will expand your horizons. I just wanted to keep it short and simple today…lots of projects in the workflow !
Yesterday was August 1st. On that day in 1981, Music Television, or MTV, was launched. It was a somewhat shaky start with cable television still trying to catch traction. Fast forward to today and there are hundreds of cable outlets, with dozens of other streaming and online options for viewing content. But along with music videos, MTV also launched something else: the creation of the “logo bug” that now appears (usually) in the lower right corner of most of the programming we see today! Even video producers like this writer “bug” their videos, which I chronicled in a post back in 2015! http://wp.me/p2YaU5-8Y
If you want to place a lasting impression on your productions, be sure to “bug” them! Thanks, MTV, for an iconic idea!
This has been a crazy summer…crazy busy, that is. And that’s a good thing! That said, Vidyard produced an excellent article and companion clip about the value of video in a product launch, and I wanted to share it with my audience. If you’d like a quote for your next product launch, one that respects your budget, go to my “Request A Quote” page and fill in the form. I’ll contact you back promptly!
Sincere thanks, with full content acknowledgment to Vidyard, and to Jesse Ariss, the presenter in the video.
If you’ve read my blog, you know how important I believe video is as part of any business’ marketing mix. Video continues to command greater percentages of marketers’ collective attention and this trend will not slow down for the foreseeable future, as noted below. Sources for each—when provided—are captioned in parentheses.
Moral of the story
The biggest roadblock for marketers to add video marketing is getting started. This is particularly relevant for small business owners. Granted, many have made the move, but just as many have not. It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to produce a video anymore—even when using a professional, so don’t be dissuaded into reaching for a smartphone, with all its inherent shortcomings. Are there times when this might be a good option? Most certainly! If it’s a once-in-a-lifetime live event, go for it! But with that said, if you’re telling the story of your business, you will be much better served with pro level cameras, microphones and lighting.
So, if you want to get started, why not give me a call? Consultations are free and even if you don’t select First Impressions Video to do the work, you’ll have a much better understanding of the task, coupled with expectations that will match the finished product.
This past December, I posted an article titled, “Independent Contractor vs Employee,” actually a re-release from August, in which I pointed out the advantages of hiring a contractor to do your video instead of using employees to do it. This continues to be an excellent strategy, as pointed out by a number of clients that have become repeat customers. You can see the article here.
Angela Wolf Quaintance wrote an outstanding article in May that appeared on LinkedIn and offers 5 reasons why hiring a professional is better than doing it yourself. You can read her full story here. It is very well outlined, and I would only add a couple of my own thoughts:
Regarding equipment, just as important as having invested five-figures’ worth on professional cameras, microphones, lights, audio and related gear (I have!), is having the skills necessary to use it properly. I’ve studied both still photography and video production, and asking a marketing person to take on this task (video production often falls under a marketing department/budget) may be beyond their skill set.
And before you ask that colleague’s spouse, son or daughter (or any family member, for that matter) to let the camera roll, you might consider whether (or not) that person has business insurance. AFTER an unfortunate incident is the WRONG TIME to be thinking about that. When I arrive at your location, you can feel confident that I am fully insured for any eventuality!
I like Angela’s take on ‘unbiased perspective.’ I believe that despite the passion that you have for your product or service, an independent set of eyes, ears and perceptions can likely see things that you may be too close to see, which can result in a finished product that hits all objectives!
Good luck on your next video project–whoever you select to do it!