You have an idea for a video that would be an excellent addition to your company’s communications program but are not sure how to get the video started? If you’ve never created and produced a video, be aware that a simple two-minute video can quickly turn into an over schedule, over budget nightmare.
But keep in mind that creating a video can also be a rewarding process that yields great return for your company. At a recent Austin Women in Communications luncheon, Aaron Weiss of One Story Productions and Richard Dietz of Nonprofit R+D deconstructed the video production process into several tips for success. Here they are:
Step One: Write the Script. What scenes need to be in the video? Will there be interviews? Action shots? Voice over? Where will you shoot? Writing out the action and dialogue in order and in detail will make the overall planning process much easier. Treat interviews like media interviews by writing out a list of possible questions and key points you would like to be covered. And don’t forget a call to action at the end!
Step Two: Create Shot and Set Lists. Now that you have your script, make a shot list by writing down each specific shot you will need for each location in the script. After you’ve completed your shot list, create your set list – the list of items you will need for each shot. In creating these lists, it’s a good idea to read through the script two or three times to make sure you didn’t miss anything. There’s nothing worse than realizing you don’t have what you need the day of shooting or realizing you forgot to shoot a key scene after you’ve started editing.
Step Three: Decide What Equipment You Need. When it comes down to it, your video is only as good as the footage you get. For some things, a FlipCam is great. For other situations, you need something more professional, like a higher-end camcorder, a tripod for steady shooting and wireless microphones to record suitable audio. Shooting indoors? Make sure you have sufficient lighting. Shooting outdoors? Extra microphone covers or shields may be needed to prevent wind or external noise from muffling your audio.
Step Four: Prepare for Editing. It’s at this step in the planning process when you’re likely to determine if you need to outsource some (or all) of the video production. Most computers now come with user-friendly editing software. However, if your video needs a significant amount of graphic design, special effects or animation, these editing programs will not suffice and outsourcing may be needed. Finally, keep in mind that the licenses of any non-original sounds or music will have to purchased in order to use them in your video – another aspect third-party production firms can help with.
Of course, the most important part of video production is that once it’s finished, share it! There are endless ways to share your video – on social networks, on your website, in your email signature, in email newsletters, you name it. The more ways there are for people to see your video, the more website traffic, YouTube subscribers and social network followers you will receive – which means more directly measurable ROI for you and your company.