Generally, I am an advocate of letting clients speak on your behalf verses cutting a straight commercial with voice talent and nice music. I call it real marketing. But in listening to my client I heard that what they really needed was a video that would set an energetic tone – more of a wow piece – that could also be highly informative. In addition, it would work well as a 15 or 30 second promotional spot.
Since I had already produced this Telly award-winning video for Trade that did have good testimonials, it was decided to pursue something different. This piece uses heavier animation work and a fast-paced rhythm to hopefully incite the target audience to take action. Because the International Trade team is predominately women, I was keen on using a female narrator of which I auditioned several. I was also very particular about the script and balancing practical information with some sales sizzle.
Here is my latest production. An inside look in to the lives and businesses of three German companies who fabricate elevators you ride, industrial systems you need, and most of the world’s pressure gauges you depend on. It offers a little mountain biking, Mexican food, running, welding, robots and virtual reality.
As is often the case with these video productions, it provides me the opportunity to meet new people and get behind-the-scenes of what makes global companies tick. Before a video camera is ever turned on I have done quite a few things:
An extensive amount of research on the company’s brand, operations, employees, and competitors.
Met with company executives and stakeholders.
Thought very carefully about the target audience and any cultural nuances.
What kind of supporting locations and footage would bolster the story?
How much can I realistically cover with the budget available?
What are possible risks that I may face?
How much crew do I really need?
What permits do I need?
What will effectively tie the piece together?
What will be the timing for each shoot and where?
And the list goes on. But one key factor that I think is often underestimated is getting very busy executives to open up their lives and their companies. To potentially spend a whole day with me while we get this shot, and that shot, and that quote and, can you say it again but like this?
Don’t ever discount what your mom and dad taught you about being a people person. These productions require a lot of moving parts, and the coordination of many different people.
Once the video shoots have taken place there is a considerable amount of time spent:
Selecting the right scenes and quotes.
Making sure the international translations have the right message, tone and inflection.
Developing the script.
Listening to dozens of voice talents if the piece requires professional narration.
Carefully choosing the right mix of music tracks and sound effects.
Ensuring that each scene informs the next scene for a seamless story.
Sure, I’ve had many 5:00am starts, flipped an ATV, crashed a drone, equipment malfunctions, no shows, bad weather and host of other issues, but it is all part of the process in telling a great story and learning a few things along the way.
One of the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most is seeing what makes companies tick. Getting behind the scenes and meeting the entrepreneurs that drive the Georgia economy. The vast array of industry sectors provide so many different strategies and business processes, and telling a part of their story via video is always an interesting experience.
A few tips when planning for a video shoot:
If you can, scout before you bring a video crew along. A host of surprises can jump up unexpectedly, and you want to be prepared with a back up plan. It will also give you ideas, shot angles, interviewees, and potential props to make it even better. For example, I’ve used lift cranes, fork lifts, bicycles, planes, conveyor belts and a host of other items to get a shot.
Really investigate the DNA of the brand you are featuring. The more you can carry that spirit forward the better.
Set up two different camera angles to make the interviews more interesting and flexible when it comes to post edit time.
Too much background noise is distracting, but just enough makes for a more interesting video as it allows the viewer to feel the scene.
Avoid amping up the music too much. One should hardly notice it unless it increases at moments to convey something important or create energy – but use sparingly. Certainly avoid free stock music at all costs.
Interview questions can often end up very generic, and that won’t help you get the interesting talking points you need. Mix it up and throw in some questions that are personal. Relax your subject and don’t be afraid to have them repeat their point several times to get it right. They will appreciate it later. Certainly have them repeat the last part of your question before they go into the answer.
Keep it short. Like under 3:00 minutes.
If you plan on buying media to promote your video then think about and budget accordingly for both a 30 second spot and a longer version.
Transcribe the video. If you don’t like the way the script is shaping up then you can always go back to find the right talking points you want.
Consider animation and careful use of text and infographics to bolster a particular point.
Here are some recent videos I have produced:
King’s Hawaiian (3:00)
Small Business (2:46)
Film Industry (4:55)
If you would like to see more videos from me visit http://blog.robertpayne.net/category/professional/