So you are looking into doing a video or series of videos for your company/product/you-name-it. And then you start thinking “Boy, I’ve never done anything like this before. What if … ?” Well here once again to relieve you of any stress, we at Waves Media have jotted down a few things we’ve learned in our years of video production and concept creation that we commonly encounter as either misconceptions or needless concerns.
I’m Not that Good on Camera
This may be one of the things we hear most. We have found many struggle doing anything on camera who do presentations in front of hundreds (even thousands) of people. So what’s the thing with cameras? It’s pretty much a mental thing.
What often works best for people like this is to give them a proxy person or people “off camera” to whom they can talk (check out this sample of an interview style video we shot: https://vimeo.com/130114960 ) Giving them a person will get them “out” of the production part/set and into the element they are used to, while discussing the topic they know and love (hopefully of course!)
For some a teleprompter Listec Teleprompter on BH can be a pretty handy tool allowing them to not worry so much about content but more on delivery while communicating everything based on a pre-written bit that is concise and punchy. Please note this is a difficult thing to do while keeping it from feeling like you are reading – it takes practice but can be achieved to look and feel superb. Check out one of our clients who has become a master from the company Clarity Advantage: https://vimeo.com/144004435
And then there are people who may just not be the best on camera no matter what you do, or the best communicator in general. Well, just like in anything we should ask: who else on my team can do the communicating? Is there a good spokesperson who can relay the vision? Know your team and let each strength come out and shine!
My Team Will NOT Be Filmed
So this leads us to your team. Often you will want multiple people conveying your message whether that is 1) a client of yours who can act as a testimonial-evangelist, 2) a reputable source for credibility’s sake like a doctor or legal professional for example, or 3) a team member to show both your group’s dynamics, diversity, and give some extra emotional energy.
But what if your team or staff just doesn’t want to come out and play? Camera-phobia is a real thing and often stems from a previous experience. A kind interviewer and creative director will go a long way and if they know what they are doing they will calm the interviewee down before getting into the “meat” of the discussion. But what if the interviewee just WON’T do it or even think about sitting in the chair to begin with? Of course, you may just prefer not to press the issue but there are a few things that can be very helpful.
- Clear the room. Let just the needed crew stay with the “talent” — too often the thing people are afraid of is just what everyone will think. Clearing out the room has produced some amazing content for us in the past and we got to see a part of the person the rest of the team didn’t even know was there!
- Send them the questions ahead of time. You may have already thought of this, but giving them time to think through their answers will help relieve too much anxiety about “what am I going to say”. Again, a good interviewer will still be able to break off of the initial questions once everyone is “flowing” and get more content if needed and if everyone seems comfortable, but at least with pre-sent questions, the talent will have a good grasp on what is going to be discussed.
- Finally, a small point to give some food for thought: hire a make-up artist or hair designer to come in and “doctor” everyone up for their time on camera. Not only can this add an element of fun and importance to the atmosphere but can also help people feel they are looking their best come go-time. Here’s a great company with links to make-up and hair stylists we have found: http://nemg.com/home.php
I Have an iPhone. Maybe I Could Save Some ….
Ok we love iPhones too. Let’s get that out of the way. I use that as my main go-to camera (when I’m home with my kids of course!) But if you are looking to represent your company or product it won’t cut it. No matter who you are or what you do. Quality breeds quality. Your clients know this and will read into it either way like it or not.
And… it’s not just about the gear. The artist behind the camera and the producers and editors – they are the ones who make the end-film be what it is. The magic is so much more than DIY can bring out. And believe me, I love DIY — heh, that is for anything except the face and image of your company in front of the entire world!
Joe here has iMovie. So We Just Need You to Film.
Much the same as my last point, I love the iWorld in general and all the fun it has enabled the general population to do “creatively” — way to go Apple! However, the more complex gear and software is difficult for a reason. It allows for so much more than the iSoftwares do. Enough said.
One bigger point here is that one should never belittle the final step of the video process: the editing and the overall “post-production”. It is the making of the video as much as any other step. The power of a good editor can change the entire dynamic, feel, flow of your video with so many small nuances only an experience professional often even sees. It’s really a make it or break it piece.
Just throwing clips together will feel like that is all that was done unless it is done in a way that:
- It makes sense
- It has the perfect pace due to correct spacing and padding
- It is graded/colored to look it’s absolute best
- It utilizes the best sound practices and the most appropriate soundtrack
These steps will be taken by a pro and can be done in a timely manner whereas “Joe” may have good intentions but in the end it won’t be as good and it will take him away from what he (and you!) really should be doing anyway: the “stuff” of your business!
It Must Cost a Fortune to Make a Video Like That
I’m going to get myself in trouble here for sure, nonetheless I will bravely go forth.
It should be set from the outset, this is a subjective thing. To one person who supposes professional video to be a very easy process, asking more than $100 may seem like highway robbery. But to the other person thinking they cost a million dollars we should just say: they don’t.
You should expect to pay a good chunk for sure as it is an investment, and to get your project to a professional grade you will need to pay for:
- A good team to help pre-produce and plan
- A good crew to film (with professional actors and actresses on set and a pro voice over talent perhaps)
- A good crew to take it home via editing and post-production work
Really, the game has changed largely. From our perspective the smaller production house is taking over so much of the industry. What used to take a large giant agency can now be done by several great and talented people on a creative team.
The quality is now so much more attainable than when Mr. Edison first tried his hand at film work. Heh, and it’s really changed in the last 5 years even more dramatically dare I say. And you think I’m only talking gear?! Though I am to some extent, the entire philosophy of good film work and “story” has helped educate professionals in thinking past the tech-talk and getting into heart and spirit of the thing, asking the big questions that create a story and a brand: the “why’s” for instance.
Overall we have experienced the transformation and we hope you get to as well!
What you think is a crazy idea may still be crazy, but it’s doable. So go for it!