If you run a business you know how important good communication is. There are numerous reasons to need to communicate and various ways to do it so it can be understandably difficult to work out which method best fits each need. While the traditional method of writing, which may include pictures or diagrams etc, will always be valuable, more and more businesses are relying upon video to speak to their staff, clients or potential clients, as the way we communicate evolves. At VCM Interactive we have been asked to produce video for just about every conceivable scenario you can think of. As a business owner you need to decide your communication need, and your target audience, and then decide the best way to make sure your voice is heard. In some instances this may be some form of written communication, and in many other scenarios video will hit the mark.
Making A Corporate Video
I have written in the past about the pros and cons of producing video in-house versus outsourcing. As a video production company we will naturally side with the benefits of using a professional outfit such as ourselves, we understand that many companies will insist on producing in-house as they don’t have the budget. We completely empathise with this scenario but please do not underestimate how an unprofessional video will negatively reflect your business versus a professionally produced one.
There are many different types of corporate video. Some of the most common ones include: testimonials/customer success stories, explainer, promotional, instructional, events, educational, trade show, commercial, website, viral and teaser. For the purposes of this article I am going to focus on a testimonial corporate video production.
How To Make A Testimonial Video
One of the absolute best ways to solidify your companies good reputation, and thus encourage brand new clients, is through telling the story of other clients positive experiences. The first thing you need to do is find a client with a great story and who is willing to share it on camera. Ideally you will have more than one to select from and at this point you need to get your ‘directors’ head on and figure out who will be good on camera. This is because there are two types of people in this world; those who are a natural on camera and those who are uncomfortable. You need to avoid the later like the plague.
So now you have your company picked out, your contributor assigned and their story outlined. This is half the battle. You now need to pick a time and place to film. Sounds easy right? Not so. The time yes is easy, just agree upon a time with your contributor and make sure you turn up in plenty time beforehand to set up. It’s picking a location that is more difficult. You need to do what is called a ‘recce’. This involves scouting a location beforehand and making sure that it is well lit, quiet, visually interesting and not full of distractions. This can often be tough and you will probably need to improvise a location.
On the filming day make sure you turn up in plenty time. Equipment-wise you will need the following:
– A good quality 1080 HD camera
– Sturdy tripod, ideally with a fluid head
– Lavalier Microphone
– Top Microphone
While it would take several pages and diagrams to show how to set up correctly (perhaps an article for a later date) the important things to remember are as follows:
– Test your microphones and audio levels using your headphones and looking at the visual display of the audio levels on the camera. Ask the contributor to tell you what they did at the weekend so as to adjust the audio level accordingly depending on how close they are sat to the camera and how powerful their voice is.
– Make sure the shot is lit correctly, it should not to be too dark or over exposed (too much light).
– Make sure your shot is framed correctly
– MAKE SURE YOU PRESS RECORD (this may seem obvious but I have seen very experienced videographers forget to do this as they are trying to remember so many other things)
Finally you should have a diligently prepared a list of questions to ask your interviewee. These questions should help elicit the responses you need to make your testimony video so think carefully about them. If you ask a question and you don’t quite get the response you want, ask the same question again but in a different way.
Making a corporate video, for whatever purpose, is the best way to communicate with your target audience as people far prefer viewing video content than reading. If you decide to do it in-house it will be a steep learning curve and it will show on-camera. I remember the first few dozen videos I made and I cringe when I think back to how poor they were but it was the best way to learn and if you are a small business, without much income, this will be the only option available to you. If however you have some money to invest in your production you will get great return on investment by hiring a video production company. It may be that we at VCM are the ideal fit to help you with your needs. If not we will do our upmost to point you in the right direction. Please contact us to find out more.