The right way to start your video project
A corporate video project has just arrived in your inbox. Here’s how you can set yourself up for a big ‘high five’ from the boss.
Corporate Video Production that works
Pick a reason
Having this written down means that while you’re working on the video, you can refer to this to get back on track.
Write down a simple brief
This brief is just an overview of the whole project, whether you outsource the video production or do it yourself in house. It’s the beacon that’ll keep you off the rocks. Without this overview, it can be all too easy to lose direction partway through the project and dilute your message.
Give the video a name
At this early stage, it doesn’t have to be the final title of the piece but it should pretty much encapsulate what the story is about. You could call it ‘Recruitment Video’ or ‘Corporate Video’ or ‘Event Hype Reel’. Print this title on emails, documents and spreadsheets as a simple reminder of what the video is about and it’ll help avoid confusing it with other video projects. It’ll keep you and everyone else working on the project on track.
Come up with a message
And keep it short.
Online videos need to be short, so be direct and concise when writing out this message. After around 2 minutes you’ve lost your target audience, and if you’re trying to promote something you should stick to a minute or under, otherwise according to the stats, you’ll lose half your viewers.
So, express your message in no more than 2 sentences. This message must be single – minded to avoid ending up with a wishy washy video.
Above all, write the message from the viewer’s perspective – what are they interested in?
Decide who you’re talking to
Clearly defining who you are speaking to will influence the story, talent, locations, the way its filmed and how the video is edited. If your video is to showcase your employer brand, then you won’t want a long video of someone who doesn’t fit the demographic that you’re trying to reach. Even worse, if this person talks for 5 minutes about why it’s really good to work at your company, you will be shooting yourself in the foot. Dare I say both feet. Is that even a phrase?
Choose a storytelling style that suits your audience. Is this him?
Decide who is responsible for the project
The video may not be for you, your team or your department, but since you’re managing it, I’d suggest that you are responsible for end product at the end of the day. If you’re working with a video production company to produce the video for you or you’re doing it in house, you’re the one across the project from a hands-on, practical point of view.
While you may be able to delegate some practical aspects of the video production to other colleagues, you need to be on them like a hawk to make sure that tasks are carried out to a high standard and on time. For example, ensuring that the boardroom is available for filming and allowing for enough set up and pack down time after a discussion with the producer. A detailed preparation will avoid having to sacrifice filming sections of your message and it will save you time and money by not having to do it again.
Checking, double-checking and then checking again every aspect of the production across the project timeline means that you are on top of items that need to change as the project evolves. For example, you may need to cancel the booking with the staff member who was going to be in the video or change the time it was booked for, because availabilities have changed.
Video production is very much an interconnected process, if something changes in one area, it’s very likely that it’ll affect another area. And there’s usually a dollar and time value attached to each of them.
Choose a hosting platform
Are you going to put it on your intranet, or host it on YouTube or Vimeo and then embed it on your website? Will it be shared via social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter? Identifying the distribution platforms for your video and allowing enough time for this part of the process, will help you meet your deadline, ideally with time to spare.
YouTube and Vimeo are world leading, free platforms that will play your video faster than if you were to upload it directly to your own site via say, Flash Player and run it off your own servers. It’s a no – brainer. Of course, if your IT department has a better, higher quality solution, check it out.
Set a budget
This drives everything. It sets a parameter around what you are able to do in every single area of the production. The best way to approach a project is to define a budget up front as that will determine the quality of your videos. Not having an allocated budget will cause you headaches.
Give it time.
Video production takes time. The more time that is spent carefully planning each step of the project will save a lot of time at the tail end. You do need to put down dates for each step and have a backup plan.
There are 3 phases in producing a video. Simply put, pre-production is the planning stage, production is the filming stage and post – production is the editing stage. All 3 are essential to end up with a finished video.
Each of these 3 phases has a varying number of interconnected parts that need to work in sync with each other so that the video is finished on time (that’s a whole other series of articles).
Preparation is everything as is experience. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Stick to your plan and be confident. Respect your stakeholders and remain in control of the project.
And there is no shame in making this face when you get that shot.