13 Aug Tips for video production on a budget
Good video content produced quickly and inexpensively can be a great low-investment, high-return tactic for any strategic marketing campaign. When producing video in-house, follow these tips for interviewing subjects and composing your finished product.
Minimize background noise.
Beware of ambient (background) noise such as air conditioners, loud computer humming, road noise and walking noises. Sudden loud noises are worse than a steady hum of activity. Close doors if possible to avoid excess noise.
Optimize location and composition.
Shooting where there is action behind the subject increases the interest of the composition and can enhance the story. Find a spot out-of-the-way, but in the subject’s typical environment. Get details of the subject’s routine, things they do every day that will illustrate their character, core values or both. When shooting this type of content, treat the video camera like you’re taking a photograph. Compose the shot and clean up the environment so the area is not cluttered. Never have the tripod or other photo equipment in the video frame.
Dress for success.
Subjects should avoid stripes and other detailed patterns on clothes. These can be visually distracting and sometimes don’t reproduce well depending on the quality of your video equipment.
Interviewees should remain still unless they are performing an action relevant to the filming. Watch out for too much head movement or nodding. Watch for twitches/nervous habits such as playing with their hair, jewelry, etc.
Make eye contact.
Maintain eye contact with interviewees throughout filming.
Use stillness to help transition.
Before and after the take, hold the camera motionless on a scene for 10 seconds and let people/cars/objects move through it. If you want to follow or track motion, try to start or stop your movement with a still shot.
Prep for the interview.
Have a general goal of what you want the subjects to say. Interview them with easy questions to get them to relax and also to get the info you want to frame the story with.
Interviewees should use part of your question as the beginning of their answer. Make sure the videographer remains silent while the interviewees are responding.
Use playback during the interview to review what you have filmed and see if any retakes are needed.
Use playback during the interview to review what you have filmed and see if any retakes are needed. Don’t hesitate to do more than one take for key sections.
If you have time, b-roll is a great addition. Extra footage of the scene provides a visual overview and illustrates added detail of the story. It also helps in the editing to have the ability to cover upparts of the interview.
Make the subject comfortable.
Ask some “softball” questions first to get your subject comfortable. Look for an entry to a deeper discussion. Try to get them to summarize their thoughts in a sentence or two.
Don’t worry too much about getting it “right.” Good content will compensate for technical difficulties (within reason).
Record in one or a few segments.
The final product will be easier to deliver rather than trying to “fix” it in editing.
Speak at a normal speed.
People get nervous and talk faster on camera. If they are a fast talker anyway, ask them to speak more slowly.
Be a wordsmith.
30 seconds of video = 75-80 words. 60 seconds = 150-160 words. Every word is precious. Make them count.