You know that video content is more effective than the written word alone when it comes to getting your business noticed so you’re thinking of enlisting the services of a production company to help kick start your organisation’s video output. But what can you expect when working with an outside video expert such as Comsteria? And what is your role in the whole process? Whether you’re a communications professional or a small business owner, we’ve compiled these simple tips to guide you on your journey.
Good communication is 90% of any successful collaboration. The production company you’ve enlisted are experts at shooting a quality video campaign, but you’re the expert on your organisation. As such, effectively communicating your company values and your vision for the video during the planning stages is vital to ensure you get the video you want.
You will also need to coordinate your own team perhaps for input to the script or to provide technical details of a product or to appear on camera. As the number of people involved in the project can often be quite large, it’s a good idea to set up a Dropbox or Google Drive to share files such as scripts, shooting schedules, and company logos. If you are planning video content across an extended period you might consider using the free software Trello which allows for easy collaboration across large teams.
2. Clear Aims
Clear communication begins with clear aims. You have to know what kind of video you want. That’s not always easy at first so it’s worth having an initial chat with a few production companies by email or phone. Shop around looking at different showreels to find companies you think suit your needs. If you like what you see you can contact them directly and ask them to send you longer examples of their recent work to give you ideas.
Picturing your audience and defining your purpose will also sharpen your focus and help you communicate your needs to the production company. Is this video for industry insiders or the general public? Is its purpose to build a relationship with your social network or to go for the hard sell? The answers to these questions will impact on the style and content of the video the production company produces. Having clear answers will help the collaboration move forward in the right direction.
3. Bonus Material
If you have clear aims at the planning stage, the production company can capture more relevant footage on the day and deliver better value for you. For example, give the interviewer extra questions to ask when filming staff interviews. This extra footage can be cut into a series of short social media clips to be shared as a teaser to the main video. If you plan this at the early stages it can be built into the production company’s proposal and chances are you’ll get more bang for your buck!
Once you’ve chatted through your aims with potential providers you can ask the production companies to submit a proposal. Depending on your needs this may be quite informal with a simple cost breakdown and brief video description. A more thorough proposal will detail the video’s aims, the treatment the company plan to give to the subject, shooting and editing schedules, and make you aware of costs you perhaps hadn’t yet considered like subtitles, music and voice over artists.
This step has to be a close collaboration between you and the production company. You live and breathe your organisation’s key messages and values while the production company’s input is vital to help you craft that message to suit a video audience.
As a rough guide a 2 minute script is about 300 words long but aim for fewer words. Packing your video too full of information overloads the audience. If you intend to convey your message through interviews then a script is still useful. Write down the key ideas you want to convey then the interviewer can work backwards from there to compose their questions.
Every video needs a clear beginning, middle, and end. The beginning should have a HOOK to capture audience attention. The middle is the meat of the sandwich e.g. breaking down the details of your product, sharing the values of your business, or telling the main plot of your story. Finally, the end requires some kind of CALL TO ACTION leaving the audience with a challenge, a concluding thought, or simply asking them to click a link.
From this outline script, you can compile a basic location and shot list. List available locations and any objects or people that will reinforce the words of the script. If you have a clear vision and some artistic ability, you can even storyboard some parts of the video. For a bigger video shoot the production company will usually want to visit the location and work on these ideas with you. They will also work creatively on the day of the shoot, but the more help you can give them at the planning stage the better.
7. Shooting Schedule
Before the production company turn up to shoot the video make sure you’ve worked out a clear schedule with them. On their end, they should be able to tell you how long they’ll need for interviews a shooting order for the different locations. For your part, you need to make sure the relevant rooms are booked, ensure the locations are quiet to conduct interviews, and brief the interviewees on the schedule and the questions they’ll be asked.
If you’ve set everything up in pre-production with a file-sharing facility, clear aims and a script, this bit should be easy for you. If not, you may find yourself scrambling at the last minute to contact designers to get that high resolution version of the company logo or find some extra budget to add subtitles to your video.
Make sure it’s part of your initial agreement that the production company share a draft edit with you. Build time into the schedule for your team to meet together and review this draft so you can provide feedback to the editor before the final version is produced.
We would encourage clients to shop around when choosing a production company to work with. If you want to find out more about what we do or pick our brains about a video idea you have, then please call us on 0808 133 1353 or contact us through the contacts page.