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Archive for Video Production

Daisy Bambridge TNR

Daisy Bambridge from TNR Communications explains the 7 things you need to think about before you brief a video production company. Since joining the TNR production team in 2011 Daisy has worked on a myriad of video productions – liaising with clients, organising the TNR media relations team selling content, and helping producers arrange shoots.

Daisy combines her background in journalism with her experience in PR to secure coverage for a number of video projects on BBC and ITV regions, The Sun, Telegraph and Mail Online.

So you’ve come up with a great idea, but you don’t have the facilities in-house to create that amazing video to get the results you need. You need a reputable production company with integrity, honesty, and a track record of producing high quality and eye catching video content to make the most out of your investment.

But, I hear you ask, what do I need to tell a video production company?

It can be challenging and unproductive if you don’t have good, clear conversations with your providers, so make sure you leave each conversation and meeting with a clear goal in mind. Having an objective is really important to achieve good results and a clear idea about your final content is integral.

Here are a few things to bear in mind when briefing a video production company:

1. What’s your video objective?

What do you want the video to do – make people laugh, create sales, promote a service etc. the possibilities are endless but it’a important to know why you are creating the video and to have a clear objective for what you want to achieve.

2. Funding

Know your video budget beforehand. While budgets can be restrictive, be realistic about how far your money can get you. While a larger one is ideal for producing quality content, a smaller budget can still get you the best results depending on your requirements. The video production company should be able to guide you on best use of the budget and will know how to help you get the most from it.

3. Know Your Target Audience

This is important to bear in mind. Be clear about who it is you are targeting and what it is you want them to do so the production company knows what type of content to create. This goes hand in hand with point 1.

4. Location, location, location

Where will the video be filmed? Studio or on location? Think about what is realistic for your production and what best suits the content you want to produce. The right location and creating the right environment can be vital to the end result.

5. Spokespersons

Depending on the style of video and its purpose, it can be great to use spokespeople from your company rather than actors. They come across as more authentic; however it is important to make sure they are confident to speak in front of a camera!

6. Timing

Be realistic with the time needed to produce the content. Coming to a video production company in the early stages allows both teams to work together to come up with the best ideas for your campaign right from the start.

7. Stock footage and elements

Do you have any stock footage which might be of use to include in your final edit? You may have produced content before that your production company can make use of, so let them know what you have. It’s also important to share your brand identity so the content created complies with your look and feel right from the start.

In Summary…

Whether you already have a clear image of how you want the video to look, or you need advice from the initial stages, it will be helpful to get the above clear before speaking to a production company.

Video is an incredibly impactful way of getting across your key messages and increasing awareness for your brand. There’s so much content on the internet that people will make a decision about your video within the first ten seconds of viewing.

So remember, think straight, have a clear goal of what you want to achieve and follow these 7 easy tips to create great content!

Any Questions?

If you have any other questions about video production you can submit them via Twitter with the hashtag #AskTNR. We will take a variety of questions and release the answers in a soon to be released video – stay tuned!

Categories Video Production
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Want more video tips?

Corrina Stegnar casual films Last week the brilliant Corrina Stegner from Casual Films joined us to talk about “How To Make The Most Of Your Video Budget”. In her 4 years at Casual Films, Corrina has produced hundreds of films with budgets ranging from £2,500 to £250,000. Whether it be a 2D animation, stop frame, talking heads or something more creative, she believes there’s always a way to make your budget work. Corrina’s client’s include EY, Bloomberg, Tesco, HSF, Roche, Rolls-Royce and Breakthrough Breast Cancer to name but a few.

Corrina walked us through 6 typical scenarios clients face when juggling budgets. Here are her tips for making sure you spend your money wisely (plus a video round up at the end)…

Scenario 1: “My subject is really boring and I don’t really have much to spend. What can you do?”

We get this question a lot from clients who are searching for a better way to engage their employees during health and safety training, for example.

The key thing here is that the obvious choice isn’t always the best one. It can be very tempting to try and cut the costs by just filming a talking head of your health and safety manager. But the thing is that’s still going to cost you money, plus it’s not going to be engaging – and this was the very reason you decided to go with video in the first place!

Something that works really well here is to use animation. This will bring a humorous visual to punctuate what can often be a fairly dry script. And, animation doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot.

Top Tip: Use one character throughout the animation. This means you can reuse this single asset throughout the whole animation, instead of having to create new content for every scene.

Scenario 2: “The story I need to tell is really long, but I need to retain interest”

Generally speaking, we encourage people to reduce the length of their videos. As a rule of thumb we try to keep promotional videos to less than 90 seconds; otherwise people just don’t tend to watch all the way to the end.

That said, there are situations where a longer video might be necessary. A career video perhaps. Or if you’ve got a long company history. The problem is that if you use a talking head, while admittedly cheap, the reality is your video will get boring. On the other hand, a more engaging animation will just get really expensive because of how long it needs to be.

Top Tip: Vary the visual. You could, for example, use hand drawn illustrations which will bring the benefits of animation, without the associated costs of computer generation.

Scenario 3: “We just need content. We have gaps to fill on the website but we can’t afford to do anything too complex. We don’t want it to be rubbish though”

This is particularly common for businesses doing a website redesign. Their design includes video components, but by the time they are ready to make the video they’ve already spent a large chunk of their budget elsewhere. In this scenario we encourage people to use just one creative device in the edit to add a bit of interest.

Top Tip: Intersperse B roll with your main footage. Typically with talking heads we’ll do a two camera set up which gives us some behind the scenes type stuff which is really, really simple to get but instantly makes the video more watchable.

Scenario 4: “We’re a charity so we don’t want to spend a lot…but we need to generate maximum return”

The key thing here is that the video HAS to be functional. Before you start to craft the creative, you need to be really clear about what the goals are. Often you don’t often need a big glossy film to meet those targets. The video’s form really comes second to its function.

Top Tip: We tend to use the real people who work for the charities rather than spending money on actors. To get a relaxed performance out of these employees it’s really important to spend a bit of time chatting to them before hand and getting to know them as a human being. This will help them feel more comfortable when the camera starts rolling. And remember, editing can work wonders!

Scenario 5: “We’re a global business and we need to include everyone”

It’s not very cost effective to send a crew around the world to film everyone in all your offices. User generated content can be a great way to get around this. Give your employees some cameras and set them loose. But, beware! It is super important to teach your employees how to make good quality UGC, otherwise you might end up with completely unusable footage. And that’s just a waste of their time filming it, and your time reviewing it.

Top Tips:

  • Make sure there’s enough light
  • Make sure the camera is close enough to hear you over any background noise
  • Think about framing – the camera shouldn’t be too close, or too far away. Try and get the head, plus shoulders, in shot
  • Keep the camera steady. You don’t want to make the viewer vomit!
  • Tee up each shot – don’t just switch location without an explanation

Scenario 6: “We don’t have much money but we’d like to make a video that’s really fun”

The beauty of a brief that basically tells you to have fun is that you get to go a bit crazy with it. And quite often you don’t actually need a big budget for this – you just need to get a bit creative. In our experience, budget limitations actually breed creativity so it can work to your advantage in this case.

Closing Questions

If you’d like to make a video with Casual Films drop the team an email here.

Categories Community, Video Production
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We’re really excited for Thursday October 2nd. No, not because it’s it’s National Name Your Car day. But because iiiit’s…

Video Marketing and Production Meetup, day (cheers)

We’re hosting our very first meetup and we’d love you to come join us :)

When: Thursday October 2nd, 6:00pm

Where: RMP, 22 – 26 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TJ (map)

What: How to make the most of your budget

Corrina Stegner casual films

Update: We’ll be joined by Corrina Stegner from Casual Films. In her 4 years at Casual Films, Corrina has produced hundreds of films with budgets ranging from £2,500 to £250,000. So whether it be a 2D animation, stop frame, talking heads or something more creative, she believes there’s always a way to make your budget work.

Corrina’s clients include EY, Bloomberg, Tesco, HSF, Roche, Rolls-Royce and Breakthrough Breast Cancer to name but a few.

Don’t miss out – RSVP now.

Can’t make it?

Not to worry, we’ll be filming all the action on the night and we’ll post a video following the meetup. Sign up to our email newsletter below to make sure you don’t miss it.

How To: The Perfect Voiceover

Terry
article by:

A lot of our videos are made up of a mix between a few talking heads shots, interspersed with some kind of overlay, whether that be a screencast to demonstrate a feature or some other visual footage. In fact, our video plan often looks like this:

Video script example

The right hand side of the table is basically a written storyboard. Each box is the visual we plan to show. See the section that says “screencast”? We’re planning that this will be what’s on screen at this point in our video, with the corresponding audio being used for the voiceover.

But we don’t shoot it like that.

We record everything to camera. So even though we’re planning for that section of the video to show a screencast rather than a talking head, we still make the talking head. Even if we never show any of it.

And there are three very good reasons for doing that…

  • consistent audio
  • alternative visual (in case your overlay doesn’t quite work)
  • confident performance

In the video above I explain and demonstrate these points in a bit more detail. Hope it helps!

Categories Video Production
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How To: DIY Light Reflector

Terry
article by:

This month we’ve been busy making a video to market our brand new Mail Catcher feature. The video is almost ready so we’ll be posting it in a couple weeks time (stay tuned…)

In the mean time though, I thought it would be worthwhile letting you in on a few behind the scenes tricks we use to produce our videos.

First up…

Our DIY light reflector

The Mail Catcher video involved a bit of filming in the great outdoors. Which was a nice change of scene for us office bods but does present extra challenges in terms of the lighting for the video.

The problem is that the only light source is the sun, whereas indoors you’re more likely to have multiple points of light (in our case some lovely fluorescent lights). What this means is that the light hits your subject’s face from just one single direction which can result in some harsh shadows.

To balance this out you need a light reflector. And in the video I’ll show you how to make your own, for the price of a few sheets of tin foil, a big piece of card and some white paper.

Then all you need is an extra pair of hands on set to hold the reflector and position it at just the right angle so that the sun’s rays bounce off it and give your subject a much less scary looking face!

The difference really is amazing – give it a go and let us know how you get on.

Categories Video Production
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