How to make your own Corporate video production
Video production is becoming a necessity for small businesses and large companies alike. The marketing statistics that have emerged over the last few years reveal video to be the most effective marketing tool and the biggest driver of traffic on the internet. It can however, be expensive to commission a professional corporate video production and a DIY approach can lead to substandard results adversely affecting brand image. I have been running a corporate video production company in London, UK for the past 10 years. This post contains some tips and advice on producing videos our self on a shoestring while still maintaining reasonable quality.
When to use a DIY approach to corporate video production The main promotional video for your company needs to be high quality. It is the main online shop window that prospect customers will be judging your professionalism on. Unless you have skills in camerawork and editing, this is best left to a professional video production company.
However, there are many other useful types of business video that warrant a DIY approach. If your business operates as social media channel to connect with customers, regular relevant video shot on a smart phone can work well. Where there is no expectation of high production values, content is more important than quality.
In fact, unpretentious, DIY video can sometimes be more appealing. Testimonials and FAQ video interviews are relatively easier to set up with a smart phone, microphone and some basic lights. With relatively inexpensive equipment and the acquisition of some basic video production skills, you can produce regular videos that gain trust, develop a connection with your customers and build a community around your business, service or product.
Techniques for recording quality sound Sound is often the most overlooked element of video production though is often the most important. Bad sound quality in interviews can appear as a lack of professionalism and annoy viewers. If you must use the inbuilt microphone on your camera or smart phone make sure that the room is quiet and the camera no more than 3 feet away. The sound quality is very much dependent on the distance of the recorder from the source according to the inverse square law. The best option is to plug an external microphone into your camera or smartphone.
There are many lapel microphones on the market that will plug into the mini jack port of your camera or phone and record very reasonable sound even in a less than quiet room. Be careful to place the microphone on clothing so as not to pick up the sound of rustling. Alternatively you can use a directional microphone that will optimize the sound coming from the front and suppress sound from the sides and back. You will need a extension lead of at least 6 feet to use an external microphone.
Techniques for lighting to produce optimum video image quality. Lighting for video interviews is a craft that takes some time to perfect. It is possible however, to produce a perfectly acceptable result with only a few considerations.
The key light is the main source of illumination and usually comes from the front at a slight angle to the center. We are used to seeing the illumination from sunlight shining from above so this seems to produce the most natural looking result. Place your light so as to shine from an angle slightly above the subject and about 30° from the center as in the diagram.
In a room with plenty of ambient light this should be sufficient. The key light will produce shadows across the subject’s face which will give a sense of depth. The quality of these shadows depend on the type of light source. A point source such as the sun will produce shadows with sharp edges and can look striking though harsh. Often the most pleasing shadows are those with soft blurred edges.
These can be produced by a light emanating from a large surface area. A video production crew will often use a soft box (a large sheet of diffuse material in front of the light) to soften the light source. An easy way to accomplish this though is to reflect the key light from a white wall or reflector board. The surface area of the light source is then effectively the surface area of the wall or reflector board. If you want to spend more time and get a more professional lighting set up for your interviews you may want to look into three-point lighting. This, in addition to the key lights, includes a fill light to add some illumination to the dark side of the face and a back light to create some separation between the subject and the background. Video production is an exciting and creative field.
Developing some basic skills can be of great benefit to your marketing and advertising. It might also open up new avenues of creativity to use in other areas of life. Video has become the prominent form of media on the Internet and will no doubt increase. There are times when it is clearly best to hire a professional corporate video production company though there are many opportunities where simply produced, regular video content is the best marketing strategy.