Video technology has increased dramatically in the past handful of years and the demand has risen to match. Here at The Squad, we are positioned to shoot and produce short commercial videos to promote your business and culture. Here are some lessons we have learned (sometimes the hard way).
Spend time planning your shoot.
The biggest mistake you can make in creating a great video is not spending enough time planning on the front-end and wasting valuable time and effort in post-production. Know the duration, the tone, and the massaging of your final cut before you shoot a single frame of footage!
It’s 2016. Keep it short.
Modern internet-savvy consumers are constantly viewing well-produced media. No matter how well-executed your piece happens to be, you’ll need to keep it as short and efficient as possible. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to duration, but remember that your audience’s time must be honored in this unique format.
Make a detailed shot-list.
This will include a specific list of locations, people, and products that need to make it into the final cut of the video. Showing up on ‘game-day’ without this list will be a huge efficiency killer and may even result in a dreaded re-shoot.
Make sure your ‘talent’ is informed and prepared.
Most small business owners are far from comfortable with being in front of a camera. Whether you are working with a verbatim script reading or a more causal interview style, it is vital to prepare your subject(s) with as many details as possible before the shoot. This could include clothing choices, examples of similar video pieces, or even doing a practice run-through to uncover any red flags before the shoot.
Make a gear list.
Between cameras, lenses, microphones, memory cards, etc… It is incredibly easy to forget an item and show up without a vital piece of equipment. It’s a good idea to have a standard gear list and to make adjustments according to each individual shoot.
Research rental options.
Quality camera gear can be incredibly expensive. Depending on the amount of shoots you do in a given year, it may be more cost-effective to rent some of the larger ticket items. Online rental shops are usually a better value for your dollar, but if you are looking for a personal touch, your local camera shop will rent many of the basics you will need for a successful shoot. When renting, make sure you allow a few hours to test any gear that may be unfamiliar to you.
When pressure is high during shooting, it can be easy to rush the process. Whether the client is pressed for time, or your talent is struggling with a scene, it is important to slow down. Making time for an extra take you are unsure of, or taking a water break during a stressful moment can make a huge difference in the final cut. Record more dialogue than you anticipate needing! It’s always better to have a couple options in the final editing process.
Your clients, teammates, and talent can sense if you are feeling stressed or unsure of yourself. It’s up to you to set the tone for the entire process. Take time to connect with your talent, so that they trust you behind the lens. Smile and command the room when you are directing a scene. Your confidence and leadership can make a huge difference.
Happy shooting! -J
Interested in hiring The Squad to shoot your next video? Visit our video page to find out more!