Advancing technologies, more affordable equipment and financial constraints are just three reasons why companies are deciding to make their own video.
‘Why should I pay an outsider to make something I can do just as well – if not better?’ Is often the attitude.
Well, if this really is the case, and you think you can do it better, we’ve constructed three essential points to cover, when making a corporate video.
The first step towards making an informative, entertaining and high quality video and cannot be missed. But often, this step is the one overlooked by a company. Many assume that because they know what their business can offer, the planning process is irrelevant. This could prove to be a costly mistake.
Planning highlights the most vital aspects of a video – the message you want to send and to whom. For this you have to think why you are making the video in the first place – what do you want it to show? What points need to be covered in the piece to get your message across and what does your target audience want to see?
Also, planning will cover questions such as: who is going to write your script? Who will be talking in your piece? What shots will accompany the information being said? All of these points are automatically thought of by a video production company but are often overlooked by others.
“The preparation for a video is much like preparing for a presentation” says Jo Haywood of Skylark Media Group, “first, know your audience, then identify your one core message. People love to watch video, make it visually interesting and compelling and you’ve an excellent communications tool.”
Something always underestimated by the inexperienced. It can take hours to record just a few minutes of video. There’s lights to set up, the camera to position, the ‘set’ to arrange, the audio to perfect. Then often unforeseen incidents occur, there are endless technical problems which can cause you to run over your allotted time. Can your company afford to lose the competency of employees from their main tasks for the time it takes to make the video?
Further, buying budget equipment can actually have a detrimental effect. A wobbly camera with a grainy image and poor audio defeats the whole purpose of a corporate video. You could actually be doing your business harm by producing and displaying a bad quality piece – think what this says about your company, if your own video is of shoddy quality, what will your services be like?
Often, people not ‘in the know’ will assume it’s all too easy. Many think they are pretty good with a camera, and do not need a crew.
Jo Haywood remarks that “at Skylark Media Group we draw upon a pool of talented people who are each specialists in their field. On location we use camera operators who have worked for BBC news as they know how to make the best of any location and can set up quickly and efficiently.”
The most time consuming part of the whole process, and one that requires skill and concentration. Many companies think they can master the skill of editing by downloading an online tutorial and a 30 day trial of some editing software. It’s true there are a number of editing solutions out there which are user friendly and won’t break the bank, but this is all dependent on what your piece is for. A home edited film will probably do the trick for a student project, a Youtube video or even as part of a video blog. But for a company website or corporate training, showcasing your business, skills and services to your potential client base, it doesn’t cut the mustard.
“We estimate approximately two days edit for every day of filming,” continues Jo Haywood. “This is where the style of the film is created, plus any animations, music and special effects. It’s often the most creative part of the project where someone with experience will know how to add the Wow factor.”
Essentially it is your choice what you decide to do, the main things to think of is what a badly made video will say about your company to prospective clients.
If you do decide to let the professionals in, always visit a reputable video production company that has experience in corporate work. Skylark Media Group offers a range of video styles from animation to drama to client testimonials. We work directly with companies wishing to create promotional video or alongside the learning and development department, helping to introduce video in a training programme.
Jo Haywood, Director of Skylark Media Group has answered some frequently asked questions:
1.) Cost is obviously the main factor, is it always cheaper to ‘DIY’?
In my experience those that DIY can waste a lot of time. For example you return with an exclusive interview with a key client only to find out the sound quality is so bad that you can’t use it.
2.) Can a small company afford a professional video?
At Skylark Media we can cut our cloth to suit your budget. Talk to us about your requirements, we’re here to help.
3.) I’m pretty good with a Handycam; I can make a video right?
Yes of course you can, but wouldn’t it look more impressive in HD, well lit and professionally edited? Also, how long would it take you to learn all the skills required from shooting to loading it on You Tube – have you got that time available?
4.) A camera, a tape and a tripod are the first things that spring to mind, what else do you need?
Professional lighting, sound and editing make all the difference.
5.) And what about telling the story, nobody knows my business better than me, how can you get it across?
Visual story telling is an art. We bring over 20 years of experience making documentaries for the BBC and business training videos for The Sunday Times.
6.) I only want a one minute promo; I can do that is my spare time right?
It can actually take the same amount of time to film both a one minute promo and a ten minute training film. How many locations do you wish to include, what’s the travel time, how many interviewees will there be, what music will you use, will there be graphics or stills?
7.) Cheap equipment is just as good as the expensive stuff nowadays isn’t it?
Domestic video cameras can give you some good shots if you light it well. But if you’re going to make a video to impress, with rich images, depth of field and clear audio, my advice would be to employ a professional camera person who has their own high definition camera and professional sound recording equipment.
8.) I don’t have time to explain what my business is about and want kind of video I want; it would be quicker for me to just make my own wouldn’t it?
We can facilitate your planning. We have a short survey about the kind of video you want that you can fill in, or if you prefer we can take your brief over the phone and then send you the outline script for you to approve. It’s a really simple process that will give you confidence that you will get the video that you want.