So far in this series about how to create a marketing video for your public library, we’ve covered the pre-production process and how to choose a video spokesperson. This post provides some useful tips for the shoot itself.
Whether you decide to hire a professional or do-it-yourself, these tips will help you become familiar with the process, know what to expect on the day of the shoot, and improve the quality of your video.
Put together your video team
Every video shoot needs at least five people. Of course, the spokesperson (also known as the “talent,”) needs to be present and already familiar with the script. You’ll need a camera man whose job it is to capture the video. Likewise, you should have a dedicated audio person, who ensures the sound quality is good by monitoring volume levels and listening for unwanted noise. A director, much like the Hollywood kind, can assess the performance and give instructions to improve delivery. An assistant can keep track of takes, mark up scripts with changes, and handle miscellaneous tasks.
That is of course a perfect case scenario. If you don’t have 5 people, don’t worry! Work with who you have. As we know in the land of stretched budgets and resources, we often need to wear multiple hats to get the job done.
Get the lighting right
Too dark, too light, too many shadows: lighting can affect the quality of your video in big ways. If you’re new to video and on a tight budget, it probably doesn’t make sense to buy professional photography lights. Instead, work with what light you have. First, turn off overhead lights, which tend to create unwanted shadows. To improve your setting’s lighting, find three lamps and place them strategically around the subject to accentuate and create natural tones.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
Be sure to provide your spokesperson with the script a few days ahead of your shoot. On the day of the shoot, rehearse a few times and have the director provide feedback. Once everyone is comfortable, begin shooting, but aim to get two to three takes of each section of the script. This will give the editor plenty to work with in post-production.
Shoot small sections
Don’t attempt to shoot the entire script at once. Instead, break it into pieces at logical break points. Review each take after shooting, adjust and shoot another take or two. During the editing process, you can string together the best takes.
Mark timings as you go
As you progress through the script, have the assistant note the start and stop times of the best takes. This will make it easier to find them during the editing process.
You don’t have to be a professional to shoot good quality marketing video, but it does take a bit of knowledge and some practice. You can find plenty of advice by searching Google, but I found this video from Wistia and the accompanying Forbes article to be very helpful.
We’ll cover the editing process in our next post. Check back soon for the next installment of this series!