Let’s be honest, if you have an interest in videography the majority of us have an inner ambition wanting to create a masterpiece like Steven Spielberg, but with realistic budgets this is not always possible.
A lot of companies are getting there creative hats on and having a go at producing a video themselves. DIY videos are increasingly popular to showcase how a particular product or service operates for a company. I have seen many good examples of clean cut DIY videos but also a lot of bad ones along the way.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when having a go at creating your own corporate video.
Use An External Microphone
Here is a little exercise for you, watch a video that has poor sound and a good picture, then watch a video that has a poor picture and good sound. Which one is the most distracting? – Of course it’s the good picture and poor sound! To get your sound good I would recommend investing in an external microphone, the standard microphones on the camera are not great if you are in a noisy environment – even little sounds such as air conditioning or a switched on water cooler can affect the overall quality of your sound.
Investing in an external microphone that remotes from the camera really helps get a much better sound. You can get wireless microphones quite cheaply so the subject is not tied to the camcorder, allowing you more flexibility as to where you want to set the camera up and also the discreetness of not having any wiring on show. If a wireless microphone is out of your budget, you can get microphones with a long cable and they do come with the benefit that you avoid radio interference with sound, but still allowing you to record at a distance.
Although you can zoom into a shot to appear closer, it is not the same affect. The visible appearance comes across different and so does the sound. You get better quality shots when you get closer to a person that you are filming and of course the sound is much better.
A zoomed in shot is more susceptible to gaining resistance and focusing is much harder too because as of course everything is magnified. You also loose depth of field with telephoto shots as only items within a narrow distance will remain in focus. For example – the background may go out of focus which is great if this is an effect you deliberately want.
Manual Focus & Auto Exposure – Turn Them Off!
If your camcorder will allow it, I would advise one of the first things you do is turn the manual focus and auto exposure off! Although it is tempting as a safety net to leave them on, they simply average the picture to a mid-level exposure.
Focus is all distant related and it needs to be set to suit the distance you are filming. Have a play with the focus settings they are very straightforward, remember if you are filming a person, keep the focus on them not on their background.
Use A Tripod
For a professional corporate video I would estimate that the majority of the shots you require would need to be steady. If you’re filming a steady shot use a tripod. You can get reasonably priced tripods that are easy to carry around, even ones designed to place on a table are better than nothing at all.
Editing – Be Brutal!
Editing is simply cutting out the rubbish and keeping the good shots. Be ruthless! You should remove anything that doesn’t belong or has no value to the video. (e.g mistakes, waiting around time, long pauses, out of focus shots etc).
The one thing to keep in mind is that you can’t fix filming errors when editing you are simply stuck with them and need to make the best with the footage you have. If you load your clips up when getting to the editing stage and the quality is not great – if you can reshoot and do it straight away.
Editing can be quite a lengthy process and if you search the internet forums you will be able to see that many people have wasted hours of time trying to fix badly captured footage. In most cases it would be just as easier and quicker to quickly reshoot a scene or a particular part of an interview to get it completely correct.
Finish editing your video together and you’re pleased with it? Great – think about adding some backing music to round off the video all together, keep your levels low and do not drown out the audio. Personally, I would recommend adding the music first and cutting the clips as best as you can to fit with the changes in the music.
Although these are just a few tips, there is a lot to think about when coming to make a video, be aware that your first attempt will probably not turn out perfect, it takes time and practice to get these things right and even professionals can make mistakes for any environment where there is equipment involved. If you are a creative like me, keep at it! Videos can be very enjoyable and lots of fun to produce and also, can help increase your sales too!
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image by imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)