What goes into making a video?
There are so many elements that can go into a video, it can be hard to know which elements you need for yours. This series of videos looks at some of the more common video elements and what they are good for. But rest assured, when you come to us with your brief, we’ll always work backwards from your end goal and budget to ensure your video has just the right mix. Just watch the video, or expand the text to read the transcript.
‘Elements of a Video’ series
Why use interviews in your videos...
Interviews Starting with interviews. 70% of the videos we create for our clients are what we call talking heads videos. These are based around an interview or several interviews, with supporting footage – or what we call B-roll – edited over the top; so you’re not just watching a person talk which could get boring. The interview format can be used for different types of videos; a company overview video, an about you video, a client testimonial, a kick-starter campaign video or even a product video. One of the main benefits of an interview video is that it’s people-based. So the viewer will either get to know you and see your passion for what you do, or hear directly from happy customers how good you are. Other benefits are that it’s usually cost effective, because you can use your own location and don’t need to hire actors; you can get a lot of information across in a short space of time and it’s a familiar format for your viewers, similar to a TV documentary. We find you can get the most natural performance when you use the off-camera interview format, where the interviewer is off camera and you only see the person being interviewed – so we mainly use that format. To achieve this, we make sure the subject gives answers that make sense without hearing the question and we generally coach the subject throughout the interview to make sure they feel comfortable, look like a pro and that we have the right content. And we always fine-tune their performance even more in the edit, cutting out any uhms, buts or stumbles – all this results in a really slick interview video that makes you look great.
What is B-roll & how does it make your videos better?
B-roll is the visual footage edited over your interviews to add interest and context. It’s also used to cover up a jump cut in an interview or cover up mistakes. Basically, b-roll allows you to piece together the best parts of a conversation and it’s always best to shoot more b-roll than you think you’ll need. So basically while you see the B-roll shots, you’ll still hear the person’s voice continue in the background. So it’s important your b-roll shots compliment what’s being said in the interview. All in all, they’ll help to keep your video pacey and keep the interest of the viewer. Here’s an example of B-roll…
#4 Voice Over
When should you use a presenter...
Some videos, such as educational videos or product demo videos, may work better with a presenter. If you’re going down that route, it’s always better to hire a pro, to make sure the end result looks professional and to instil trust in your viewers about your brand, product or service. Because the presenter will likely be reading off an auto-cue script, there won’t be many jump cuts, so you can get away with minimal B-roll – and this can make a presented video really cost effective to produce. Of course if one of your team is confident talking to a camera, then you could use them. However, it’s a real skill to be able to read off an Auto-cue in a natural way and if done badly, it can create a real disconnect with the viewer. Even some of the most experienced public speakers find this hard to pull off, so bear that in mind. So another option would be to roughly script your video and deliver the message off the cuff. Practice is key here as the more fluid the performance, the better the end result and the quicker (and therefore cheaper) it will be to edit.
#5 Bumper Slides or Section Bumpers
What are video Bumper Slides?
Bumper slides or Section Bumpers are animated slides that break up and organise your video content. They help to keep your viewer’s attention and drive your key messages home, while increasing the production value of your video. Bumper slides should always be on brand, by either using your brand’s colours and fonts, or at least be complimentary to your existing style. This will help your video sit nicely on your website as if it’s all part of the design. Much like bumper slides, kinetic or motion text can be used to break up your content into sections and communicate key messages, it’s just a simpler way of doing it and can just float of the visual rather than take up the whole screen. As with bumper slides, the result is a more varied experience for the viewer, a better structure and stronger focus on the most important information you’re trying to bring across. Again, you’ll ideally use your brand colours and fonts here to make your video super slick.
Why use a voice over in your videos
A well written, performed and recorded voice over can also add a professional touch to your videos. A voice over, or VO as it’s also called, can make up the entire narrative of a video, or can just be added as an extra element, alongside an interview or piece to camera – often to explain something technical or over motion text bullet points. VO’s are often used on product, property, holiday or company overview videos or tutorials. The quality of the voice over can really make or break a video, so it’s worth getting it right. Again, it’s a good idea to get a professional in and they don’t have to cost the earth.
When should you use Animation in your videos?
Animation is a great way to explain complex concepts in an easy to understand, visual and engaging way. You can either use animation to make up a whole video or edit a section of animation into a video, for example a graph or a map. Sometimes we add animated elements motion tracked into live action to visualise technology or just up production value. Animation can be in 2d or 3d and there are lots of different styles, they sky’s the limit. If course budgets are not limited and one thing to consider with animation is that although you don’t need to hire a location or actors, the creative and editing process is usually much longer than with live action videos. This because you have to design every single second of the video. First you’ll write a script, then write out a storyboard, then design the creatives and then animate them all. Making changes takes longer too. However, there are some short-cuts you can make with templates, so it’s often still a very viable option.
#7 Screen Capture
When should you use Screen Capture?
Screen capture is where you record the mouse movements someone is making, usually to show how a software platform works. It’s a great format for software tutorials or demos, but can also work as b-roll when talking about your website within a company video. Screen capture is great for showing the HOW of a software platform, but not so great for explaining the WHY, or the benefits of using it. Animation works better for this. So we’ve often used a mixture of live action, animation and screen capture for software overview videos. There’s a lot that goes into a achieving a high quality screen capture demo. Adding zooms and transitions is one way to up the production value, so we tend to record in 4k to allow us to do that without losing quality. Scrolling usually appears jumpy, so we recreate those sections by animating static images of the platform. Sometimes we blur parts of the screen to direct the viewers eye to a certain section or animate part of the screen to make it stand out. The set-up time of screen capture demos can be time-consuming. You need to have dummy accounts and data ready for your demo and make sure everything works in the right order with continuity – this can be a challenge but one we have surmounted many times!
#8 Stock Footage
Using stock video and photos...
Sometimes it’s more cost effective to buy royalty free stock video clips rather than trying to shoot it yourself. A good example of this would be If you’re trying to convey a global feel to your product service or company. We did this in one of our videos where we filmed a scene of an actor on a smartphone locally in Brighton. We chose a location that looked liked a big city but was quite generic so it could be anywhere. We then added a stock clip of an American city filmed by drone to give a more international feel to the end result. You may already have some high quality photos that would work within your video and by using these you could save some budget or just add interest. Alternatively, you may want to use some stock photos. We would normally add a simple effect to these to add movement in the way of a slow zoom, pan or tilt. We sometimes add photos into an animated slide show template which can help to show a collection of photos in a dynamic way.
Using music within your videos...
Most videos just don’t feel right without at least some music in the background. Music massively contributes to the feel of your video and is a great tool to connect with your target audience. Doing an online search for royalty-free music will throw up countless music sites which you can browse and buy royalty-free music from. Some tracks require you to buy a licence for each video you use them in, while other tracks come with a buyout licence, meaning you can use them in as many videos as you like for a one-off fee. It’s important to know what you’re paying for!
#10 Sudio Seetup (Green, White, Gray Screen)
When should you make use of a green screen?
I you’re looking for a low cost method of adding video to your landing pages, or you want to increase your websites conversion rate, studio based videos could be the way to go. We have a studio in house offering green, white or gray screen backgrounds which can also be brought and setup in your office. This is a great option if you’re lookign to get your message out to stake holders or others in a global team.
#11 Call to action
Tell us about your brief here!
Answer these questions
To help you refine your brief, please copy any relevant questions (from the list below) into the bottom text field of the quote form and write your answers below each one.
What’s the purpose of your video?
Where will it be published?
How long will it be?
Who is your target audience?
What should they do after watching the video?
Please list the 5 key messages you hope to get across in your video
Do you have a location in mind for filming?
Please provide any relevant video links as a reference:
- Software videos
- Fintech videos
- Product videos
- Car dealer video
- Investor relations videos
- Property videos
- Travel company videos
- Branded content
- Talking heads videos
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