Today, everyone has a smartphone.
The video quality on these devices is stunning, and it grows every day. The ability to quickly shoot, edit, and post a video is all possible on most modern smartphones. Quoted in The New York Times, “71 % of mobile traffic will be video by 2016,” says Suraj Shetty, vice president for product marketing at Cisco. Before you start planning your own video production shoot, learn about the 9 biggest misconceptions about video production.
1. VVS – Vertical Video Syndrome
We get in the habit of holding our phones in one position: portrait mode. Still pictures line up and look great. The classic selfie looks great in portrait mode. When thinking about video, though, we forget to turn our phones into landscape mode. It feels unnatural. We are all prone to VVS: Vertical Video Syndrome.
2. One and Done
Marketers tend to make the mistake of putting their entire budget into one video, thinking one really good video will last several years. Instead, a better option is producing many different angles and outlooks in a much shorter time. It is generally far more intriguing and sustainable to have a series of 30-90 second videos than to have one 15-min video.
BlendTec, a blender manufacturer, established a video series titled “Will It Blend?” This series showcases their product blending common objects that aren’t ‘blend-able.’ Instead of making a sales pitch of how durable and long lasting the blender is, they show it by blending an iPhone. This content is short and exciting while generating millions of viewership because it is interesting and has never been done before. BlendTec has produced more than 100 90-sec. videos. The series is popular among all demographics.
3. TL:TMI – Too Long: Too Much Information
The best videos are short and concise. 60-90 second videos are getting to be the NEW standard in video length. Many people are losing interest quicker while their minds begin to trail off after 15 seconds have passed. They are already considering what to watch or click next, or if the content they are currently viewing is worth just a few more seconds.
Sharp has produced a 30-minute full product demonstration for a touch pen. The video shows exactly how the product works in real time with all the specs and technical information. With this much information, it would be better to break up the 30 minutes into a series of 30 or 40 short videos. Take a look for yourself: How long does it take until you trail off?
4. Plan It Before You Do It
Planning takes time, and sometimes spontaneity works better than stuttering through a script. Still, you should get an overall idea of what the final product will look like and understand how much time it will take to produce. Consider brainstorming a picture storyboard, figuring out what graphics to show, and identifying what visuals could link to what the audience hears. Even if it is not scripted, think of talking points or questions to answer. Though you may be good at public speaking, the second a camera is in front of you the mind goes blank, and all you can say is ‘um … .’
5. Jump Cuts
One of the most common first-time editing mistakes is realizing there are more mistakes to “edit out” than you originally intended. Having a camera on a tripod in one location for the entire shoot is the cause of jumpy jerks when splicing sentences together. During testimonials, the subject sometimes links back to what they already said, and rearranging the whole order gives a stronger impact for the story.
Some simple fixes during production include: zooming in, tightening up shots, and changing angles or locations after each question. When creating a strong story that connects to the audience, use close shots when the subject is talking on a personal level or trying to relate to the viewer. Stay wide when they are generalizing or using facts and figures. Editing this footage is easier and looks more professional.
6. I Forgot the Tripod … foOtaGe is sHaKier ThaN YOU thought
Tripods are one of the most essential items when shooting video. This is even more crucial when you zoom in. Software stabilization in post-production only goes so far. And forget the smooth pans, tilts and slides. So you forgot the legs? We’ve all been there. Even if you don’t have a tripod onsite, use what’s around you. Set your camera on a table, chair or other flat surface. Hold your breath or use smooth breathing rhythms to minimize body shake. If you can’t sustain this, try leaning against a wall or resting your hands on any solid surface.
7. Fonts, Logos, and Colors …OH, MY!
There’s branding and if you wait long enough … rebranding. Once you spend a lot of time and effort on a video, it’s natural to want to repurpose or reuse it years later. One thing to consider is losing valuable data because you have to take the old one down and upload a brand new version. Unfortunately view counts, engagement numbers and other analytics won’t transfer the way marketers think they should. If you want to change your logo, colors, and/or fonts in a video, why not create a new video with new content and another creative perspective. That way you can maintain legacy popularity and compare the data between the two videos.
8. Poor Audio
Business marketers forget that visuals are only half the battle when it comes to video production. Audio is very commonly forgotten. Modern smartphone cameras are only increasing in visual quality. Yes, the microphones have gotten better but they are still pinhole-sized. It is tough for the phone to capture a high dynamic range of sound in such a small hole. Also the majority of the time the phone is 8–15 feet away from the audio source. That alone makes it tough for a high quality recording.
A better alternative would to use a dedicated microphone placed much closer to the subject. A cheap voice recorder with microphone sensitivity options would work better than your phone’s internal microphone. But, beware! This opens up a potential headache in the editing room. Two different sources are recording separately, the video on the phone and the audio on the voice recorder. The best way to sync up the audio with the video is using a clapperboard. But that is just one more thing to buy. An alternative is to have your subject clap so the camera can see the point when their hands come together. Also, make sure you hear the clap in the audio. These two reference points make syncing the audio with the video easier.
9. Thinking Video Is Easier Than It Actually Is …
Home movies, Web cams and iPhones only get you so far. Because smartphones are able to record video in high quality, many people believe anyone can make a compelling video. Professionals know the shortcuts, keep strict deadlines, and get the job done. Professionals also have solutions for issues that arise all throughout production. Professionals are the experts with a creative style that tends to generate high viewer engagement.
Video output is increasing everyday and becoming increasingly critical for corporate marketing. According to onehourpersecond.com , every second, one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube.
So, the next time you consider making a video to promote your business, be mindful of these 9 Biggest Misconceptions About Video Production:
- 1: VVS
- 2: One and Done
- 3: TL:TMI
- 4: Plan it
- 5: Jump Cuts
- 6: Forgetting a Tripod
- 7: Rebranding
- 8: Clapper Audio
- 9: Call a Professional