Business Videos: Part 2

Part 1 of this 2-part article on Business Videos outlined all the work that needs to be done before work begins on the actual video.  Those who haven’t been involved in this before are usually surprised to learn there’s more work involved on the front end than on the back end when creating an effective and successful video.

Live Action Shots

With the storyboard in place, live action shots can be managed before any filming begins.  The storyboard allows the filmmaker to identify potential locations for live action shots.

Securing signatures (on a one-page contract) that grants permission to the film crew to shoot on location is one step that can’t be put to on the back burner.  Missing signed contracts can result in business video distribution (regardless of whether it’s television or social media or any other distribution network) being stopped in its tracks.

Even with signed permission, always shoot far more footage than you think you’ll need, and go with more than just one take.  The reason for this is that it’s better to have a selection from which to choose the best angle.  If there’s no best angle, you may have to splice two or more takes into one to make the shot work.

Motion Graphics

Motion graphics is a digital technique that combines images and/or audio.  Those credits at the beginning and end of a movie are motion graphics.  The pop-up text on screens during video presentations are motion graphics.  If you nail the right mix of visual and audio components, it will stay with your audience (which is what you want).

From the font used to the way text moves around on the screen or the music swells during emotionally charged moments, having the right motion graphics in place will spell the difference between a good video and a great video.  The right motion graphics create the moods that accompany the message, and sustain the moods in a fluid, transitional linear fashion.

Animation

When you hear the word animation, you probably default to thinking about cartoons.  While that’s one form of animation, there’s more to animation than just cartooning.

Cartooning encompasses many things from staging (to establish mood, create focus, and clarify the message in a shot) to secondary actions (how the action created by the focus causes action to happen in items in the same shot) and on to timing (the most effective sequence of shots) and appeal (the best arrangement of visual and audio).

Voice-Over Recording

Nothing will derail a fantastic video faster than having the wrong voice over talent reading the script.  This is where auditioning talent will save everyone a lot of grief in the long-term.

Think of the car commercials from the 70s where Ricardo Montalbán’s smooth exotically accented voice seduced us into thinking about Corinthian leather.

Think of the Tylenol commercial with the calming voice reassuring viewers that Tylenol would make them feel better soon.

Think of the Dos Equis beer commercial where a cultured voice dishes on the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Now imagine swapping out Ricardo Montalban’s voice with that of Pee Wee Herman, or soothing Susan Sarandon’s voice with that of peppy Fran Drescher’s voice, or having Roy Romano tell us about the Most Interesting Man in the World.  The result is that changing who does the voice over also changes the feel of the commercial.  And this is why you have to audition voice-over talent.

Sound Track

Music can add or detract from a visual presentation.  The purpose of having a sound track is to elicit an emotional response, and as with voice talent, the genre matters as does style, arrangement, and (if there are vocals) the vocalist.

The word entertain actually means to engage the attention.  So while music is supposed to be entertaining, the purpose of using music in your video should be to engage the attention of viewers and hold the attention of viewers.

Whether you use a song that’s easily recognized by the public (e.g. Andrew Gold’s “Thank You For Being A Friend”) or one that’s far less recognizable, remember to secure written permission from the copyright owner(s) to use the music in your video.  Contrary to popular misconception, it’s not prohibitively expensive to do things the right way.

Editing

Simply put, editing is the preparation of materials through correction, revision, and modification, for final presentation.  The purpose of editing is to detect and correct errors and continuity flaws, to clarify the message, to eliminate those parts of the presentation that are unsuitable for the target audience, and to create a smooth flow from start to finish.

Final Product

Once you’ve completed all the steps mention in this entry as well as last week’s, you will have a quality presentation in your hands, with all the legalities and obligations addressed in a timely fashion.

Elyse Bruce

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