Pick up a camera, run around with it for a few hours, then out pops a video, sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?

When planning a video production, you may think you have a good idea about what you want it to look like, but there are lots of things to consider if you want everything to go smoothly and to avoid any unforeseen hurdles. Here, I have compiled a summary of  important factors that are often overlooked when it comes to creating a video. There may very well be more, but they are so overlooked, that even I don’t know what they are.

1. Purpose

Why are you making this video? While I should probably churn out some sales patter about how you need to have a video, when it comes down to it, if there is no purpose behind what you’re doing, then we need to rethink the whole thing. Most of the time, the purpose of having a video is self explanatory, but it helps to nail this question on the head early on, as the rest of the planning will be made much easier.

2. Who is watching?

It is definitely an advantage to know who your audience is, as you are then able to shape the video around them. A video aimed at current customers, for example, would hopefully be a lot different to one aimed at bringing new customers in. A video of your product would need to be quick and attention grabbing if shown at an exhibition, yet the same video on a website can afford to run a little longer and go into more detail.

3. Length

As short as possible, while being able to get your message across. People get bored. Quickly. As lovely as a 15 minute film on Richard’s fun run may be, not many people will see the end of it. In fact, people switch off so quickly, I’ll be amazed if anybody is still reading this and we’re only on point 3!

4. Filming Location

Finding a place to film is often one of the first things you will consider, but it’s making sure that the location is ready when you need it. Making sure a place is clean and tidy should be a formality. It may take the shine off your lovely looking gym if the pool has bits of unknown matter floating in it. Knowing where we’re filming, how long we can film there for and making sure it’s looking as good as possible will help you make full use of the filming day.

5. Who is in the Video?

With half an hour of the filming day left, it’s not unusual to see people running around asking Gill from accounts to say a piece to camera. If looking to get people on camera, never let the phrase “we’ll get somebody to do it on the day” come out of your mouth. Even some of the most outgoing people seem to go into hibernation when a camera turns up. If you know you need 3 people to be interviewed and 2 people to be seen working in the warehouse, try and make them commit beforehand, so we can use the time for filming instead of hashing out a deal with someone to appear on camera!

6. Graphics/Titles

It’s good to have some idea of what you are after graphics wise. Whether you are just after a few titles, or some lengthy animation, this can obviously affect the video drastically. With visual elements like this, it’s often quite difficult to describe what you’re after, but if you have seen any videos recently that use similar techniques, letting me see these can be very helpful in trying to figure out what you are trying to achieve.

7. Music

This is one of the most overlooked areas in my experience. Many people think you can throw a track of music over a video and it’s job done. Much of the video is often edited to the music, meaning changing the music means almost re-editing the whole thing. Having a sense of what music you want early on is helpful, then before the editing stage, we can go through and select some tracks. I have a large database of music that is ready to use, or you can also have a look at websites like premiumbeat.com and audiojungle.net. From here you can download a few sample tracks, see which work and then pay for a licence (often $20 or under).

8. Voice Over

Not a necessity by any means, but if you are planning on a voice over, having a complete script ready before filming takes place is key. If we spend a few hours filming the restaurant at a golf club, then the voice over comes back with no mention of it at all, there’s been some miscommunication somewhere down the line. Having a script at the ready, means you’re giving me great indication of what is going to be in your video and where filming time should be spent.

As for who can record the voice over, you can select one of your own, or I can go and source a voice over artist from your specifications. As with point 5, don’t spring a voice over on someone in the office, make sure they’re ok with it and have had a good practice!

9. Branding

When integrating a video into your business, it’s nice to have one that ‘fits in’. So if your company logos and artwork revolve around a certain colour pallete, or use particular fonts, including these within the video are a good way to easily make your video look the part and blend in.

So that’s it, if you can have an idea about most of the above points, it will mean that your video production will run as smooth as possible.

If there’s anything you think I’ve missed out please let me know, I’m sure there is!