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Questions Regarding Video?
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Before you decide to create a video, whether in-house or by collaborating with a video production company, it’s important to answer a few questions.
- Do you have the time to create this video?
Whether in-house or with a vendor, making videos is an extremely time-consuming process. It’s much more than showing up with a camera. You need a plan to execute, plenty of footage to make your video work, and clean audio. This often involves scouting a location ahead of time, reserving rooms to ensure no one else will be doing noisy activities nearby, and ensuring that the light will be good.
- Do you have the budget to create this video?
Especially when working with an external vendor, videos can become pricey very quickly.
- Is a video the best solution for your needs?
We often think of videos as flashy, catchall solutions to a problem, but a lot of elements have to fall into place for a video to be successful. Sometimes—when viewed against the budget and time allotted—a photo, an illustration, or another visual medium could be more effective.
Once you determine that a video is what you’re after, next up is to establish a creative brief. You can use this as a template:
- Objective: Outline your goal for the video here.
- Target Audience: Who are your primary and secondary audiences?
- Brand: What brand guidelines do you need to adhere to? (Please keep in mind that you represent Colby College and only approved fonts, logos, and colors can be used.)
- Insight: What’s the backstory of the video you’re trying to tell? What pertinent information will be helpful to you or a video production company? Feel free to elaborate.
- Execution: How exactly are you going to execute this video? Outline everyone involved, their roles and responsibilities, and any other important details. Note any non-negotiable details like “everyone in the film must be wearing a facial covering” or any other department-specific notes you feel people should know.
In-House vs. External
Working with Internal Videographers
Many simple videos can be created in-house with your own team on an iPhone or similar device, especially if the end product will only have a few, short cuts. If you decide to film by yourself, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Bad audio can ruin an otherwise good video.
Be sure to record when there are no other loud sounds around. That dump truck half a mile away? Yes, your microphone will pick up that sound. A slightly breezy day? Yes, it will sound like you’re in a windstorm. You’ll likely never be able to eliminate all distracting sounds, but removing what you can will go a long way.
- Too much camera movement makes the video impossible to watch.
Use a tripod when possible, and hold the camera with both hands when it isn’t.
- Pay attention to light, composition, and color.
Many of the same guidelines from photography are applicable here. Avoid distracting backgrounds, shoot in the morning or late afternoon for the best light, and keep your horizons level.
- Leave yourself room on either end of your video clip for editing.
Rather than hitting the record button and jumping right in, wait for a second, then go. Same for the end of a clip.
- Record longer and for more quantity than you think you need.
The general rule in filmmaking at the documentary level is that one hour of footage makes one minute of the final film. So, with that in mind, the more angles you can capture and different types of footage you can obtain, the easier time you will have in post-production.
- Speaking of post-production, if you’re not skilled in Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X, there are a variety of free video editing softwares available on the web.
The standard on Macs is iMovie, and PCs offer Windows Media Player. Both are powerful tools in their own right, and there are a plethora of tutorials on YouTube to help you accomplish what you’re after.
Working with External Videographers
Working with a video production company can be an extremely exciting and fulfilling experience. Here are some things to know before hiring a vendor:
- Every production company is different.
Some companies specialize in event coverage, others in commercial video, while others stick to documentary work. Research the company, review the work in their portfolio, and reach out to the ones that you feel drawn to.
- Give examples of inspiration.
When talking with the vendor, the more examples you can share of existing videos (from anywhere) that are similar in style, content, or approach to what you want to accomplish, the better. This will help the company know how much time and how many crew members they will need to tackle the job.
- Be as specific as possible.
Vendors have a myriad of things to consider when planning your video. From different locations to casting to how many shots are feasible in one day, it can be a lot to juggle. The more specifics you can provide for them about what you’re after, the more accurate their estimate will be.
- Have a sense of your budget.
Knowing how much you want to spend will help the production company tell you precisely what’s possible. Even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing the number with the vendor, knowing internally what you want to spend will help your negotiations.
Find the request for permission to record and reproduce event form below.