In the previous Spin blog post (“The Power of Craft in Video Production – Part II”), we looked at the ways in which craft affects the planning of a video project. In this third installment, we consider the implementation of the script and the shoot.
• Production execution. The creation of a video is a logistical dance. Craft makes that choreography seamless. Planning is extremely important is a shoot is to be successful. Your production team should work closely with you to stay on schedule and on budget. Craft is economically responsible.
• Location. Where will your program be shot? In a studio? Your corporate offices? At a customer location? Wherever it happens, it must look like some thought has gone into the visual design. Interviewing a customer in front of a cinder block wall is not likely to create viewer interest, unless perhaps the customer sells cinder block.
• Run and Gun. Spin does not send out crews to “see what happens.” We don’t document meetings, weddings, baseball games or news stories. We don’t show up without a plan. We don’t bring cameras, lights and crews so a product manager can “wing it.” Run and gun wastes time and money. Craft does not.
• Audio quality. The visuals may be stunning but if the audio is garbled it not only creates a bad impression, but also threatens the success of the video. If a production company tells you that the camera microphone is adequate, find another production company. If they tell you an audio engineer is unnecessary, find another production company. (Better yet, contact Spin Creative Group at email@example.com)
• Lighting. Effective lighting gives your production texture and depth. It is neither too light nor too dark. A competent videographer knows that shadows are as important as light. It sometimes surprises clients how many artificial light sources it takes to make a shot look natural. In a visual medium, good lighting is key.
• Plan what to shoot & shoot what you plan. The script is an agreement between the production company and the client that specifies what elements will be included in the finished product. The script is also a tool to stay on budget. If it isn’t in the script, it’s probably not in the budget.
• Quality interviews. Great interviews don’t just happen (unless of course the subject gives interviews for a living). But if it’s a customer or an employee, great planning will make a good interview better. The key to a great interview is an in-depth pre interview. The director and producer should have a pretty good idea of what points will be covered in an interview before the camera is turned on. A pre interview is a great way to find out what the subject will say and how well they say it.
• The director. It may seem obvious but – an effective director should be good at working with people. Even if you’re shooting food or cars, the director must communicate well with the stylist, the producer, the camera operator, the grip – and of course the client. Which reminds us of the shoot where the director was composing a shot, looked up from the viewfinder and said, “Lose the bald guy.” The bald guy was the VP of marketing.
In the next installment, we will continue with production and discuss postproduction.