Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cheap Video?

I worked in television and video production as a writer , producer, director for the best part of 30 years so I know a bit about video production and one recurring misconception has struck me over the years...and it’s this ...videos are cheap and easy to produce.

Everybody seems to think they know something about video because they can use a camera or they have some type of editing software. With the advent of smaller, lower cost, higher quality cameras, access to digital editing; and even the broad appeal of YouTube, anybody can make a video, right …well, not necessarily. It all depends on what you want to achieve with your video. Video can make us laugh, it can motivate us, it can inform us, it can empower us - or it can just bore us to tears. Unfortunately most videos fall under the bore us to tears category.

Corporate videos for the most part are designed to create a call to action, communicate a concept or describe a service that cannot be easily described in any other way. A video forms a contract with the viewer gained through their experience of watching television every day. That contract suggests that you must entertain as well as inform based on the audience’s expectations.

Most clients who produce video for their web site, or for boardroom presentations make the same mistake that they make with advertising…they try and tell their story in linear fashion without consideration for the customer’s needs and expectations. They focus on cost and in doing so eliminate all creativity and strategic planning. Videos like advertising can change people’s opinions, can have an emotional appeal and can bestow a positive light on your product or service but only with well thought out messaging.

Today’s videos are shorter – whether it’s a flash mob, commercial or just an engaging demonstration. Longer videos can be effective but the viewer has to have a degree of control over the viewing process; and the content has to be engaging and as interactive as possible.

You can produce a video on a budget but the production company should be a partner in the planning and development of the concept…right from the start. Going to a production house and trying to direct the video will result in one thing…a bad video. Let the production company bring their expertise to the table and make sure, as the client; you inform them on your objectives, your audience and your content.

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