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How to make a great video – Seven Seconds to Success
/ Clare Harris
Within the first 7 seconds, we can all determine whether a film is of interest and at a professional standard. Due to the sheer quantity of visual stimulation, we each experience on a daily basis essentially makes us all film critics who can quickly cut through the chaff and determine what is a good video. So, you could say that creating a great video has got that little bit harder. Here are seven tips that will help you make your video into a great one.
First and foremost, make the time to storyboard and script your film. This will help take the pressure out of making it up on the spot when the camera is staring at you. It will allow you to be efficient and capture only what you need which will ultimately save you time and money. It may also throw up the need to coordinate with others, gather any necessary permissions and an opportunity to work through any potential problems.
Be realistic about what you can achieve; think about the time and resources you have available. In the world of video, what you see in the lens is what you get. It is not so easy to photoshop out the tatty background or change what you have captured. Avoid creating work for yourself by saying you will adjust it in the edit, get it right to start with.
Check and recheck
Once you have set up and framed your shot, check to see if the background is tidy, whether the white balance is accurate, whether you have set your camera to record at the correct frame rate, check your microphone is working and your camera is tightly secured your camera onto a tripod.
Some of us have more forgiving eyes than other so as much as it pains me to say it, the video quality of your piece is not necessarily as important as having a good, strong story and message within your film. You could technically get away with slightly the shaky shots, poor lighting, cluttered backgrounds, grainy film quality and a Homer Simpsons complexion if the bones of what you are trying to convey are of interest and presented well. However, and I can’t stress this enough if you take the time to look at the things I have listed you will certainly make an average video into a much greater video.
Equally, if you have spoken audio in the film, the quality of your sound is more important than your story and visuals as poor sound quality will instinctively shut down your audience.
So when you start to plan your video try to get your story, sound, and visuals in an equal Librium to ensure you have an effective, impactful film.
Keep it Simple
If you are new to filmmaking and are not a natural presenter don’t make a long script, keep it simple. Break down what you need to say into short, simple sentences and change your camera angle to avoid long static monologues. Brochure text is not a video script. What sounds good on the page can feel stiff in front of the camera.
Aim for a 1min video. You will be surprised at how much you can pack into a minute and how much effort it takes to create a minute of quality content. Any film, over 5mins in marketing, is an eternity – so definitely keep it short and snappy.
Make sure that the person you are filming is comfortable in front of the camera otherwise you could make the viewer feel uncomfortable watching them squirm. Even if you are a confident public speaker you will be surprised how difficult it is to remember your lines when the cold eye of the camera lens is staring at them.
Try to read your presenter to gauge how comfortable they are. If they are tense, rushing through their lines or stumbling over their words stay positive. Get them to practice a few times and quietly keep the camera rolling they may just nail it the first time. Keep smiling and stay calm, don’t clock watch them or apply any pressure. Maybe change the words slightly if they are getting hung up on a particular phrase. Deep breaths and shoulder shrugs will help reduce any tense posture and keep them visually looking more relaxed.
Know your audience and tailor your video to pique their interests. What do they want to know? Rather than creating a purely selling video could you share knowledge, testimonial or an experience?
Let your audience know you, people invest in people. If you plan to film regularly brand your videos with your logo so they can’t be repurposed by other companies and your clients can recognise your brand.
Hopefully, these helpful pointers might help you stand out from the crowd for the right reasons.
Image credit: Alienated by Taylor McBride – Flickr
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