Jul 15, 2019

INTERNAL_ SALES PITCH DECK (1)

There's no denying a business' need for video. Video content goes far beyond a couple of videos in this day and age - and most marketing teams simply don’t have the time, resources, or skill set. And when your customers’ quality expectations are so high (thanks to the tech and high-content world we live in), getting it wrong, even just once, can impact your brand’s perception significantly.

To say the challenge of creating your own business video content can be intimidating would be an understatement. With so much to think about - from camera equipment and editing software, to lighting a shot and optimizing audio - the barriers to entry can be high and the risks are even higher. No matter the software or equipment you have to put together your business video, there are some tried and true video editing tips you need to know if you want yours to stand out. It’s very easy to spot when time has not been spent editing a video to make it shine. 

However, we know the power video can create, so if you are willing to take on the challenge for yourself, we have put together 20 EXPERT INDUSTRY TIPS for editing and producing marketing videos to help get you started.

                       
PRE-PRODUCTION

#1 TELL A STORY

Stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. They have a point and a message. So should your film. Even if it is a one minute interview video where a person tells you about themselves, that person's story needs to have an arc - something needs to happen, something needs to be revealed, whether that is shocking, emotional or endearing - your audience must feel that connection with them, and believe in them.

A simple task when bringing your story to life: try and think of one sentence that defines it. This will help you when moving onto the next steps.

storyboard

#2 CREATE A STORYBOARD &/OR SHOOTING SCRIPT

The best marketing videos don’t just happen - they’re a result of meticulous planning and preparation. Before you even start to think about getting your camera equipment ready, consider putting a storyboard and shooting script together.

Storyboarding helps you figure out exactly what shots you need before you start filming, and a shooting script is like a screenplay for your video.

They don’t need to be a work of art - even just using still images, reference videos, mood board or even examples of music can be powerful navigators - whatever is easiest. But remember - the more time you spend on planning your marketing video, the less likely you are to find yourself missing footage later on. Which will save you time and stress, not only for yourself but for everyone else involved as well.

#3 PREP YOUR PRESENTERS OR INTERVIEW SUBJECTS

Make sure all your presenters or subjects know what’s expected of them beforehand to minimize mistakes or wasted time on the day of the shoot. You should have a good idea of what the finished product is going to look like long before you start filming, and your presenters should know exactly what they’re doing. 

Presenting can be a nerve-racking. The more you can prepare your subjects and put them at ease, the more effective your footage will be. 

NB: When filming, pay attention to how they speak. You'll pick up rhythms they use that make them sound different and any verbal mannerisms that are unique to them. When you're going over your audio edits later on, this will help you save time getting the spacing between their words right without any guesswork.

#4 KEEP YOUR COOL

Even the best of us get those projects that are stressful, have tight deadlines, and are just simply not fun. These jobs will test you in ways that you won’t see coming. Not only do you need to effectively manage your own temperament and emotions, you need to keep in mind those of the presenters and subjects you’re working with. There will always be things that are out of your control and are part of the job. Having patience throughout the pre-production, production, and post-production process is key.

#5 KNOW WHAT B-ROLL FOOTAGE YOU NEED

Planning to intersperse shots of your team hard at work into your video, or cut away from your presenter to other footage? Then you need what videography professionals call B-roll footage. B-roll is essentially any footage that isn’t of your primary subject. If you’re filming an explainer video, showcasing your software product, B-roll footage might include shots of satisfied customers using your product, or an external shot of your office, for example.

There’s no such thing as too much b-roll, but best practice is to sub-clip it so you don’t get lost. Whatever footage you need, figure it out during the pre-production phase to avoid situations in which you need footage you don’t have, and create separate folders/bins based on things like location or actions, then level what happens and if any subjects were in the shot. This way, further down the line, you can do a global search based on any of those keywords and you’ll see all the shots you need. It may seem like a tedious process, but believe me, it’s worth it!

They don’t need to be a work of art - even just using still images, reference videos, mood board or even examples of music can be powerful navigators - whatever is easiest. But remember - the more time you spend on planning your marketing video, the less likely you are to find yourself missing footage later on. Which will save you time and stress, not only for yourself but for everyone else involved as well.
                       
PRODUCTION

Whether you’re shooting a video or taking a photograph, composition is crucial to the finished product. If it was as simple as aim and shoot, I think most of us would be out of a job here at Visual Domain. Composition is the proper term for how a shot is framed and staged, or “composed”. This refers to how your subject - whatever you’re filming - is arranged and positioned within the shot and a must-have in your video production.

#6 USE THE RULE OF THIRDS

Whenever you're filming anything (or even taking photos), remember the "Rule of Thirds". Imagine your shot is divided into nine equal sectors by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines.

Credit: Wordstream - editing-marketing-videos-rule-of-thirds

Notice how the primary subject in the image is positioned where two of the four points (which are known as the "anchor points") intersect? This technique is used to draw the eye toward the main points of interest in the shot. The viewer's eye will naturally gravitate towards the top-left anchor point, and many people will spend longer dwelling on this area than other parts of the shot, making it a logical point at which to position the main area of interest in your shot - in this example, the face of the subject. 

The rule of Thirds can be applied to just about any type of shot, including landscapes. Using the horizontal lines is a great guide for where the horizon line of your exterior shots should be, and where your subject should be positioned.

Although it might not seem that remarkable, composing your shot in this way makes it easier for the eye to "read" and results in a much more aesthetically pleasing shot overall. Your audience probably won't even notice the composition of the shot, because it just "works". 
                       
LIGHTING

There are very few things that will ruin a marketing video faster than a shot that is either too light or too dark. Yes, you can correct image brightness and contrast in post-production to some extent (we’ll dig a bit more into that later), but it’s better to get the shot right on the day of the shoot than relying on “fixing it in post” later on.

#7 AVOID CONFLICTS BETWEEN NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL LIGHT

When it comes to lighting in video, different kinds of light have different temperatures. These color temperatures are measured in degrees Kelvin (oK). This is a topic that really could warrant its own post, but for the sake of keeping it top-level for now, all you need to know is that mixing two light sources with different colour temperatures will make for an unevenly lit shot.

Wherever you’re shooting, ensure that your primary light source is even and consistent. If you shoot indoors, avoid rooms with windows. If this isn’t possible, position your subject far enough from the windows to avoid the daylight interfering with your shot.

#8 MANUALLY SET YOUR CAMERA'S WHITE BALANCEediting-marketing-videos-white-balance

Many cameras have an auto-white balance feature, but we strongly recommend setting it manually. White balance is the way to account for the different temperature ranges from different light sources. By telling your camera what “true white” looks like in an environment, you’ll avoid relying on your camera to achieve a correctly colour-balanced shot. Even is colour casting is the effect you’re trying to achieve, film the shot using the correct white balance and adjust the colour in post-production - don’t rely on lazy camerawork to achieve a particular effect.

editing-marketing-videos-lighting-setup-examples

#9 AVOID 'SPOTLIGHTING' YOUR SUBJECT

Intense primary light sources can blow out the brightness and contrast of your shot and cause unflattering reflections on your subject. There are many different lighting techniques, each of which can be used to achieve a certain effect. Even if you have a professional light rig, make sure your shot is lit evenly - don’t just point it at your subject. Uses a reflector and/or a diffuser to minimize harsh spotlighting or shadows (we don’t want your female presenters looking like they have a “mustache” like the far-left example above).

#10 CHECK THE ACOUSTICS OF YOUR FILMING LOCATION

You don’t need to soundproof a conference room in your office (although, if you can, go for it), but be sure to check the acoustics before you start filming. If there’s an echo in the location you had in mind, try and find somewhere else to shoot. You can fix a lot of audio problems in post-production, but even a faint echo can be a nightmare to get rid of completely.

#11 SHOOT MULTIPLE TAKES

Even experienced presenters make mistakes, and the last thing you want is a situation where you only have a single take of a crucial part of your marketing video. By filming multiple takes, you’ll have a safety net in case you notice something wrong with one of the takes, and allows you to edit together your final sequences from several clips of the same sequence rather than relying on just one.

Even if the first take goes flawlessly shoot another. - just in case. It could save you a lot of headaches later on.
                       
POST-PRODUCTION

This is where your familiarity with your editing software can make or break the success of your project.

There is an extensive variety in the market, but even as a professional video company producing over 10,000 jobs a year, we use Adobe Premiere Pro (link). Despite being a comprehensive professional editing suite, Adobe Premiere Pro is so user-friendly with an immense amount of learning resources and user community to get all the tips & tricks you need.

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<INDUSTRY EXPERT BEST PRACTICE TIP

#12 ORGANISE YOUR FILES AND TIDY UP YOUR CLIPS BEFORE YOU START

When importing your footage in to your editing program, clean up your clips as you import them. Most editing packages will allow you to set “in” and “out” points for each clip, reducing their length by trimming out pauses, false starts, and all those behind-the-scenes comments and jokes that get made. Editing the final sequence together using trimmed clips is a lot easier than adjusting every single clip as you go along.

#13 ASSEMBLE THE ROUGH CUT BEFORE WORKING OUT ANY TIMING ISSUES

Once you’ve got all the clips you need imported into your editing program, it’s time to start actually putting the rough cut of your marketing video together. The easiest approach is just to get your clips roughly in to place instead of painstakingly going over the precise timing frame-by-frame. It may not look pretty, but it will give you a strong idea of which parts of your marketing video need the most work before it’s already begun to take shape - saving you a lot of time, effort, (and yes, sometimes even tears).

#14 CREATE MULTI-CAMERA SEQUENCES

If you’re editing footage from a shoot where multiple cameras captured the same scene, creating a multi-camera sequence is an absolute must. This syncs all video and audio in to one clip, which you can then use to edit. You can easily switch camera angles on a clip without having to dig back through your footage, and you can even perform cuts as the footage plays out in real-time.

Multi-camera editing is great for interviews, live events, films etc. As interview footage has a lot of narrative content, multi-camera sequences is a great way to tell their story with dynamic visuals.

#15 ALWAYS CUT "ON THE ACTION"

When editing a shot of someone doing something, make sure to cute to the next shot during the action that you subject is performing.

For example, if you’re editing together a sequence of someone opening a door before walking through it, cut to a shot of the subject opening the door at the precise moment the person turns the door handle. Cutting away before or after the action can look jarring and distract the viewer.*

You may not even have to worry about this, but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind if you’re working on a more challenging video.

#16 DON'T OVERDO IT WITH TRANSITIONS AND EFFECTS

Unless you’re trying to make some type of parody video of a George Lucas film, please don’t use radial or star wipe transitions, or any other effect presets.

If you’re going for a cheap amateurish look, then feel free to go ahead, but if you do need to use some transitions, keep it to simple cross-fades. Let your content do the talking, not your editing software.

#17 NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SOUND DESIGN

Audio is a powerful tool. Every story has a soundtrack. Even if it is just the audio.

Extract the audio from the clip and place it on top of other video clips. Add the audio over the top. When working on projects that rely heavily on dialogue and interviews, your soundbed can be an amazing guide for the pace of your story and can actually speed up your workflow. If you’re making a documentary and building your story through a series of interviews, transitions between topics with soundbites of highs and lows of a song can be a great work around if you get stuck.

#18 CHOOSE YOUR MUSIC CAREFULLY

Music can be powerful. Absence of music can be powerful. Think carefully before you decide. Not every video needs background music, but if you decide that yours does, pick music that will resonate and is suitable for your project.

And unless you use use royalty-free music, or compose your own, most music is subject to stringent copyright restrictions that could land you in some seriously hot legal water if you don’t play by the rules, so make sure you pay close attention to the licensing requirements of the music you plan to use. Free Music Public Domain is a handy resource to browse and read more about a selection of public domain artists and genres.

#19 LESS IS MORE

Time is short. Attention spans are shorter, particularly with online content.

Cut away everything but the essentials. Only include the most important clips. Be ruthless. Less is more. Keep it short! If you don’t need the full length, cut it. If you halve the length of your film, it will almost certainly create more of an impact on your audience. Keep your clips short - A rough role is 3 seconds per clip. Varying the clip lengths will change the mood of your film. Think about the effect you want to create. Vary your shots - a scene should generally include a wide shot, a medium shot, and a detail shot. This might mean you might have to retake the scene several times to capture the clips you need.

Story blocking is a great practice to help you keep track of certain character’s story arcs so you don’t miss the key message and focal points - this will help you to visualize projects that have to be cut to a certain length.

#20 DON'T ASSUME YOU CAN FIX EVERYTHING IN POST-PRODUCTION

Editing platforms are extremely powerful tools that can empower you to accomplish a great deal with your videos, but they can work magic.

Post-production should be seen as a process to add polish and finesse to your video, not an opportunity to go back and fix mistakes that could have been easily avoided during a properly planned shoot. Sometimes something as simple as brightness, contrast, or background audio just can’t be fixed, so do yourself a favour and don’t assume that any and all problems can be fixed in post-production.

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With these video editing tips, you’re sure to create a video for your business that captures the attention of your audience, gets your message across clearly and tells a powerful story.

 

 

A word from the wise, before you start, keep in mind that even if you’ve got a deadline quickly looming on your next business marketing video, there are somethings you just can’t rush. While there’s no getting away from the fact that video editing can be a brutal, time intensive process, there are things that you need to put in to practice to start winning back some of your time and creating meaningful, memorable, and high-quality video content.

And if you ever get stuck or "writers-block", don’t waste your time and keep working on it. Get up, take a break, let your mind have some time to relax and recharge so you can return fully energized and with a clear head. This will save you realizing that the hours of painstaking work you did to push it through was worthless and you have to redo it anyway.

Need help making a video? It’s not as costly as you may think, and the risk of damaging your brand far outweighs any upfront costs. Let Visual Domain do it all for you! 

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INTERNAL_ SALES PITCH DECK