The 8 Mistakes Guaranteed to Doom Your Corporate Video Production


It has been a very superb journey. I have been within the video and multimedia manufacturing enterprise since 1981 and in my 30+ years within the enterprise, I’ve seen some completely unbelievable leaps within the trade. To place video in historic perspective, it was solely 22 years earlier than I took the plunge into skilled video that Sony, Matsushita, Toshiba, and JVC launched helical-scan recording, which is the tactic used since to document on video tape recorders. It took nearly the complete subsequent 22-year span to carry these helical scan recorders into the house.

Once I began in video manufacturing in 1981, client video recording was in its infancy. Most American houses didn’t have a VCR. VHS was nonetheless battling Betamax (what’s that?!) for supremacy within the residence video format wars. Tape (huh?) was the staple of commercial and promoting video manufacturing and a pair of” “Quad” machines (what??) have been what the “actual” broadcast studios used for his or her very best quality modifying and studio work. Subject cameras able to producing the most effective broadcast-quality photos price greater than most homes on the time. (And now these have been surpassed in high quality by as we speak’s client camcorders.) The CD-Rom had not but come on the scene, and web use was years away. Compressed video and streaming on internet sites have been barely the proverbial “figment” of somebody’s creativeness. DVDs? HDTV? You are kidding!

But regardless of the unbelievable technological advances over the a long time, many issues have remained fixed. The necessity to seize and retain viewers curiosity, inform a narrative, and attain one’s targets have been all vital to successfully speaking then, and stay so as we speak.

And as technological advances have introduced reasonably priced high-quality video and multimedia into the arms of the neophyte, the necessity to use them “appropriately” has remained. Simply since you’ve bought a paint brush, that does not make you Rembrandt!

Let’s check out a number of the errors nonetheless made in office company video and multimedia packages:

The 8 Errors Assured to DOOM Your Company Video or Multimedia Venture:


That is the firstly rule of making any type of communications program, but it’s superb how typically it will get violated. This rule is definitely not distinctive to video or multimedia programming. In all types of audio and visible communication, it’s crucial to develop a exact definition of the target market – and bear in mind it.

Market analysis companies and departments spend billions of {dollars} yearly to find out who will obtain a message in order that correct product placement, promoting and promotions will be performed. And it’s cash nicely spent.

But we frequently see corporations approaching their video and/or multimedia initiatives with a “Prepared, Fireplace, Purpose” strategy. They use a shotgun when a rifle is known as for. They attempt to enchantment to a number of audiences with the hope that this system will serve a number of functions. Bear in mind, while you attempt to enchantment to everyone, you enchantment to no one.

Whereas the identical primary program can generally be used for various audiences, it is suggested that totally different variations or variations be developed for these totally different teams. It is a easy matter to re-edit or re-narrate parts of a manufacturing. Nevertheless, effectivity calls for that that is deliberate from the start of the venture.

So bear in mind to plan the venture along with your viewers in thoughts. Know what their degree of experience or expertise is with the subject. This may keep away from the issue of capturing too low (e.g. losing their time exhibiting or telling them one thing they know) or too excessive (shedding them since you assume a degree of experience they have not but attained).


This goes hand-in-hand with the primary merchandise. Along with realizing who you’re speaking to, you could know what you need them to do or really feel after this system has been delivered.

Every time doable, the target needs to be quantifiable. It’s definitely simpler to measure ends in the world of coaching. As any good coaching skilled is aware of, pre- and post-training evaluation exams can quantify the outcomes of a coaching program.

Equally, for gross sales and advertising or communications, detailed testing and statistics will be gathered about venture consciousness and attitudes earlier than and after the presentation of the general program package deal. However every of these in all probability aren’t the true desired outcomes – the true aim is pumping up the gross sales figures.

As in coaching, it’s fascinating to measure the effectiveness the gross sales or communications program has in assembly the said objectives.

There’s a downside, nevertheless. Measurement of the precise influence of the video or multimedia program is troublesome, because the manufacturing is usually not utilized in isolation. As an alternative it’s often a part of a package deal of different materials delivered together with the video or multimedia program.

Ideally, we wish to emulate massive client corporations, the place intensive market analysis gives detailed evaluation of particular promoting and promotional methods. They will isolate the consequences of particular person parts of an total model advertising technique, for instance. However this requires an intensive historic background and a really massive pattern dimension to assist isolate variables and set up causal relationships.

Nevertheless, that is extra problematic within the business-to-business world.

B to B corporations not often have the historic knowledge to statistically isolate the trigger and impact relationships of particular person advertising parts. That is compounded as a result of a brand new services or products introduction is commonly the place we see the merger of those packages of video, commerce present sales space, collateral and commerce publication promoting. This renders historic comparisons largely irrelevant.

The chance to measure program effectiveness will not be unattainable, nevertheless. Anecdotal proof will be gathered from purchasers as to what parts of the overall package deal made the largest influence. This may even be formally quantified via using surveys. Combine in a superb portion of trade expertise and customary sense, and the gross sales or advertising exec can typically get a reasonably good really feel for the influence of the video or multimedia portion of the marketing campaign, in addition to the opposite particular person parts.


Not all issues will be solved via using video and multimedia, so that’s the reason it’s so necessary to know the solutions to #1 and #2 above.

Within the space of gross sales and advertising, video and multimedia will be an necessary strategic part within the combine. In different areas, such a abilities coaching, a video presentation is perhaps simply the ticket to have the ability to exhibit correct approach to newly employed or promoted folks.

On the whole, video and multimedia initiatives are finest used the place exhibiting the product, service or course of is suggested. In gross sales and advertising, a very efficient use is to indicate merchandise in use which are impractical to carry to the potential consumer for an indication. Through the years, now we have performed packages exhibiting inns, massive meeting line robots, clear room processes, train packages, and lots of different areas the place an indication in an workplace of the services or products is simply not sensible.

In areas involving interpersonal abilities, resembling administration coaching, video is perhaps part of the answer. Establishing the groundwork in an space could possibly be a wonderful use of video, particularly if there will likely be many staff over time who require this coaching. However for smaller teams, or for temporary intervals of time, function enjoying and different methods could possibly be warranted, whereas video and multimedia wouldn’t.


Let’s face info: your viewers is comprised of refined tv and media viewers. In keeping with Nielsen Analysis, the typical American watches 4 hours and 35 minutes of TV every day.

Together with your viewers continuously bombarded with video photos, they’re fairly jaded to “abnormal” video. They’re refined shoppers of the media, so don’t suppose that you just they’ll excuse shoddy manufacturing values if you wish to ship an efficient message.

The plain implication is that the extra necessary the concept you want to talk, the better the explanation to have your video or multimedia venture professionally produced. If it is price doing, it is price doing nicely.

I would be the first to confess that there are initiatives which are exceptions to the “it is solely company video” rule. In case you are simply recording a technical seminar or different “thoughts dump” for future new hires or folks which are out of city, then by all means arrange the camcorder at the back of the room and let it run. However even when that’s the case, please see rule #7, under.

Now that we have addressed the pre-production points, let’s look at some main manufacturing gaffes that may doom your manufacturing:


The present degree of digital expertise is actually extraordinary. House camcorders are simple to make use of and reasonably priced, and everybody fancies himself or herself a TV director. However nearly as good as these cameras have develop into, an expert, high-impact look will solely come when further lighting and different tools are utilized. Even present actuality exhibits are supplemented by a lot of lighting devices and different gear specifically designed to make the pictures look good.

Understanding tips on how to mild is a whole artwork and science unto itself. In the event you have been to overview the film credit on the finish of a significant movement image (with out animation or particular results) over half the folks can be concerned in lighting and associated areas to make the picture look good.

After all, we’re not attempting to duplicate “Gone with the Wind” right here, however do not forget that the picture that you just present, is the picture that represents YOU.

Along with lighting devices, a number of the gear that is perhaps referred to as into play consists of mushy lights, gels, reflectors, bounce playing cards, cookies, scrims and lightweight diffusion.

In a single shoot we did that includes Steve Younger of 49er fame, we used 2 large mushy lights as the first lighting supply. Now we have additionally produce other “more durable” (e.g. not mushy) lights above and to the left of this picture – together with fill and again lights.

A lightweight cutter on the prime heart is used to maintain an excessive amount of mild from flooding the background.

In one other shoot open air, we sued a big reflector to the aspect of the topic together with a fog machine. The reflector is used to redirect daylight for an out of doors shoot. We additionally used a half flag, used to dam and diffuse a number of the mild coming from a big mild (sure, you should utilize lights open air).

Whereas such an array of lighting and grip tools is usually not obtainable for capturing company video by yourself, it could improve the picture dramatically. And in case your price range doesn’t enable a whole Video Production crew to shoot the video, freelance lighting administrators with rental tools can be found, and that would give a company video a glance that may set it aside from different extra amateurish efforts.


The professionals know {that a} regular digicam is vital to getting a superb, attention-grabbing picture. If the digicam is bouncing round, the viewer will get distracted and infrequently, irritated. If the viewer’s thoughts is busy following the topic across the display, it will not be concentrating in your message.

At sure occasions, a transferring digicam turns into an artwork type, resembling is seen in music movies. However company movies are usually not music movies. Maintain the digicam on the tripod and preserve the digicam actions clean.

When the professionals shoot, there are all kinds of digicam mounts obtainable for picture stabilization. These embrace numerous sizes of tripods, jib arms, cranes, dollies and a Steadicam.

In some shoots we’d use a dolly, with the digicam operator on board, and the dolly grip pushing it on tracks. The dolly tracks motion easily, however because of the expense of rental and the 2 folks wanted to function it, it may be an expensive addition to this system.

We frequently use a jib arm to make swooping and climbing pictures of a retailer facade, a manufacturing facility ground, and so forth. The jib will be rented in numerous sizes and might create an nearly 3D look. It wants a educated operator.

Whereas the jib can transfer extensively round a topic, for true 3D views, a Steadicam is known as for. It is a specialised harness that must be utilized by an skilled digicam operator. It can provide dramatic appears to be like on the topic, together with transferring easily round them for 360 levels or extra. Until you may have a Steadicam and educated operator, do not observe your topic round with the digicam – depart it to the professionals.


The fast enchancment and compactness of video can also be manifested within the audio that accompanies it. Camcorders as we speak document wonderful sound. However there’s a downside.

The issue is that the sound supply closest to the camcorder microphone will likely be recorded finest. And this will not be what you need recorded.

Have you ever ever arrange a camcorder at the back of the room to document a reside seminar and listened to the end result? Is not it superb how the feedback, coughs and collisions at the back of the room sound so clear – and the speaker is unintelligible at these factors?

I merely cannot rely the variety of occasions folks have come to us to ask if we are able to improve the audio from simply such displays, and different reside occasions as nicely.

Briefly, the reply is sadly “No.” We can’t carry out audio that primarily will not be there.

What’s the answer? It is all only a matter of microphone placement. In such a scenario, it’s best to put money into a lavaliere microphone for the presenter to put on. The mic is then in place lower than a foot from the presenter’s mouth and can document clear audio.

An alternative choice is to make use of a mic on a growth pole simply out of body. We have performed this typically, resembling within the Steve Younger shoot I discussed earlier. The growth mic is usually simply above the top of the topic, however is cropped out of the shot by the video digicam.

If doable when shopping for or renting a lavaliere, get a superb wi-fi microphone. Do not defeat the aim by getting an affordable microphone that feeds buzzes and hisses to your recording system. A pair of first rate, but cheap headphones will allow you to hearken to the audio that you’re getting. If you aren’t getting a clear sign, take the microphone again to the shop and get one which works for you.

Costs for good high quality mics have come down dramatically through the years, so if you’ll do a lot of the sort of “speaking head” recording, it is definitely worth the small funding.

Microphones are clearly not only for amplification. You want a superb mic near the topic to get good clear audio.


Let’s face it, your co-workers are usually not skilled actors, they usually want some assist to recollect all of the issues they should say and do on digicam. I mentioned this lately with one other producer good friend of mine, and he commented, “If I had a nickel for each time I shot an exec who stated he might simply discuss off the highest of his head… What disasters!”

I agree. Use a teleprompter. It mounts in entrance of the digicam. Your govt or worker can look proper on the digicam and skim the phrases as if he have been trying into the lens. After a few observe runs, amateurs are nearly all the time comfy sufficient to blast proper via the script. It is cash nicely spent because it means sooner capturing, much less errors, and fewer frayed nerves.

And in case your govt appears to be like stiff or actually would not like the texture of “studying” the phrases, we are able to put up bullet factors or PowerPoint slides on the prompter in order that she or he can nonetheless seem like trying on the viewers. This avoids the issue of the presenter trying away to notes or cue playing cards and searching “shifty eyed” in consequence.


As all the time, the motto of “If it is price doing, it is price doing nicely” applies to your productions. However there are occasions when a big full scale manufacturing will not be warranted. Luckily, it’s now not a matter of all or nothing relating to bringing skilled manufacturing values to your work.

You don’t have to spend tens of hundreds of {dollars} for a program.

It surprises many individuals which are contemplating the manufacturing of commercial video or multimedia that there’s an environment friendly center floor that can be utilized. This generally is a great price saver. This consists of hiring a number of professionals to help. This could possibly be:


  • a producer/director to supervise your manufacturing,
  • a lighting director with tools,
  • a teleprompter operator with tools,
  • a make-up artist to make your govt look “good”
  • an editor to carry collectively the footage you’ve got shot right into a crisp, efficient program,
  • a graphic artist or animator to punch up your graphics,
  • a duplication facility to make mass portions of your videotape, DVD or CD


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