These days, there are few things more powerful in the world of marketing than effective video content. It’s been said before – people do not buy products or services; they buy stories, relations and magic. And it’s that magic that I hope to create on a daily basis in the films I produce.
I’m a Freelance Producer Director, creating long and short form content to engage and inspire the audience. I make full length programmes for major broadcasters as well as short videos promoting products and services. The premise of both are the same – engage your viewer, relate to them and capture their imagination.
Where it begins
Video production should always start with the storyboarding process. What is the key objective? Who is our key audience? How can we catapult them into our world and make them see the magic of what we’re offering? We need to entice them by creating intrigue, while also always maintaining their trust. TRUST – something that can never be overlooked, because without it, you’ll never get past the start line.
So, first I build up a story, focussing on who I want to engage with – the audience I’m aiming at will always dictate the content. Once I know my angle the next essential ingredient is the presenter, or if there’s no presenter, what style of voice over I want. This can completely change the style of a film and you can’t underestimate the power it has. It’s the difference between a fun, upbeat and ultimately successful film, and one that fails. It’s as simple as that. I’ve worked with top A-listers through to local voiceover artists I’ve found online and they can be equally as powerful if you get the message and the content right.
Creating a plan
Once I’ve got my story and my presenter is booked, I finalise my locations and write my script. I need a shooting script for my camera shots as well as the dialogue. I write out each presenter/VO link together with where each shot will be, what I want to capture and also any graphics that I plan to have on screen in the final edit.
If there’s time I’ll also think about music at this point. This is another often hugely overlooked aspect to the success of video content. It can completely change the interpretation of the film, just in the same way the presenter, location and story can. It’s such a vital component and one I have learned to give a lot of consideration.
Once I have everything mapped out I’m ready for shoot day. I check all my equipment, finalise logistics and I’m ready to go.
Shooting can take anything from a few hours to a whole week. Generally if I’m making a few variations of a film, I’ll allow a couple of days. Shoot days are long and not glamorous, but they’re also where I see my whole thought process come to life. The key for me is to be adaptable. I might think something will work brilliantly in my head but when I’m on location I can see that doing it a slightly different way will have far more impact.
I need to make decisions quickly and keep things moving – which is why PLANNING is so important. Although things can change, I need to have a very strict schedule so that we don’t over run and I get everything I need. Setting cameras and sound takes A LOT longer than people think. So, the more planned it is, the smoother the shoot day is for everyone. I always make sure I get extra shots of cutaways (shots I can cut to in the edit), and things like establishing walking shots and details can really help out in the edit suite.
The Editing Suite
Once I’ve got my content, it’s time to bring it all together in the edit. Again this is why a script is so important – if I’ve done a detailed script I can use that to paint everything together here. I add graphics and special effects, colour grade the pictures so they look as impressive as possible, and of course add the music and any sound effects.
It’s a long creative process in which every single detail needs to be thought through. The more time you put into your video production process, the better your end product will be. And there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing the fruits of your labour come together and drive a business forward. As long as you know how to capture your audience and engage with them, you’re on your way to success.
An Upmarketry network partner, Carina has worked across the globe producing video content for high profile businesses, as well as Producing and Directing television programmes for major broadcasters. Her recent work includes This Morning (ITV), A Place in the Sun (Channel 4), and The BBC Proms as well as working with brands such as BMW, Volkswagen and Haven Holidays.