We’ve had several recent inquiries from organizations who have asked if we could train their staffs on the art of impactful video story-telling. While we have offered media training services and coaching since our inception, we have never offered video production training and there are several reasons why. It’s complex! Our staff including yours truly started learning how to tell a great video story back in college, we took internships and classes, and learned from the very best in the business. Before working in the private sector, all of us spent years in the TV news business as reporters and producers, photojournalists and editors always working and learning tom improve our skill sets. So, to be blunt, frankly it’s a little insulting (albeit not intended) to ask us to boil down all the knowledge and experiences into one easy to consume class on effective video production practices.
Having said that, there are certainly some simple steps you can take to get your video production project going in the right direction:
Step 1. Set your goal. What is the point of your video? Who are you trying to reach? Are you building your brand, educating your customers, implementing a sales/marketing plan, or maybe a little bit of all of this things? Either way, you have zero chance of attaining your goal if you have not first strategically mapped out the plan and goal of your project. Whether hiring an external video production company or producing in-house, a successful project starts with a great plan.
Step 2. Storyboard the concept. This step does not have to be fancy. You don’t necessarily need an app or a tablet either. It can be as simple as taking some notes. Visualize what the ideal video might look like in your head. What would the viewer see? How would the video move? Fast and exciting, or more slowly and deliberate? Who are your spokespersons? Company leaders? Team members? Customer testimonials? Or maybe a voice-over with music? There are many different creative paths you can take but the key is putting some time and effort into a concept best suited for our organization. If you don’t know that is okay too. See step 1 AND COLLABORATE with your in-house creative team or outside vendor. If they are good at what they do, they will have many thoughts on what might work best to showcase your team.
Step 3. Execution This is the easiest step to mess up since many fall into the trap of putting all their efforts into 1 and 2 and “hand it off” from there. Don’t do it. Execution is critical. Most video production projects have many moving parts and require a certain level of coordination, scheduling, and attention to detail. Your will need to make sure every involved member of your team is on-board with shoot day requirements. Have you determined the most visual places to shoot and are those locations clear and available on your shoot day? Are special permits required? What equipment will be needed? Special cameras? Are you flying a drone? Do you need permission first and what’s the weather forecast? Are you set-up for a COVID-safe production? Everyone knows they must mask up and be safely distanced, right?
As you can see, and to my original point, there’s a lot to this and it would be nearly impossible to piece together a one-off video production course and hit all the marks. But hopefully these quick tips will at least get you started and heading in the right direction.
Rich Dubek is a two-time Emmy award winning TV news reporter with more than twenty five years of news media experience at the local and network level. He is President of the Dubek Media Group, specializing in expert media training messaging, and on-air coaching, and full service video production. The Dubek Media Group is based in Tempe, Arizona.