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Video Communications: a Trend or a Tradition?
The evolving landscape of new media has without question fundamentally reshaped corporate communications. Traditional measures for producing video content have new practices to comply with from standardizing production metrics to digitizing archives with streamlined meta-database referencing. Many companies new to the world of video communications are flocking to capitalize on the paramount trend sweeping the web with hopes that producing a video will put their business front and center on the social stage. What the digital age means to businesses is that video will enlighten, engage, and entertain their audience right where ever they are. Even traditional mediums like television, radio, and news programming are making the move to online digital content with unlimited syndication interfaced with social networking platforms. It makes sense to get up with the times and incorporate video into your communications strategy– no other medium has quite a visceral affect in reaching the masses.
While making video is a hot new trend, video production traditionally is a highly technical art– one that commands in-depth competency. This current of producing motion imagery has created a new breed of media savvy opportunists (read: self-proclaimed “online video gurus”) faster than you can say “standard definition is retro”. These sudden experts who didn’t have a registered domain name 2 years ago are marketing full fledge to practice their craft with your business. Even if you’re willing to risk your investment and image to a novice video ‘expert’, know that there is an immeasurable difference between being able to record and edit and being a seasoned expert on video production. Just like web design is a creative and technical process involving coding, aesthetic layout, content mapping, and SEO optimized copy, producing a video has intricate components from creating a shot list of a well written script to ensuring compressed footage retains its resolution and is compatible with intended media players. Corporate video production requires a symphony of collaborative artists experienced in providing the intense attention to deliver the integrity of a professional production. The process is a skilled tradition, not a trendy electronic fashion statement.
Not sure where to start? Start by writing a treatment and script for your video. Your treatment is a useful tool for previsualizing your project and specifying its objectives. Your project’s objectives also pinpoint the qualifications you will need in a video producer. Specify what you’re making the video about, the audience it is for, how it will be viewed (i.e., online video, 40×40 screen, or both) and details specific to what needs to be shot to accomplish your concept. As your project moves through production, your treatment may require that some transformation is made to achieve the integrity and objectives expected for the video. The project’s treatment and script together create the blueprint of your production that your producer and the rest of your creative team will navigate to arrive at the finished project.
Every great production begins with an organized plan and tight management of the entire production process. Understanding what to expect from a video producer will help you hire the best fit for your project. The producer’s job is coordinating all the factors needed to produce your project and delivery the message intended for your audience as specified by you. Your producer organizes the logistics, workflow and management of your production from start (preproduction) to finish (post production). An experienced producer works from the end result of the expected outcome– and by reverse-engineering, begins planning the logistics for your shoot in the planning phase of the project.
Next to having an experienced producer managing your project, having an experienced DP shoot your footage leverages the quality of your production. The quality of the lighting, camera angles, shots, and number of takes needed to shoot your content directly impacts postproduction. Consider the impact you want to have on your audience when choosing a DP. The editing format, media use, conditions of the shoot, camera format, style of shoot, etc., determined by your producer will qualify hiring a DP experienced with using the equipment needed to shoot your production. Underestimating the value of an experienced camera operator can be the demise of an otherwise plausible video production. Poorly shot video can be costly—or impossible to correct in editing.
As you assemble the production for your video, consider the traditional steps of the process here. No matter how trends and technology may constantly race each other to evolve, the best practices for producing quality corporate video don’t change with trends. Corporate video production has solid standards.
As today’s technology changes corporate communications, what methods do you think should evolve or remain the same?