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How Travel Restrictions and Cut Costs Are Impacting Corporate Video

Posted by Andrea Keating on August 11, 2020

Corporate video shoots are in a transitional state: When the first wave of shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic struck, businesses largely took a step back to consider what they could or should do next. With several months having passed, these strategies are emerging, but numerous logistical barriers remain.

Companies may find that sending their own personnel to film a video on location is no longer feasible, for a number of reasons. Perhaps travel between the two areas in question is temporarily shut down or discouraged. Maybe the organization’s chosen way to cut the budget during uncertain times is to forego business trips of all kinds. In any case, an answer is needed. There’s still an audience for video content, as long as companies can find a way to produce it.

Business Travel Comes to a Halt

A lack of corporate travel may follow a two-stage pattern. In the short term, orders from state and national governments asking people to refrain from nonessential travel or business activity are hard lines in the sand that companies cannot cross. Furthermore, with new waves of virus cases popping up regionally, it’s hard to estimate when these won’t be a factor.

Even when employees are allowed to travel, they may be held back, both for safety reasons and for the considerable budget boost that could come along. TechTarget reported that travel-friendly organizations have seen major financial advantages from keeping their teams home. With a recession already beginning and a period of sustained financial difficulty on the horizon, these savings could become major, lasting factors that companies rely on to stay in the black.

In fact, Syntax’s Ryan Etinson told TechTarget that with corporate travel forced to halt for a time, businesses are realizing that they were losing money and productivity when they sent their personnel on the road so often.

With only a few countries recommended for safe travel by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many states experiencing surges of infection that will make traveling to or through there difficult and inadvisable, it’s clear that companies will not be moving their personnel freely for some time to come. But what does that mean for video production?

Filming Depends on New Strategies

At Crews Control, we have a unique vantage point to see how companies are creating video content in the midst of the very abnormal conditions they’re facing. Through the crews we work with, we’ve seen multiple strategies take shape in the past months which could carry businesses through the era of travel restrictions and beyond.

For instance, it’s becoming more normal for executives to film their video content at home, whether it’s for a fully produced video or a keynote speech that would have been delivered in person if not for conference cancellations. When multiple team members are needed for the same shoot, as in a roundtable or panel discussion, they can each film their parts remotely.

Shoots are coming together in unique configurations, with crew members local to the subject handling the technical aspect of the production while the producer teleconferences in via Zoom or a similar software tool to provide feedback and oversight. The crews typically consist of as few on-set personnel as possible: In some cases, just a director of photography and an audio tech are present with the subject.

Whether executives are going to local studios or filming their parts right in their homes, the trend is for as little travel as possible, few people in the same room and a lack of direct contact wherever possible. Local teams are available to provide professional-quality video and audio, with this personnel and the talent taking cues from offsite directors.

Video Production Goes On

There is no definitive answer to the question “When will traveling be safe enough to do regularly again?” In the absence of this certainty, it’s important for companies to work on projects where they have a great degree of control. Video shoots carried out with little or no travel are the short-term answer, and potentially the medium- and long-term solution as well.

To figure out how this fits into your own company’s content strategy, reach out to Crews Control and learn more about your options for corporate video production today.

About Andrea Keating

Andrea Keating introduced the industry to the concept of a freelance film and video staffing company in 1988. And since then, “It’s been an incredible experience made all the better by great clients, fabulously talented crews and the best team on Earth working right along with me.” At Crews Control, Andrea is constantly thinking about how to serve her clients better. That’s her number one objective. As for her other, more whimsical goals, she’d like to invent an everyday product, go to cooking school, and finally learn how to whistle.

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