Video is inarguably a valuable part of anyone’s digital strategy. Ranging from a 6-second Vine uploaded from your iPhone, to a professionally produced piece that looks like a commercial or a mini-documentary, the options are vast.
Anyone who has created their own videos knows that while it’s not terribly difficult to do these days, skill and planning can go a long way; the more, the better in many cases
I recently had the pleasure of coordinating a medical video for an exhibit at the 2013 NCBC (National Consortium of Breast Centers). Medical video specialist, Lange Productions, did the videography and editing. They also scripted and provided the voiceover. Working with these professionals, I picked up a few tips.
Experts speak volumes
A business talking about its own products or services can be informative. But hearing from an end-user and expert is way more compelling … and believable. In the case of this video, medical practitioners at Boulder Community Hospital talked about the GIOTTO breast imaging technology from Fischer Medical. You can hear the passion and enthusiasm in their voices. They are obviously proficient in their field as evidenced by their demonstrations, performed smoothly and expertly.
Feigned expertise could compromise the credibility of the production, and therefore, of the business. If your product or service is worth talking about, let an expert speak for you.
Conversation vs. script
Even if you have an expert to speak on behalf of your business, it’s tempting to provide a script to ensure that the key messages are adequately emphasized. However, someone reading from a script sounds like someone reading from a script, and that can detract from the authenticity of your expert.
Rather, as part of the planning process, identify the key messages that you’d like to have in the video. Then, be prepared to prompt a conversation with questions that give your expert the opportunity to discuss the topics that are important to your message.
In the case of the Fischer GIOTTO video, we spent a few minutes putting our experts at ease with casual conversation. Preparing the on-camera people, though, is only half of it. Dr. Vladimir Lange, from behind the camera, relying on his medical background and full understanding of the topic, was able to ask open-ended and probing questions. Dr. Lange explained that his approach is to be genuinely interested in learning something from the medial professionals he’s interviewing. Having medical experts on both sides of the conversation contributed to the overall quality of our video.
Lights, Camera, Action!
There can be a lot of moving parts when producing a video. Having someone to handle the production qualities such as sound, lighting and camera angles is invaluable. Nigel, of Lange Productions, scrutinized every aspect of our shoot. He took care of details such as background noise from the A/C, shadows and reflections that might detract from a shot, and the inclusion of close-ups and movements that would later be placed during editing to reinforce particular messages.
During the shoot, I watched Nigel and Dr. Lange work together like a well-oiled machine. I often wondered about some of the seemingly minute details that they worked through. Seeing the finished product, though, I can see that they had a plan in mind the whole time, and that they knew exactly what they were going after before they even started.
On your own
Granted, we can’t all afford to bring in the pros to shoot a video. But, these few tips can be helpful as you plan your next production.