Just like detectives, we are always trying to get to the bottom of what our clients really need. We love answering your questions and, if we could, we would answer them all, but in order to do what we love we have to get inside your heads and see exactly what you’ve imagined. That’s why it’s our job to ask questions during the pre-production process that help us envision your ideal video concept. This is what you could call our investigation. In video production, we are creating a representation of what you envision which can be a daunting task if we aren’t prepared with the right questions to ask...
It’s critical to ask the proper questions to nail down your vision prior to the pre-production phase because creating the concept after pre-production can cost hundreds of dollars in additional expenses. You don’t know what to expect and we don’t blame you. One common misconception about the video marketing industry is that we magically create and execute clients’ ideas without any input necessary. In reality, “it’s going to take some time to develop a good video strategy that works for your organization” (Walsh, 2019) and portrays your brand properly. Here are our top five questions to prepare for as we work together to discover and understand your vision.
What is your ideal filming location?
Where to film is the most important question of all because it introduces many more choices that must be made in pre-production. For some projects, this can be done with a simple description of the backdrop, such as a green screen or a neutral setting. The location can be a testament to your brand as well. How much branding do you want to include in your video? Depending on your answer, your company’s logo can become part of the backdrop or wardrobe. This could help us decide which location is best as your company will likely have signs and logos posted around the office that we could use in the video.
Actors or representatives from the company that appear on camera may want to incorporate a branded uniform. This will be well-lit and in focus. For a series of fitness videos we produced for Momentum, we asked the coaches to paint a 10x10 logo in the gym right behind the main filming location. This logo served as the backdrop for the next seven videos we produced for them. Oftentimes, there are many issues that can arise on a shoot location and that’s where we come in. We will determine if this is a macro or a micro-location and what external factors could present themselves as problematic or hazardous in this location.
Some other things to be cognizant of as a producer on the set are natural lighting, reflections, access to outlets and electricity, the time we can spend in the location, external noises, heavy foot traffic, and if a teleprompter script is necessary. We make sure to always scout the location before preparing an outline or choosing the style of the video. This gives a visual idea of what you are expecting from the location as well. We take thorough notes during location scouting and walk-through any places you may have in mind for the video.
What will video participants need to wear?
As mentioned above, branding can be incorporated into the wardrobe. But that’s not all you should be thinking about because your appearance is important as well. Depending on your target audience you may need to wear a suit, costume, or special equipment. Your video style and the emotions you want to evoke in your viewers will determine your look so when deciding on this, think to yourself: How can what I wear in this video send a message to my viewers? What is the message I want to send?
In the high-energy, entertainment-based marketing series for The Melting Pot of Littleton, we produced several videos with actors dressed as fruits. This is what we would call a not-so-typical wardrobe, but it got the job done with raving feedback! The restaurant aimed to appeal to families and fun-seeking customers that are looking for the next new experience. Our concept intrigued viewers and had lots of engagement online. Sales increased for the restaurant during this campaign and early users of the YouTube platform shared the video over 250 times.
If you are going on a green screen shoot, do not wear green! Even a variation of green can reflect or blend in with the background. When this happens, your clothing becomes part of the background you choose in post-production. Busy patterns and designs on clothing can mess with the way you perceive the subject as well. Good colors to wear on camera contrast with your background. For green screen, we usually recommend beige's, blues, greys, and blacks. If you have a white background wear jewel tones near your face to brighten the eyes.
What’s the style of your video?
The style of your video can act as a reflection of the company. When creating marketing videos for Talk to the Camera, an after school program, we meticulously crafted content that was kid-friendly and informative at the same time. We faced the challenge of creating content that informed potential franchisees about the business but also invited children to get involved with programs and courses offered at Talk to the Camera. By keeping the franchise messages separate from marketing courses and summer camps, we developed a video style that focuses heavily on faces and interactivity. We were able to get really creative with angles and editing. We even did some documentary-style videos on what a kid’s day in class looks like.
In marketing videos we created for the Illegal Burger franchise, we played with focal style often. This gave us the ability to show the branding on CBD packets and details from the food that was just mouth-watering! In the images below you can see how we keep the CBD packet which includes the company's logo right in the foreground of the video as our actor, out of focus, pours it over her burger. We also manipulate the depth-of-field when shooting food for this video. To better showcase the juicy details of the burgers, we focus on one item at a time in some frames, even if another burger, side, or drink is in the scene.
Video blogs – "Vlogs" – should be very visual and fast-paced. Vlogs are a great way to market your expertise, yet they don’t need to be very long. Viewers on most social media platforms are looking for stories about your professional experiences that they can learn something quickly, usually in five minutes or less. All of these videos require a lot of preparation. Since most people making vlogs aren’t actors, we can either coach you or help you hire professional talent. The talent you cast can dramatically change the style of your video sometimes so choose carefully. Another thing to keep in mind is accessibility. Our vlogs always incorporate closed captioning so our marketing tips can be read in public without disturbing others.
Who is your target audience?
Identifying your target audience is one of the biggest questions we’ll ask you regarding the image of your video. Who your viewers are will help you decide location, wardrobe, and style better than anything else we discuss during the pre-production process. You need to be aware of whom this video plans to target because that will determine many of the larger design decisions. You and your company will be perceived by the quality and image of the video so “the more specific you are, the more direct your messaging will be'' (Digital Brew, 2021). What you want to give your viewers is the feeling that what we are selling specifically speaks to their personal needs.
When viewers feel that they are being directly spoken to, they are more likely to listen to and engage with your video. Look at your customer base as it stands today. This may take a little demographic and statistical research about your product or service. For start-ups, local interests are more significant than sales analytics. Interests can help you better understand the lifestyles of your customers, so you see how they relate to your brand. One company that we worked with typically attracts seniors seeking assisted living and Baby Boomer children of seniors seeking assistance with the downgrade. So, when scripting their videos, we made sure to work with the company to find actual clients that would be willing to go on camera for a video testimonial about their experience with Senior Path that would be featured in the 30-second commercial spot.
What is the purpose of the video? Why are you making the video?
In Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “Start with Why” he makes it clear how important it is to identify your why before beginning anything. At Kevin Campbell Films, we live by this philosophy, and we always put it first to ask you what your why is. We can develop a concept for you that correctly represents your company, but we cannot express your passion without knowing why this is important to you. Many of our clients have had experiences in their lives that brought them the inspiration to help others with similar circumstances.
“Regardless of WHAT we do in our lives, our WHY—our driving purpose, cause or belief—never changes. All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year. Those who forget WHY they were founded show up to the race every day to outdo someone else instead of to outdo themselves” (Sinek, 2011).
Our client Cindy Bauszus, European Heels CEO/USA Distributor, thought she would never wear heels again after surviving a horrible car accident 33 years ago. When she found European Heels in Spain in 2018, she found that she was not only able to wear heels again, but she could dance in them too! She decided she was going to distribute the shoes to women just like her at any cost. She became a distributor for the company and found that there were several restrictions women faced due to uncomfortable heels. Cindy’s why was to help women across the United States feel the joy and comfort she experienced in European Heels and by sticking to her mission she has personally sold more than 1,000 pairs of custom high-end shoes and business is booming.
Help us solve your mystery with these five simple tips! Think about these questions and help us get to the bottom of what you need. We will answer all of your questions and get inside your head to see exactly what you imagine for your video. As we ask questions during the pre-production process, let’s envision your ideal video concept. In our video production investigation, we create a representation of what you envision so we stay prepared with the right questions to ask.
Call or email us today to curate the perfect video marketing package for your organization. We understand that you don’t know what to expect. The common misconception about video marketing is that we magically create and execute your ideas without any input necessary but in reality, developing these ideas is a process. We want to portray your brand properly with our customized video content so schedule a free consultation below.