Butlers Lands Farm, Mortimer

DIY Filming – Should you ?

It’s no secret that YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world. If we think about the reasons why for a moment…

1. The proliferation of fast broadband means we can watch HD video online

2. Consumer cameras that shoot HD are, let’s be honest cheap, and mobile phones take pretty good images too

3. Despite what we all say most of the human race likes to watch things. We don’t like to watch dull and boring things but something well produced, informative, educational, humorous or artistic will work

4. Oh and Google own it.

If we park for a moment all of the funny, embarrassing and other ways that Youtube video can drive traffic, lets simply concentrate on ones that relate to a business.

Why should you use video on either your website, or Youtube ? I we assume that business is there to make money at the end of the day we want to sell something. Let’s imagine we are purchasing a car.  I was once told that we only buy things for two reasons. The first is we either need it, and the second is that we want it.  So perhaps I need a car to get from A to B, namely I need one. But the choice of what I want is a little more problematic. It could be for many many reason. Many are personal, some are informed, and some are stupid. Some also contain constraints.  I want car = Ferrari as a formula doesnt quite compute with money in = car payment.

On the other hand  using video is a great way to help inform potential clients OR help people that have purchase from your. Its extremely cost effective. So if you were a car company you would want a really nice video of your car there. To show its USP’s. Why not the same thing with your product or service. If its a complex one then having someone explaining the service would be a real benefit.  Try looking for Alexander technique on google and you will get my point.

Basically it boils down to these 5 reasons how you could use video on the web.

  1. Use video to train new staff.
  2. Use quick video tutorials to help clients understand complex topics.
  3. Use video to bring testimonials to life.
  4. Create a short value proposition video for your website.
  5. Use video to make yourself more visible in search engines.

So hopefully you see where I’m going with this. Some of the most powerful things that we can so is use video to persuade and convince either via entertainment or education. We can use it as a showcase or a demonstration. One of the best forms of sale is advocacy so some of the best videos are where you get your customers or clients talking about what you sell (I really need to practice some of what I’m saying!)  And with the explosion of broadband out there, with devices with big screens, corporate web sites that can deliver that content why not have a go and make your own video. After all what harm can it do ?

So thats a little strange, a studio that makes professional video is saying have a go do it yourself.  maybe…  Let’s clarify…

Just creating video for the sake of it, is well pointless. Endless hours that will get 24 views on your website. As with anything you need to have a reason. As they say in Avenue Q (Great musical BTW) have a purpose. So lets go through my tips

1. Have a purpose

2. Keep it short and to the point – If its a product or a service just a couple of minutes. Write a script and try and keep it less than 150 words.

3. Are you going to use someone from your office ? are they any good in front of the camera, what happens if they leave the company – or worst go and work for a competitor – You will have to do it again

4. Have you got the right equipment to shoot it (Our kit costs many many thousands of pounds and is broadcast kit) realistically you will not get the same results with consumer cameras and the tripods and lights that we use. But that doesn’t mean don’t do it. You can purchase a good consumer HD camera and relatively low costs lights on ebay. Be mindful of the backgrounds that you are shooting against. Try and light the scene properly (look up lighting techniques) – If you can afford it buy or hire a camera with an external audio input so you can use a good microphone.

5. Can you edit it properly (can you use tools like FCPX or After Effects) to create a compelling piece that you are proud to put the company brand against. You will find tools like iMovie on mac that are relatively easy to learn. Also keep the transitions techniques simple. Either direct cuts or fades.

6. Can you light the scene correctly (3 points of light minimum) – See previous points

7. Can you record the audio properly (most consumer cameras have horrific microphones) – Do try and get a camera with an audio input.

8. Where would you record it – In the office ? on a location ? in a studio ? – all these things have to be looked at and you will definitely need a tripod

9. Be realistic, It’s not going to look like a multi million dollar hollywood production. Being in the industry thats one of the hardest things we need to get across. Many of our clients watch hollywood movies and assume that they can get these looks and feels.  Some are possible but its driven down to budgets. If you want complex 3D CGI motion graphics then these cost lots of money. Ask honestly if you really need to look like the set of the Matrix.

If you can answer all these 1-9 with an honest tick box, we look forward to taking a look at your video. Good luck, honestly we hope you succeed.

Most likely the honest answer is really I’m not certain we can do this or maybe. then consider working with a production company, or calling the studio directly. It’s really not as much as you may think to get product presentations done well and shot well and edited well.

After all YouTube is hungry  – Do feed it, but consider what you are feeding – Bad quality video production really does more harm than good.

All the best

The Fleetwood Team