Corporate Video Production
THE CORPORATE VIDEO PRODUCTION PROCESS: A COMPLETE GUIDE
What is Corporate Video Production?
In short, it’s just how it sounds: production of a video for a corporation. In long, it’s the creation of interesting video content to help any company with their marketing, communication, or in-house training. Video can be one of the best tools, not just when selling a product but when you want to, say, introduce someone at a conference, or announce to your employees that there’s a change to their benefits, or even to catalogue the success you’ve received over the years. Once your company’s made the decision to create something like this, it may seem a bit daunting, but that’s when we step in. Just like with any complex process, a trusted professional can make all the difference. When involving expert creatives you’ll be assured your time and resources will be used effectively to create something of the highest quality. You have plenty of things to worry about, let the pros worry about this!
What does a corporate video look like?
Just like any other form of media, there are several different types of videos that a production company can help you create for your company. An expert team can take the information you provide, including what your goals are and where you might use this video, and give suggestions of what type of videos might work best.
Corporate video production sounds kind of boring. What’s the deal?
The reality is that it is an important part of many video business’ bottom line. It is the “bread and butter” as we often call it of most production companies. Most videos are based around talking heads, b-roll of a product or facility, and some sort of narration and corporate sounding music. And while that might sound a little dull, there is actually a whole new world of possibilities out there for corporate videos. With the advent of sliders, brushless gimbals (think Steadicam but more versatile), aerial platforms, and motion control time-lapse rigs, there are actually a multitude of options out there for a director or DP who wants to do more with his or her videos. There is also a level of sophistication that is rising every year. We are no longer in the ‘80s where cheesy spokesmen talking directly to the camera with bad tv news cinematography mentalities are sufficient. These days there is a crowded marketplace full of qualified producers and creatives that have extremely professional tools at unbelievably low costs at their disposal. Visually speaking, you can make a beautiful video pretty easily these days. So where does that leave us?
As always, story is king. How you tell the message and what you help the audience walk away with is always going to outshine technology. The focus and specificity with which you deliver the message is also more important than ever. This is because with all these tools at hand we run the risk of doing things because “they look cool” or using a piece of gear just because we made an investment in it. The point is to know your audience, know your objective, and deliver the goods as simply and effectively as possible. Technology will continue to provide endless creative possibilities, but without good creative, solid production processes, and an experienced company facilitating this, they will just be possibilities.
Here are just a few examples of the types of videos that can be produced:
IMERYS Testimonial – Harpoon Brewery
Bright, personable and articulate individuals, expressing their true “unscripted” thoughts and feelings about a subject, will generally outperform paid actors when it comes to credibility.
Clear Channel – Transpose Exhibit
Capturing the public interacting with the Transpose exhibit at the San Jose airport, and judging by everyones response, its the future of exciting new options onboard airplanes.
Okay I’m in! Now how do we make a corporate video?
There’s a 3-step process when putting together your project. Each step of the way the client (you) will have as much input as you like and nothing is done without the client’s approval.
Step 1: Pre-production
Also referred to as “pre-pro” by the cool kids. This is where the video begins to take shape. First, we gather all the information we’ll need from our client about what they’re looking for, who the video should speak to and any other important details. Jeff Bezos is famous for asking difficult and creative questions and requiring that his employees do the same. This is the part of the process where we need that level of insight to really understand your business and maybe even unearth some hidden facets that elevate you above the competition. We’ll use these key selling points to get an idea of what message will make the difference to your clients or employees. Then, by developing a script, and in some cases a storyboard, we create a road map containing the information necessary to produce the video. This is the phase when a number of important decisions are made, such as the production schedule, crew selection, shooting list, location options, casting choices, which props, wardrobe and picture vehicles will be needed. Basically anything which appears, as a noun in the script must be available on set in time for the shoot. We make that happen.
Step 2: Production
All the hard work, which can often last weeks in preparation and planning, is put into action at this time. Production is when the recording of visual and audio elements takes place and is typically the shortest and most intense phase of the video production process. It’s also often the most fun! The size of the selected crew can change depending on each project but may consist of a director, director of photography, audio engineer, camera operators, gaffer, grip, and production assistants. I know that this might sound like a lot of people, but trust that they are not only there for a reason, but also possess very specific skills. It might seem from the outside that a small production might not need a 3-5 person crew, but there are a variety of reasons why this can be vital. Think of it like The A-Team or Mission Impossible or the Ocean’s crew 🙂
Each member has:
✓ Specific skills
✓ A specific time to act
✓ Their own unique tools
✓ High attention to detail for their role
So yeah, it’s kinda like you’re hiring an elite team of specialists to execute the one perfect plan — the plan just happens to be your corporate video.
Step 3: Post-production
Where it all gets put together! This is when we take all the various elements, footage, audio tracks, music scores, sound effects, animation, and graphics and compile them to form one cohesive piece. Often this team is different from the pre-pro and production crews, as we depend on editors and audio engineers with in-depth knowledge of the editing and special effects process and technology to post the video.
The difference between a video that really pops can often be the deft hand and eye of a professional colorist. The feel of an edit that works just right might be no more than a few frames or one different shot choice, but a talented editor can be the game-changer. Graphic polish can also come down to a slightly better use of complementary colors or a more sophisticated font choice. But most importantly, it takes a team to make it all come together seamlessly. For these reasons, post-production often takes just as long, if not longer, than the rest of the production process.
Then what happens?
We work tirelessly to make the video exactly what you need to accomplish your goals. This will typically take a few rounds of revisions before everyone signs off following this process, the client approves the video and the final product, or “deliverables”, are uploaded to the appropriate FTP servers, broadcast stations, or websites as specified for delivery. The entire project and its elements are usually backed up for several years so that sometime down the line changes can be made to the video or the footage can be recycled for other uses. Choose a video production company that takes the archival process seriously and ensures that you’ll have access to what you did far down the line.