Crafting the Story of Your Brand–

Ten Things to Consider When Planning a Professional Video

– Melissa Gacek, “The Brand Girl”

As we are in the age of everything digital, there will be times when a professionally done video is needed to really tell a story, and expand your brand to your target audience and beyond. Whether you need an ad for an event sponsorship or TV spot, a recruiting video, a new product demo, a new service launch, video, when done well can be an excellent tool for weaving a story and bringing your brand to life. You have control of the message with your interview questions and style, your storyboard, and your script. And most importantly, the storytelling smarts of a video producer like Tim Johnson, of Positive Light Media.

Not sure where to start? Here are ten things to consider when you want to bring in a professional team to help create your corporate or organizational video.

1. Brainstorming Sessions. You will need to have 1-3 pre-planning meetings to decide the purpose, style, theme, and vision for your video. How long will the edited piece need to be? Typical videos can be 30 seconds, 1 minute, 1-3 minutes, or 5-6 minutes, depending on how much content you have to cover and the number of different people or locations you plan to showcase. We often see a shoot planned for a longer video, with the option to edit for a 30 second or 1-minute commercial from the same content. Where will it be used? What is the desired outcome?

2. Get scouting. You will want to scout your location(s) ahead of time. Each time you set up a new shot, add another interview or new area of your facility, it adds time. A simple-seeming shoot could really require 2 days.

3. Listen up. You need sound…yeah, duh, of course. But really, something to consider is when choosing your space, what is the sound like? Noises you never notice on a normal day can be very disruptive when shooting a quiet interview. Are you in the hub of a customer service bay with ringing phones, and customers coming in for products? Are large machines or truck noises going to be coming in and out at unpredictable times? You may need to shut down operations for a few hours or plan the shoot during off-peak hours. Sometimes, the ambient sounds you encounter in your environment are unavoidable. If the sounds are unavoidable, can they help you tell your story? If you’re shooting an interview of a mechanic doing their job, you might consider interviewing them while they’re doing the work. You’re likely to hear tools and ratchets, and if you’re seeing some of that in the frame, it can add energy and life to your video.

4. Lighten up. The artistry of good lighting pays off huge dividends. Quite honestly, this is where the magic happens. The combination of expert lighting and framing is what helps us guide the viewer to see exactly what we want them to see. Lighting also establishes the mood. Is the mood somber or uplifting? Different moods dictate different lighting styles. In order to get lighting crafted efficiently on your shoot, you’ll need a great director of photography and you’ll also need a good crew that includes a gaffer, which is the person who is in charge of lighting. Positive Light Media includes a good DP and gaffer on every shoot, and it improves the final product immensely.

5. All Angles. Your team will want to consider dual camera angles and investing in quality video equipment. There is likely more than $100,000 of value in equipment in this room.

6. Prep your area, declutter. Be our guest! Put your magic to the test. Like the team prepping for Belle’s arrival at the ball in Beauty in the Beast, a little sprucing up ahead of time will pay off dividends. Little piles of paper, corner clutter, random wall hangings should disappear for the day. Put out your best brand representative images, simple and clean is optimal. Regardless, we will come in and art direct the shot and can take care of the details once we are ready to go. Our goal is to help you put forth your best look possible.

7. Get Styled. You will want hair, makeup, and wardrobe styling… whoever is in the shoot will want to have several wardrobe options available. Simple strong colors that compliment the set, look good on you, suit your personality as it relates to your position in the company and your brand is best. Avoid big patterns. I mean, really, who doesn’t want their hair and make-up done every day? #glamsquad

8. Say Cheese! We prefer to have one of our photographers on set. If you are going to this level of effort, this is the time to get shots for future marketing for your social media, website, print materials, and digital ads. You can add professional drone photography as an add-on. Many people buy a drone and try and shoot their own footage. Be careful so it doesn’t come off as hey look at me, I have a new drone…and I made my own video…(oh, hey Davin Brandt, photographer extraordinaire!) I love working with Davin, he just sees things and captures images on an entirely higher level, and delivers amazing work. More on that later…

9. Home base. These are long days, so having a good spot for the crew to set up shop is key when possible, a boardroom is ideal office space. Making quality videos requires a lot of equipment! And a little food and beverage go a long way to keeping the creative juices flowing. We plan lunch for the crew and the team being interviewed, mid-afternoon coffee is always welcomed, and dinner if it’s a long day. Be flexible with the planned schedule as you will likely need to adapt as things evolve.

10. Be Yourself! Have Fun! Remember, the reason you are doing this is that you are providing something that is truly unique to you and your brand is distinct. It’s our team’s job to let your light shine through, so being yourself is the best thing you can do on set. It’s likely that you might feel nervous or embarrassed to be in the limelight, but the magic will happen in editing, and you can always answer the same question multiple times until you nail it.

As I mentioned earlier, a professionally-produced video will pay dividends over the long haul. It’s well worth the time and investment. If you are in the market for a high-quality video to showcase your corporate brand, recruit employees, demo a new service, launch your business or tell the story behind your organization, schedule a discovery call with our team! 

– Recent projects shown are in partnership with Tim Johnson, Davin Brandt, and Tanya Rausch.

Not quite ready for video because you are having a brand identity crisis? Or launching soon? Or doing a spin-off? Or changed your name? It’s all good. We can take a step back and focus on the basics.

If you or someone you know needs help developing or rolling out their branding (aka print, digital, web, events, brochures, retail space design), don’t hesitate, give them my name and number or have them schedule a discovery call with me. You deserve it!

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Melissa Gacek, aka The Brand Girl, CEO of Running Designs LLC (dba Creative Adrenaline) specializes in corporate identity, creative direction, graphic design, event marketing, illustration, production for print and digital. She creates and leads teams with targeted UX/UI designs, wireframes, and prototypes for web and app solutions. She brings her long-time experience in project management and business development to every project.