What Makes A Good Video? (Part 1)

November 17th, 2020

A very simple question, with some surprisingly simple answers. Video production can become very complicated, however, if you know what you want from a video, then many benefits can be gained in an easier way then you may think. This three-part blog gives you the transcript of a LinkedIn Live conversation between Glacé Media’s Managing Director, Marcus Johnson and Camera Operator/Video Technician, James Froment.

They broke down the process of making a good video into its most simple form. Their discussion covered three main areas; planning the video, shooting the video and then editing and distributing the content. For anyone wanting to gain more from video content, this conversation contained lots of great insights.

Marcus:

Video is now becoming more and more popular and useful for marketing across the internet, whether it be for your business or for your personal brand. There’s lots of different ways to utilize video and going from small scale to bigger scale, larger videos, they all have their uses. And we’re going to talk about that today, but we’ll break it down into different things. We’re going to chat about the technical aspects. We’re also going to chat about what you can do to make an effective video across different platforms and how we’ll start with this is in three ways. We’ll talk about planning. We’ll talk about the actual execution and then the delivery of videos. And it’s a good job we’ve got a tech expert with us today in the way of James, because I can waffle on about videos all day, but you might not get any value out of it.

So James is going to cut in with some actual useful information and let you all know what you should be doing with your video. So I think we’ll start off with the planning. So the first thing I would say, James, with a video is it’s really important to know exactly what you want to get, what you want to get out of the video and then what you want to do with the video, because it’s very easy to go, okay, let’s film a video, get a camera crew in let’s show off our company. But so many times when I’ve spoken to people who’ve done that or want that doing, they don’t have an idea of what they want to get out of the video and you can throw loads of money, at it, get loads of nice footage, but at the end you have a video put together and then you’d be like, well, okay. It shows off our office and our business, but we didn’t actually know the message we were going to go with. So for me, I say that the planning phase straight away of knowing what you want to achieve with the video is very important. What will you say in terms of when it comes to planning is an important thing to look at when you go into and then execute in the video?

James:

Yeah. I think it definitely is important to know where you’re delivering it, whether you’re delivering it for television, whether you’re delivering it online, social media because that will really influence how you film it and that how you film it affects everything further down the line at that point. So really, whenever I come in to prep a job and sort of work with everyone to get the content together, it’s always knowing what’s the delivery, what’s the end use?

Marcus:

Yeah, no, I think that’s a good point. You say there about where it’s going to be used. So I’ve talked straight away there about social media and of course that is a really popular platform and very useful in your social media marketing. But that is of course not the only use for video. And it is also worth bearing in mind that, okay, like you said, if your aim is TV, this is a TV advert. It doesn’t mean it can’t be utilized in different formats. So it’s worth having a sit down and thinking about, okay, we want a TV advert here. How can we break it down for different uses? Cause that wouldaffect how it is shot as well. My big thing that I’ll always suggest is if you just want one set piece video that’s going to be used maybe as a big corporate video for an event or whether it be for TV, if you then think, Oh, we want to repurpose this and get more out of it for social media, that might tweak how you film it on the day, because it might mean you spend a few hours just doing a bit more casual, informal footage.

Marcus:

That’s going to be useful for social media. Would you say it’s worth having that kind of discussion within your company or your brand before you do it to actually plan that out before you go into the shoot?

James:

Yeah. I used to shoot weddings and when I shot weddings, I always said to people I shoot every wedding exactly the same way, whether you’ve gone for a feature or a highlight.,I always shoot them all the same way, because further down the line, I always knew that someone would come along and go, Oh actually, could we get a… I know we didn’t want a highlight, but can we get a highlight? Like, okay, well I know that I’ve got the right amount of footage and right amount of planning, everything to get all of that footage done and deliver that end video. So realistically it’s always important to go in with going, you know, you always want to shoot more than you need. I would say because then you’re covered. And you’re also not just covering yourself, you’re covering the client at the end of the day for their, their needs as well.

Marcus:

Yeah. And I think also adding onto that from a client’s perspective, whether you’re a business or a brand, if you’re going into it with all these additional ideas, thinking about how you are going to deliver that video, you’re going to save yourself a lot of time and money in the long term. Because if you then say to the production company or whether it just be one videographer, no matter how you’ve got the setup is, we do want this one set piece video, but down the line, we might want a series of social ads that we can put together, or we might want to run a YouTube series. And yes, in the short term they might be like, okay, let’s spend an extra day doing a bit of filming but that content will last you a lot longer. You won’t have to come back to it. And like you said there, if you are shooting more yourself often as it’s the case where a client comes back to you and says, Oh actually, can you do this, this and this?

And if you’ve not already shot that the client’s got t then pay for a new shoot to be set up. And that’s where the costs lie. I mean, as we both will know, setting up a shoot, it’s not a very simple task, a lot goes into it. So that is why I would always encourage, make sure you get the most out of it. And all it takes is that extra little bit of planning to think, okay, where might we use this beyond the initial production of the video in six months where we want to run another campaign similar to this? Yes, let’s think about that. So that’s what I’d say in terms of planning on that front. Also, I just want to kind of move in there with social media, because obviously we were chatting about this on LinkedIn with talking about it on Facebook as well. So it’d be rude not to give them a nod.

And I want to go on to the repurposing of content as well. And we will touch upon this more, a bit more in the editing phase but in terms of planning, I think you could can go wrong if you don’t think about this in advance and even put in more planning than you might initially think, go to the level of thinking about, okay, we might have this campaign in three months. Let’s not just get the footage for it, but let’s actually plan out what we want to see. Because we found increasingly going into productions, going into projects and different jobs is that the more detailed the plan is the better chance you’ve got of getting that. And it actually allows you to be more creative. As many people across different businesses will say, a tight brief can give you a lot of freedom.

You might initially think, just go in and do what you think and play around and you’re going to have a good end result if you know exactly what you want to get out of it. And you know how that’s going to be shot. Number one, you’re going to get the end products a lot quicker because you’re not messing about doing other stuff. Number two, you’d be hiring someone who’s got expertise in that. Whether it be yourself James, whether it be us, whether it be a different video production company, or whether you do it in-house, you know, that person has got the expertise in it. So they’re going to get what you want. And if you’re doing that, you’re going to get better quality. It’s going to be done quicker. And then you do have more time to experiment with different things and play around with different content. Once you’ve done that, would you say that you find from experience when you’ve got a bit of a tighter, brief with better planning, it allows the production to go a lot quicker and more effective once you get in there?

James:

Oh, a hundred percent. If I have a sort of a tight, brief, I know what I’m going in for. I know the shots I need. I know what I need to achieve with it. I’ll you know, I’ll push and just get it through, get it done sort of thing. There’s no room for sort of issues to arise that won’t have been planned for tight brief. So you can just go in and shoot what you need to get shot. And then it’s like you say, there is depending on what you’re shooting, obviously, and the length of that. But if you’re going in with a tight brief, sometimes it is nice to just grab that extra shot that isn’t on the brief that you’re like, Oh, I’m here right now. That’s a classic with video production. It’s Oh, I’m here right now. I need to see this now. Like, Oh, cool. That’s a great shot. I’ll just grab it real quick and we’ll take five minutes. We’re ahead of schedule. Let’s keep going.

Marcus:

So what would you say then? So you said it’s very beneficial to have that tight brief. If you’re speaking with a client or if you’re looking at it from the perspective of a client and you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of a shoot, what the main things that you’d want to hear as the person leading the shoot offor filming to make sure that you do get everything that your client wants.

James:

I like to be informed. Like, what I found often is you’ll make this video and then five months down the line, they’ll say, Oh, we want to turn it into a different thing. It’s like, Oh, why didn’t you say that at the time? Now, maybe it wasn’t planned at the time, maybe lots of different factors. But if you think about it at the time, you should just let your crew know that that’s the plan, because then the crew’s on your side. We’re there to deliver your vision at the end of the day. So we’re there to help.

Marcus:

Yeah. And I agree with that. And I think often, especially with something which involves a lot of technical skill, and I think of this from our perspective as a business, when we’re working with people that have skills that aren’t our speciality, you can often be a little bit overwhelmed by the idea of, okay, they’re the experts. Just give them a bit of info, let them do their thing. Anything I provide them will probably be over-complicating things, but I’d probably say in line with what you said is that actually the opposite. The more information you can give the crew, the production team, or whoever’s in the process of planning the video, even if it does become irrelevant in the long term, it’s all showing exactly what you want to get out of the video. And at the end of the day, yes, we’re in the business of making videos, setting up shoots, the technical aspects.

Marcus:

But the aim, especially for businesses and brands is you want to communicate your message with your audience, with your clients and customers. So that’s what we’re doing. The video is just the vehicle to share that message. So the more information you can give in terms of that as you say, is very useful. And that’s when you’ll get those videos that will really connect and will at the same time, you know, be visually stunning. Cause we only make stunning videos as you know, James anyway, moving on a little bit to on set, we’ve kind of talked a bit more generally about shooting here and filming videos and maybe alluded to bigger productions, but by no means does something have to be a TV standard to be useful, especially on social media, running different ad campaigns, whether it be paid or across organic channels. What I would ask you straight away, James on a smaller budget. If a company doesn’t have a massive marketing budget, they just want to dip their toe in the water of video production.