Video Production (Part 3): Editing Your Enterprise Video

Video editing

Video editing is where the story really comes together in this third stage of your video creation process: you started with pre-production, then you filmed your video, and now you’re in the edit suite.

The first step is to lay down your audio: this could be interviews or voiceover. If you plan to edit the video to the beat of a piece of music, it needs to be laid down first, but if your soundtrack will be in the background rather than driving the narrative then it’s best to leave it until last.

Once you’re happy with the audio edit, then drop in footage that matches the spoken narrative. 

Determining the pace of your video

Viewers have a short attention span and will decide within the first ten seconds whether to watch your video or bounce off and watch something else. So, when editing, think about how to hook them straightaway. 

The pace of the video will be a key factor in whether they stick around for the full duration of the video. If viewers feel the narrative is dragging, they will be less likely to watch until the end.

This doesn’t mean that every video needs to have a cut every two seconds. The pace needs to match the content: for example, if you are promoting a seaside guesthouse or a meditation app, which would require an atmosphere of calm and relaxation, a slower pace would be fitting. 

Elevating the look of your video

Some editing software — including Adobe Premiere Pro, which features an Overcast Panel that facilitates editors to work from remote locations — includes grading options. This adjusts the colour and exposure to make your video look truly cinematic.

Stylistic elements

During the editing process, you can add captions: for example, to inform viewers of the name and title of a person being interviewed; or as the narrative tool that moves the story forward if you are not using voiceover or dialogue.

Your video will also need transitions to move from one shot to the next. Classic transitions include a straight cut or a dissolve. There are lots of other options provided by editing software but choose carefully: many won’t stand the test of time, so your video could look out of date in a relatively short space of time.

You can also add effects like filters (for example, a sepia filter to create a retrospective feel) or split-screen (to merge two different elements); or you can alter the speed of clips (slow motion/sped up). All of these determine the style of your video.

Sound design

While it’s natural for viewers to be strongly impacted by the visuals in a film or video; it cannot be overstated how much the sound contributes to their experience of the story. Think of the typewriter keeping the beat in Briony’s theme on the film score of Atonement or Chewbacca’s unique voice in Star Wars. 

Sound design is how content creators explore the aural aspects of a video to influence the mood, atmosphere, and/or tone. Its components include dialogue, sound effects, Foley, and music — culminating in how these are mixed together. Sound design is a critical tool to underscore and enhance the narrative.

Music soundtrack

Having a suitable soundtrack on a promotional video is essential for setting the mood and tone. It also influences the pace. Most importantly, people choose to buy for emotional reasons, and music evokes emotion.

There are plenty of soundtrack libraries online from which you can select/purchase a suitable piece of music for your video. Ensure you read and abide by the license terms of whatever music library you choose to use; for example, some licenses require attribution (crediting the creator) while others may allow you to edit the soundtrack.

Using copyrighted music (e.g. pop songs) is very expensive. If you wish to use a piece of commercial music, contact IMRO or, if you are not based in Ireland, check in with your national music rights organisation. 

Sound Effects

Your video may benefit from using sound effects; you (or the editor) can download free sound effects from the BBC Sound Archive under the RemArc licence. 

Recording a voiceover

If you need to record a VO (voiceover) after the shoot to include in the edit, a local radio journalist or actor would be a good choice since they are accustomed to delivering performances through audio.

You can record the voiceover through software such as Audacity. It’s free sound recording software. Download it to your computer and ensure you know how to use it in advance of the VO recording. There are tutorials and an instruction manual on the Audacity website. 

It’s a good idea to do some test recordings ahead of the VO recording.

Rights are always an issue when you commission someone to contribute to your video. It’s a good idea to ask the VO artist to sign a release form that includes a full buyout.

Video Management

Video production and distribution involves a lot of people, so it makes sense to use a tool to make collaboration efficient. 

Overcast makes it effortless for your team members to view, collaborate on, share, distribute, archive, and control your content.

Our Video Content-As-A-Service platform integrates seamlessly with your existing technology and also gives you the option of decommissioning legacy technology over time if you choose.

The advances in automation and AI (artificial intelligence) services mean that you no longer need to depend on engineers and editors: now, less-technical employees can manage your video content just as easily.

Working like this also allows you to scale up your video production and future-proof your technology roadmap.

The cherry on top is the ability to consolidate and orchestrate microservices (such as storage, transcoding, metadata enrichment) to optimise speed to market and efficiency.

We’d be delighted to talk you through all of this, so please reach out to our CEO Philippe Brodeur. You can do so at info@overcasthq.com or click here to contact us. Find out how Video Content-As-A-Service will save you time and money while increasing revenue opportunities.

Video Production (Part 2): Filming Your Enterprise Video

Video production

It’s said that video content is made three times: once in the scripting, once in the filming, and once in the editing.

In the first part of this blog post series, we delved into the planning stage of video production: identifying your audience, scripting and shoot prep. 

In this second part of our blog post series on video production, we’ll give you tips and tricks for a successful shoot.

Choosing your shooting format

You’ve probably heard plenty of publicity about 4K — and that PR might influence you to believe that you need to shoot in 4K. 

If you are creating content that will be screened in cinemas or on an UHD (ultra high definition) TV channel, then you will need that 4K resolution, which is four times higher than HD (high definition) resolution. 

4K is very accessible — even smartphones will film at this resolution — but you need to factor a few things into consideration when planning your shoot: the amount of storage (and back up) space required, the bitrate required for colour grading, data speeds for transferring video files, speed of playback in your edit suite, etc.

So, if you are shooting a promo video for online distribution, it would be worth having a chat with your videographer and editor about whether HD (1080p) would be a better fit for you.

Filming

The preparation that you did throughout the pre-production phase will significantly influence the success of your shoot.

Shooting style

Your storyboards and shot lists will inform everyone on your team about the style of shots that you want to capture. 

If you want to create a fast-paced video with lots of cuts, you might choose to film static shots. Whereas if you are trying to create a calm, relaxing atmosphere in your video — for example, if you are promoting a seaside resort — you might choose lots of movement within shots (pans, tilts and tracking shots). 

Lighting

Another key element of the style of your video will be lighting. If you are shooting interviews, the standard style is three-point lighting, which creates a slight shadow on half of the interviewee’s face. 

There are very distinctive lighting styles used in films; however, these are rarely used in enterprise videos.

If you are shooting guerrilla-style without artificial lights, you can still leverage natural light to create contrast within your frame. A note of caution, though: although most modern cameras handle low light conditions very well, the footage will look grainier than if filmed with plenty of light.

Directing the on-screen talent

If you are the director, you’ll need to direct the performances of the cast, for example, if you need them to be more animated, or calmer, or speak more slowly, etc.

It’s important to ensure there is continuity from one shot to another, for example, if an actor’s hair is tidy in the first shot, ensure it is not tossed by the wind in the second shot — unless the first shot is in a building and the second shot is on a beach. Otherwise, you’ll run into problems in editing.

If an actor/interviewee is delivering lines or speaking on camera, you’ll need to do multiple takes to ensure you get the performance you want. It will probably require a few takes for the actor/interviewee to settle into the performance. Patience is a virtue!

Order of filming

You may need to shoot the scenes out of order. For example, if your first and last shots are in the same location, it’s more efficient to shoot these consecutively. It’s best to consult with your crew in advance of the shoot to devise a filming schedule.

Unexpected things can delay the progress of the shoot (weather, road works, etc.) so it’s a good idea to shoot the most important shots first, so that if you run out of time and can’t film the last few shots, you can still edit the video in a way that’s close to your original vision.

Next step: editing

So, once the shoot is over, you’re ready to take it to the edit suite, where a new type of storytelling magic will happen. 

In our next blog post, we’ll delve into the post production process, including how to collaborate effectively with your team on video projects.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do reach out on info@overcasthq.com or click here to contact us. We’d be very happy to answer any questions you have about managing video production effortlessly!

Video Production (Part 1): Pre-Production

Video production is arguably one of the most effective and powerful video tools available to businesses these days.

“88% of businesses that use video report a positive return-on-investment.”Renderforest

Why use video for business?

Consumers watch a lot of videos. A lot! Which makes video an invaluable business tool! It used to be primarily employed by the marketing department, but it is now used to fulfil key functions throughout organisations; for example, videos to train staff, communicating internally with stakeholders, building credibility through video testimonials, “how to” videos to share information with a mass audience and position your brand as an expert in your field.

Another major advantage is that social media platforms prioritise video content over text and static images. You can share videos in posts to keep viewers riveted to your feed, or as a cover video that visitors to your social profiles will see immediately, or create video ads.

Stages of video production

Anyone can shoot and edit video clips on their smartphones. But storytelling through video is a craft, so the more you learn about that craft, the better your videos will serve you.

There are three stages to video production: pre-production (preparation phase), production (filming) and post production (editing). 

In this series of blog posts, we’ll give you insights into how to create great videos!

Pre-production

The first stage of video production is pre-production. This is the planning stage — it’s where you put together your strategy on how to maximise the effectiveness of your video. 

Who is your video for?

First of all, you need to decide on the purpose of the video and who you are targeting with it. Most business have multiple target clients, so ask yourself whether your video is an overall promotional video that needs to reach all of them or whether it’s for one product/service, which has a more defined audience.

The key to a captivating video

While viewers will partly judge your video on the picture/audio quality, the pace and the editing style; it’s the story that will retain viewers’ attention until the end. A great script is absolutely essential! This is where most businesses fail with video. 

You could hire an experienced professional to write the script for you…or if you feel you have the skills, you could study other videos that maintained your attention and analyse why the story works.

Video production budget

Once you have your script, then you’ll need to do a breakdown of it in order to draw up a budget i.e. itemise each item required for your shoot and determine the cost. Once you have this list of logistics, you can start sourcing cast/presenters, crew, equipment, props, and wardrobe. 

Location, location, location

If you are not planning to film in your own premises, you may need to seek permission for your desired location. It’s advisable to do a recce — a location scout — to check for accessibility, noise, potential shots, and where the sun will be at different times of day.

Keeping everyone safe and well fed

Arrangements for catering, transport and insurance need to be put in place, ensuring they are in line with your COVID protocol policy. There’s also a bit of paperwork to be prepared in the form of contracts for crew; plus release forms for cast and locations — all of these documents will ensure you retain the rights to the footage and should include details of how you will adhere to GDPR legislation.

Shotlising and storyboarding

In preparation for filming, a shortlist and a storyboard are very useful tools, especially if you will be filming the shots out of order — i.e. they will be filmed in a different order than they will appear in the edit.

Great communication is key

When you are close to the filming date, send a call sheet to everyone involved. This should include the title of the production, names of cast and crew, contact numbers for key people, address of locations, times for hair/make-up/wardrobe if relevant, start and end times, details of parking, and any other relevant information. 

It’s also a good idea to have a plan B in place for things that could go wrong e.g. the weather, road works, etc.

Next step: filming

So, now that you have all of this preparation done, you’re ready to shoot your video. 

In our next blog post, we’ll delve into the production phase, which is when it all comes to life on set.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do reach out on info@overcasthq.com or click here to contact us. We’d be delighted to have a chat!

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