We have almost reached halfway in our blog series and so far we have covered the “Why?” and “What?’ of considerations before you invite a production company in to film your business, services and products. If you are still unsure as to why you need a video, what form they can take or what you should show, please read our previous articles.
In this piece we will offer advice on when to film your video, when to release it and also advise on video length and other time-based considerations and tips to save needless expense for reshoots.
When you film a video and when you release it are not always the same thing. There may be times when you have an update to share immediately – i.e. filmed one day to be edited and released the next day to keep the information current. Governmental policy on Health and Safety or financial matters, for instance, may have an immediate effect on either your own business or your clients’ and you need to make them aware of the policy change and how it will affect them instantly. On the flip side, you may plan to release cider and other apple products in the spring but you need to film the harvest and processing of the apple crop during the previous autumn, in which case there may be a six-month gap between when the footage is filmed and when the promotional video is released.
For the second of these options particularly, there are many other factors, which will affect when you decide to film.
TIME OF YEAR
If your business is seasonal, consider what time of year would be most effective to film to show your product, premises or service at it’s best. It’s also worth remembering the reduced daylight hours during winter which will restrict the amount of time you have available to film outside.
Very much linked to the time of year but it’s worth checking weather reports before deciding to film that key interview outside. Also, contributors may find it uncomfortable and distracting to present or respond to questions when they’re shivering in 0 degrees, rainy conditions.
Check when the people you wish to appear in the video are available. If there are multiple contributors, try to find a time when you can film them all (or most of them) at the same time. If five people are filmed on five separate days, this will push up production costs. Similarly, choose times when your facilities and locations are running at full capacity (offices and shop floors do not look as impressive if there are only two people on site) and think about any clashes with construction or maintenance work being carried out (do you really want to show the scaffolding outside or the red barriers around the new machinery installations?)
TIME OF DAY
Again, linked to the above point, consider when your staff arrive and when they go home. Deciding to film at 5pm as the office suddenly empties may not offer the best shots. Lunch times can also leave premises empty so this is probably a good time for the production crew tom take a break as well.
FUTURE BUSINESS PLANS/CHANGES
This may seem obvious but it’s worth mentioning as we have come across this issue in the past. If you are planning to change your branding, logos, buildings or office/factory layout in the near future, it is probably best to wait until these changes have been made before you film. It could, otherwise, lead to expansive re-shoots. This is only relevant if you know these plans are in place and will happen imminently.
It is also worth considering whether your video is time sensitive, time relevant or time neutral. If you are releasing a product or message specifically aimed at the Christmas market or Christmas period, it may be relevant to have decorations and other Christmas paraphernalia in the background. However, if you want the video to be time neutral and be able to be shown and viewed at any time of the year, Christmas decorations, Easter eggs and other time specific objects may need to be removed. If the video is designed to last for several years, it’s probably a good idea to remove calendars and other items displaying specific dates.
HOW LONG SHOULD MY VIDEO BE?
Most production and marketing companies will advise that “the shorter the video the better” and while this is generally true, there are exceptions to the rule. The length of a video very much depends on the purpose. If it’s a simple message to the troops delivered straight to camera or a vlog filmed on an iPhone, then they should be kept very short. Similarly, a video at the top of a website homepage should entice viewers to click through the detailed information on your site and should, therefore, also be kept short (viewers will click away from long videos on website homepages).
However, if you are providing full presentations with PowerPoint slides from a particular event, these can run to half an hour or longer but need to be that length for the audience to gather all the information presented. Instructional videos may also need to be longer to ensure that the full and proper Health and Safety information, or information on how to use a product properly is given. This may also be a legal requirement.
General corporate videos can very a lot depending on the size of the company, the product lines they offer and the information they have to give. Smaller companies with fewer products may require a video as short as one minute, whereas larger companies with multiple interviewees, large product ranges and many facilities may last six or seven minutes as they have enough information to hold the audience’s attention. (NOTE: these larger companies must still aim to keep their videos brief, concise and as short as possible rather than offer every piece of information on every department. Viewers will still switch off a ‘rambling’ video).
With the above in mind I would suggest that “a video should be as long as it needs to be” but in general, videos offering information to the general public should be shorter and more concise whereas internal videos, offering more detailed information to your staff, contractors or targeted audiences can afford to be longer.
Good production companies will advise on all of the above points so please discuss your project requirement with them and draw on their experience and expertise to ensure you end up with a video product that fulfills your requirements.
If you have any questions or suggestions arising from this article, please leave a comment below or get in touch via our CONTACT PAGE and we'll be happy to chat with you about any aspect of video production.