- Published: 5th Jul
- Category: Video Blog
Planning Your Web Video
Making a web video might not be on the same scale as a Hollywood production. That doesn’t mean planning your web video isn’t important though, and if you want to produce a powerful video that will convey your message clearly you should plan ahead. You need to think about how you want your video to look and what message you want it to convey. You also need to compose the picture well and think about how you frame the subject. The videos that are most successful are those that have been carefully planned.
The most important thing when planning your web video is to write a script. Whether you pre-think the dialogue word for word or you want to ad lib, it is helpful to at least have the main points written down. What do you want to achieve from your video – visits to a website? Sales of a product? Comments? The desired outcome will also determine what you say and how you say it. And if you have a script you can make sure that what you say is clearly understood and not a lot of garbled nonsense. Practice reading your script till you can follow it without sounding wooden – or better still, until you know what to say without needing it. Also ask yourself what props you’ll need, if any. “Talking heads” videos – where you talk directly to the camera – can be very effective, but depending on what you want to achieve you may find props useful, for example a product to demonstrate or a white board or flip chart to write on.
You also need to consider how many people will be involved in the video. The way you film it will be very different if there’s only one of you, or two, or a room full of people. When planning your web video think about whether you’ll be filming it yourself or if you can get some help. It’s all very well having a camera on a tripod, but it’s really frustrating when you film yourself and then realise actually you’d moved out of the frame! Having an assistant can really help if you want to produce a professional-looking video.
Another area to think about is the background. Most videos where someone is talking to the camera work best with a neutral background but you can also use the great outdoors to stunning effect if you find the right location. You might also want to position yourself in front of a bookcase, for example, to demonstrate that you’re well read in your area of expertise. Just make sure there’s nothing embarrassing on the shelf though – revealing you’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey probably isn’t quite the effect you want! Once you’ve worked out the background film a few seconds of you standing in front of it and then check there’s no clutter – videos are ruined when you can see a door handle or a light switch or the kids’ toys in the background!
A great rule to follow when planning your web video is the Rule of Thirds. This is where you imagine your camera screen is divided into thirds horizontally and vertically. The best place to position yourself or an object is on one of the four points where the lines intersect. For some reason standing off-centre makes the shot look more balanced and aesthetically pleasing so it’s a good rule to remember.
The final tip for planning your web video is to view your video like a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end. Start your video by introducing the concept, bulk it out with some meat in the middle and finish with a call to action. If you follow all these tips you should be well on your way to producing a successful web video.
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Author: Ant Hodges (Google)