Promo video – easy job or real deal?
From my experience many people think that filming and editing a 2 minute video is the easiest thing when making videos. Well, it’s “only” 2 minutes long so where is the problem? I have to be able to explain to the client exactly how it goes. I’m gonna show you some aids for doing it so they understand how much work there is. First of all, filming a huge event that might last 2 hours or 2 days and turn it into 2 minutes is VERY hard. You have to pick the best parts and moments [those moments can be 5 seconds long] but you have to have them in the promo because everybody loved it.
So if you have a 4-hour footage, you should go through every second of it. If you forget something, the client will send you an email saying that he wants this and that in the video and you will have to edit it again. Although it’s even worse when client wants something you didn’t film.
Let’s avoid it and here’s how I do it: Every video needs at least – a screenplay, storyboard/shooting script and marketing strategy + shooting schedule. Let’s go through each of those. BTW, if you think you don’t have time for doing it, then count the time when you re-edit the video, going through the footage again and again…
1. Screenplay – every video has a story, here I write basically how it starts, what’s happenning and then how it ends. I also write camera moves and angles. This pictures includes time parts of the song because it was a music video. In the promo video I usually pick the right style of music but I decide on exact song in the post production.
2. Storyboard/shooting script – very important because I can imagine the whole video if I see the storyboard. I have to think about every angle and every shot. I have to draw every single shot that I will shoot. However with promo videos, I can’t predict everything that will be going on at the event but I have to plan something and leave some space for spontaneous moments.
[if you look at a music video of a popular artist, be sure that every single cut and shot was planned. It was not done on set. Imagine you have limited amount of expensive time with this superstar and you are thinking for 5 minutes about what angle you’re going to shoot]
3. Marketing strategy + shooting schedule
– how can we bring successful result to the client if we don’t specify what, where and how this video will be used? If we don’t know that the video should be very formal and serious even if it’s a party, then we can make a huge mistake by making it exact opposite. The client knows what she/he wants but she/he might think you know it too even if she/he didn’t tell you. Another thing, how long this video should be? You are the pro here and the client doesn’t know as much as you do about these things. If they want 5 minute video [without interviews, just music and shots], it’s not a good idea. Not many people will watch it til the end and the main idea of the video might not be understood or be clear enough.
Shooting schedule gives us idea when we’re able to deliver the video. The client is always happy if she/he knows when she/he can expect the finished product.
How this will look? You ask the client those marketing questions and explain the importance of knowing the answers if they want really good promo video. Then you make a screenplay and storyboard, you send it to them, but in this case it’s better to meet them and not only show them but tell them how you imagine it comepletely, shot after shot.
There are 2 great results of this – the client will see that you take it very seriously and you take time to plan this and you want to bring the best result you can. The second one is that they can tell you exactly what they like and what they wanna change – AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN FILM ANYTHING! So you only change it on the paper/PC! Maybe they want different first/last shot, maybe they want retrospective cuts, different shots, or maybe they don’t know what they want and they’ll love it. Either way, you go film and you know you’re doing something the client is already satisfied with.
To show examples of storyboard, screenplay and shooting schedule, I used pictures from my college project I worked on with Dorina Tabita Tasca, Norbert Koloszvari, Helene Rojas Nagel, Martin Lechev and Sergiu Naslau.