Good Video: Planning

Last week we have discussed the importance of understanding the video and how people use variety of things together to create an ambience that pulls a viewer in (alongside some examples). What I want to bring up today is even more important, yet rarely discussed and widely ignored by people who are starting out: planning.

Before we start, let me address one issue, there is nothing wrong with improvisation and the “spirit of the moment”, but those will come way easier when you have planned before. The idea is brutally simple if you have planned for most of the video already, the unexpected moments are much easier to deal with. Whether it is a spark of creative energy or equipment malfunction.

Let’s tackle them step by step:

  1. Message and feeling

Now I am going to sound like a broken record yet once more: “CHECK YOUR AUDIENCE & WHAT MESSAGE THEY RESPOND TO?”. This includes any stats, info, pen portraits, season, feeling, client’s wishes and so on. Not to sound ominous, but if you at least don’t keep this in mind, you will fail.

So, with Christmas advertising long done and launched we are focusing on other things coming up. Mostly, the spring and summer stuff, but let’s pause on Christmas. Jolly seasons can be one of the toughest shoots you will ever do (especially if you are shooting outside). At this time you need to convey a certain feeling and the cheer of the world. Despite how good it looks at the end trust me it can be a gruelling experience. The weather has to become your friend not your enemy. Let’s be honest don’t you think Christmas as soon as you see snow (just look at John Lewis Snowman advert OOH gets me every time).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N8axp9nHNU

  1. Script & Strips (reel, comic, line or whatever else people call it)

No here is a fun thing, to me this is “chicken and the egg” situation, which comes first. I prefer to have a script first, so I roughly understand what shots to use, how to position the characters better etc. Some people are the opposite, do the scenes first figure out the moves later. My advice is start using my way, because generally it is easier (and it is the right way).

Here is a rough mock-up I did for one of mine “free time” projects.

Scene 1: Car Upside down after a crush. Screaching sounds and a man in pain.

Car upside down

Scene 2: Flash back to how we got there. Two young lads walking to a car discussing the night after a couple of drinks.

Walk to the car

Scene 3: Following the car from the back (3rd person view). The driver (one of the friends) gets annoyed with a car in front for obbeying the speed limits.

Swerve

Scene 4: After the crush is repeated quickly we cut to a hospital corridor where one of the guys is summoning the courage to go inside the hospital room.

Scene Hospital Corridor

Scene 5: When he finally enters, viewer sees a guy in a wheel chair looking out of the window. Close up to the lips and chin of the guy who walked in.

“Hi, I am … sorry”

Inside patient room

Scene 6: Cut to black, logo and slogan appear (dead silence)

  1. Equipment

Now I am first in line of people who will say you can shoot a great video on your iPad. However, for some projects this may simply not be enough. So, before you venture out there, plan what will you take and when will you use it.

  1. Actors, products, places

Now here is where all the preparation comes in. If you have worked hard on stage 2, this will be easy, as you will have a very clear idea of what to do next. This will include all the locations and what people have to look like. Of course, you will rarely be able to find exactly what you were looking for, but at least you will come close because of the work done.

Now actors, as you grow you will be able to hire models, actors etc., but for now try to stick to your friends or aspiring “Instagrammers” (yes very easy to find there and cheap). When looking for actors make sure you know what you want them to look like and what role to play. Maybe give them examples or even exercises to do. If it is a lady, make sure to specify the make-up too. Will save loads of time.

Products, well, relatively simple. Make sure you ask your client for at least 3 samples of whatever you will be shooting. Additionally you might want to learn a few  “fake” product tricks (Please let me now in comments and I will either write a blog about it or message you directly).

  1. Shoot dates (organising people and weather)

Now we come to the painful bit, making sure everyone and everything is available. Now in the full professional shoot that wouldn’t be a problem you hire actors and models, you say they come. But unfortunately, you are not there yet. So my advice prepare a week in advance and make sure (during the week) everyone sticks to the plan.

The worst moment is when you have to shoot in a particular weather. Unless you know your way around AfterEffects & PremierePro (or powerful enough alternatives), you will need to wait. This especially puts more pressure on you and your crew, as everyone has to be available as soon as the rain, snow etc. hits.

To sum up this week’s video idea there are three words: “Plan for everything”. If do your planning in advance you will free up so much time to improvise and add a few different angles to your shoot that you might have not thought of doing before.

This is it for video advice this week, but look out for next week’s blog on actual shooting and editing to make your final video shine.

The 3 Key objectives of a Content Marketing plan

3 means unity

Ever find yourself stuck on what’s your content’s purpose?

You may be creating the greatest, most engaging content or emulating the latest digital trends; yet content marketing is about targeting and giving back.

Picture, video, blog or even the hyper live-streamers – your content must be planned strategically for your long-term goals, not frivolously for the sake of it.

This sounds obvious for many experienced content marketers, however when drafting a content marketing plan; there are 3 key objectives both beginners and established must follow:

 

  1. To Educate

 

They say ‘education is the passport to the future’.

In class

If that’s the case, make your passion the next digital country everyone flies to and resides in.

Creating content that educates must be a prime goal to achieve amongst your audience as this represents your market positioning online.

Every consumer seeks valuable information for their needs online nowadays.

What stops you from positioning yourself as the expert then?

 

Beyond the SERPs of other track-record pros and famous publishers, you too can educate with your content marketing.

Always consider that within your industry and career aspirations; there’s always someone out there across the world that listens, engages with and values your opinion, writing and media style online.

Plan and educate your customers and fan base with an unforgettable digital footprint that serves informative value they’d be thankful for later on.

 

  1. To Inspire

How do you leave an impression on your fans, potential customers or clients?

What message are you seeking to impart upon someone?

 

Great content marketing leaves the receiver motivated to act upon consumption.

Whatever media you choose, aspire to adapt your message towards your recipient’s thinking on how to improve themselves.

Once your audience acknowledges that from a compelling life meme on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or even the popular 3-5 mins video on YouTube; you’ve met your goal to inspire and deliver.

Yet as the content marketer, true inspiration is mutual once your outreach receives positive feedback based on the productive results they’ve achieved from your content marketing’s impact.

Any dedicated content planner ‘sets up to lift up’ their audience through funny and thought-provoking stories, life experiences, wins and failures of their journey, and a genuine character online.

 

  1. To Acquire

Acquisition is juicy

 

One of the most crucial objectives every content marketing plan must achieve – to squeeze and taste the juice!

You don’t spend time, effort and even money at times to produce content for no returns

Subscribers, fans, customers and warm leads – everyone has a desired goal of HOW MANY or WHO to acquire when meeting their goals across digital.

 

Depending on your content choice, which approach works best from past experiences, and what’s required as profitable to you; your call-to-action is your final tool of ‘slurp-a-sition.’

You never drink a smoothie or milkshake without a straw right?

Your call-to-action is a trusted method to obtain, quench and refresh.

 

Provide a call-to-action to ease your prospects online and ensure it doesn’t ask too much of them.

As long as you state purpose within your content, address their needs and keep consistent; the meaningful prospects across your online marketing channels and within your targeted audience will be acquired.

Bottoms up content marketers!

 

Drop us a comment on how important these key objectives are for your content marketing plan.

Our C-45 team looks forward to your thoughts!

Great Video: Some basics you need to know

Have you ever wondered why your videos don’t get as many views or aren’t as popular as movies or adverts of famous producers or directors?

Well, at the heart of every great director is his or her own style. One of my favourite examples is Steven Spielberg (yes, I am biased). There are plenty of articles written about his style yet adverts and films are slightly different animals.

If you are considering shooting your own videos, our first suggestion is to look at the ads and see the differences. Mainly, pay attention to angles, close-ups and scenery shots, before understanding why the director decided to use them and why are they in specific sequence.

Now listen to the audio type, soundtracks and how it sets the mood. More importantly how throughout a video the sound can change dramatically. Then, pay attention to the effects and how they set the mood (i.e. darker shots make you worried or sad, brighter and lighter make you energetic and happy). Also, when it comes to adverts, use of text is very popular, pay attention to that too. After you examined everything, individually piece it all together.

 

Now, I would like to share some examples that I believe are greats of what I mentioned. Next week, I will go into a bit more detail of how to plan your shoots and what will you need to start.

One of the first and perhaps memorable campaigns (First video was what got me into being more fit).

 

Another Nike Advert (more recent) but in a very different style done in Russia.

 

All I can say is three words. Quick, powerful, iconic.

 

I do not need to explain anything here at all.