Why do technical details matter when making a corporate video?


In a previous blog post we talked about the technical details that matter for a for a whiteboard video.  In this post we will discuss what goes into making a corporate video.  Lets start with some assumptions.  If you are going for a great informative video, typically special effects and complicated lighting are not required.  Live action corporate videos tend to focus on a person or product in a straightforward way.

The three technical areas are similar to a whiteboard video, composition, lighting and audio.

Much like a still photograph, you want to focus on good composition.  It seems logical that you would want to put the subject right in the middle of the image frame.  However this leads to a key issue; it is really boring. The human eye tends to find subjects that are off center to be more interesting.  This is where the rule of thirds comes in.   Divide up the frame into three equal parts, both horizontally and vertically.  You will end up with 9 imaginary boxes.  Put your subject off center and line up their eyes with one of the intersecting lines.  Make sure your subject does not get cropped, especially the area around the mouth if they are speaking!  Have another cameral setup at different angle so you can get some variation.  This alternate camera shot is known as the B-roll, and will give you additional material to keep it interesting.

It is unlikely your corporate video will feature spaceships, attacking Vikings (unless you are Capital One) or complex action shots.  Generally a nice three point lighting system is all that is required.  Lets discuss why.  The first light is the key light, it is the dominant light and used to illuminate the subject.  The second light is used to fill in shadows created by the dominate key light.  It will be softer than the key light, try different angles to create the look you want, try to eliminate severe shadows.  The third light is the back light.  This light should be diffused and soft, the purpose of the back light is to provide separation from the subject and the background.  Position the light behind them, to the left or right.  This is the light that really makes the subject look three-dimensional and not just a flat image on a background.

We talked about audio for whiteboard videos, which generally are made in a highly controlled environment indoors.  This may not be the case for a corporate video if you are outside or in an occupied work location there can be a lot of ambient noise that you will want to filter out, for example wind, machine noise and people talking.  You should look into a directional microphone like a shotgun or rifle mic.  Generally these type of microphones are about one foot long and are good at blocking out ambient noise around the subject.  Try different angles and remember that a directional microphone may not be able to capture clear audio if the subject moves around too much.

We discussed composition, lighting and audio that make up the fundamentals of a good corporate video.  If you only make a few videos per year renting professional equipment will be a cost effective route.  Also if you need help with any of this, and of course, the story that will capture the hearts of your audience we love helping companies reach their marketing goals, so feel free to reach out to us!


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