Video Production Visual Storytelling

What is pre-production and why should I care?

Pre-production counts
Like a glassblower we pre-plan our productions

People tend to associate video production with pointing the camera and shooting scenes. They think about location, lighting and who will appear on camera. All of that is important. Yet, the work that comes before the shoot is every bit as important.

The work before the shoot is referred to as pre-production. During pre-production, we imagine the end result in increasing detail with input from you at each step of the way. By the time that we show up to shoot the video, we know exactly what we’re looking for and why it’s important.

We begin with a needs analysis. What do you expect your videos to achieve for your business? A video that looks good is fine and dandy, but the real test of success is whether the video helps your business achieve the intended results. For example, an irrigation supply store might bring in new customers by showing how their timing device saves money. A resort might attract new tourists by showing them a day-in-the-life of a visitor.

Once we know the business results that you need, we suggest creative ways of shaping that message into a story in a brief document called a treatment. The treatment helps everyone begin to visualize what the final video will look like.

With a clear agreement on the best approach, we detail our plan of attack. This comes in the form of a storyboard or script. Again, we check with you to make sure the content is accurate and serves your business objectives.

Then we create a shot list and a schedule, so that when we show up at your business we are as efficient as possible. This reduces the impact on your business.

By the time the pre-production work has been completed, we will have shot the entire video in our heads many times. We will have refined our approach and given careful thought to how we might best tell the story visually. More importantly, every aspect of the production will have been planned to meet your business objectives.

Video Marketing

Mini videos are right on target

Debbie Bateman

When adding video to their website, many small businesses create a single video that provides general information about what their company offers. They combine site tours, testimonials and the other elements that suit their business into a single video. But this type of video may not be the best way of drawing in new customers.

It’s true. Some topics demand more length. For example, if you want to use a video to teach a technical skill or demonstrate a complex process, it will probably have to be longer. That’s okay because the people watching the video are willing to put time into learning the skill or understanding the process.

But if your purpose is to market your business to new customers, you may achieve better results with a series of mini videos that are each less than a minute long. An effective mini video might even be as short as ten seconds. Let’s face it. Nowadays people are inundated with information, and they favor sources that are quick and snappy.

The main advantage of a mini video is that it can be targeted at the specific needs of your customers. A mini video can answer a question, solve a problem, or broadcast testimonials from satisfied customers. It’s all about choosing a subject your customers care about. Do that well and they will not only watch your video, they will share it with their friends. Now that’s effective marketing!

These are a few ways you can use mini videos to engage your customers:

  • A frequently asked question video gives customers the answer to something they really want to know. For example, a lawn care company might post a video on how to remove moss. They’d be a hero to countless gardeners on Vancouver Island and their mini video would spread at breakneck speed. (Kind of like moss in a rainforest.)
  • A quick tips video gives customers expert advice on matters they care about. Realtors could give homeowners tips for selling their property. Furniture makers could explain how to maintain a fine piece of furniture.
  • A video tour highlights your products and services. It’s like a visit without the cost of gas. A high-end shoe store could attract out-of-town visitors with a video tour. A marina could showcase the range of services it provides.
  • A video profile of a key staff member gives new customers a personal connection. Show potential customers your face and they will feel like they have met you. This is particularly important for businesses that offer personal or professional services, such as dentists, hair stylists, realtors and more.
  • A special service video lets you stand out from your competition. If you offer something other businesses don’t, show it off. An exclusive resort that offers gourmet picnics and one-of-a-kind wedding facilities can showcase these services to the world.
  • A community event video spreads goodwill. Make people feel good and they’ll feel good about your business. If you sponsor an event that benefits the community, let your customers know. We only have to think of WestJet to know how effective this can be.
  • A testimonials video gives voice to your satisfied customers. It’s as good as a word-of-mouth referral and it spreads much faster. Testimonials bring in new business. In today’s tech savvy world, consumers check customer reviews before they buy. So make sure you give that to them.

When it comes to mini videos, there are many possibilities. Remember, the key is to think like your customers. Once you’ve figured out what they need, give it to them as a mini video. You’ll win their trust and their business.

Mini videos hold your customers’ attention and are more likely to be shared on social media. Plus, if you post five or six mini videos separately, you’ll move up on the search results. As you know, strong marketing is all about repeat visits.

So next time you’re ready to up your marketing with video, don’t assume that a single video provides all the answers. You might achieve more with a series of mini videos.


It’s all new

Well, the new website is finally in good order. WordPress is very powerful, so it takes a bit more to figure it out than the WYSIWYG sites. I really like the new portfolio gallery and the speed at which it loads.

I also had a bit of a hiccup with the email for Story In Focus, but it is now up and running properly.