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.

Visual Storytelling

The Talking Heads were an awesome rock group

Debbie Bateman 

I enjoyed “Burning Down the House” as much as anyone. It’s a great song and the Talking Heads were awesome as a rock group. But if that’s all you have in your video, you’re missing out on the key advantage of visual storytelling.

Videos are stories told through moving pictures. With the best ones, you can turn off the sound and still follow the gist. Exciting things happen and they take up most of the screen.

When all a video has is headshots of people talking, the only thing in motion is their lips. Once you know someone is talking, seeing their lips move is not very interesting. It might as well be radio. Plus, the rest of the screen is wasted. All that wonderful potential is lost.

Yes, it’s often a good idea to include headshots in your video. Good videos often focus briefly on people, especially the first time they speak. We all trust information more when we know who is giving it. But 5 seconds or less will do it.

Once we know who’s talking, the visuals can switch to whatever illustrates the subject under discussion. For example, we recently did a branding video for Gelinas Carr Furniture. We started the video with headshots of Sandra and Joe, the furniture makers. But once they’d been introduced, we quickly switched to the real star of the piece, which is the high quality furniture they make. As you hear them describe their process, you get to watch their work coming to life.

If you take a moment and watch the video, you’ll see that the shots involve movement and not just the movement of the machines they use to make furniture. We’ve included camera moves that mimic the experience of discovering objects with your eyes.

Because that’s the beauty and the power of strong video. It lets you see the world through fresh eyes.

Timelapse Video Production Visual Storytelling

Timelapse vs Hyperlapse

This is just my opinion. Please feel free to form your own. But I think it’s important to keep terms clear and to be as precise as possible. How else can we understand one another?

I think hyperlapse is a term that is frequently misunderstood. The above timelapse was  shot while driving, but I don’t consider it a hyperlapse even though the camera was moved a great distance over the timespan in which the film was shot. To me, this projects is just motion timelapse because I shot many objects over a period of time.

In contrast, hyperlapse requires that one object be the sole subject of the film. As the camera moves, this object remains the important feature of the film. So tracking of this object must be maintained. Here is an example of what I would call hyperlapse created by Novalapse:

So this is what I will be practising over the next while as I learn to take good hyperlapses. I hope the results will please everyone. Come back later to see what I create.

Video Production

How much do videos cost?

If you’ve ever wondered how much videos cost, check out this article:  How Much Does Video Production Cost?

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Gelinas Carr Furniture involved in unique project  

Gelinas Carr Furniture is involved in a very special project. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.