We’ve all been there. You’ve just come back from the shoot and the rushes are looking great but as you sit down with your editor to put together your Oscar-worthy masterpiece it’s not quite coming together as you’d hoped. Perhaps you’d forgotten to film those few key cutaways, the weather might not have been as perfect as you’d hoped, or it might just be looking a little on the dull side.
Here at Shout!, we endeavour to create engaging and highly innovative PR video that stands out from the crowd! In this blog I’m going to talk about just some of the techniques we use to jazz up our videos using our old pal ‘post-production’.
It sounds obvious, but appropriate and well-edited music is essential to creating an engaging and interesting video. Trawling through hundreds of tracks on licence free music websites can be extremely time consuming, but we find it always pays off when you find that perfect track! Once you’ve selected your music, just ensure you cut to the beat and tweak the volume accordingly, and your soundtrack should be ready to go. When making a series of videos for the NHS we were careful to choose something appropriate, that would help to engage viewers – check out one example below.
Astons are essential graphics that provide the audience with basic information about your spokesperson (usually their name and occupation). Whilst they can be as basic or as complex as you like, we always recommend spending a little extra time and effort on them as it can really set your video apart from the rest. It can also be a great opportunity to use your brand font and colour palette for a more professional and consistent finish.
The Intro and Outro of your video is extremely important when trying to ensure maximum impact with the audience. It will be the first and last thing they see, so it’s a great chance to get their attention, and leave them with a visual spectacle that will have them wanting more! We recommend concentrating your time and effort on making these titles as slick and impressive as you can, to reinforce your brand messaging and give your video a polished and professional edge.
Feeling sad about all of those grey cloudy skies? Wishing you could go back and reshoot all of those winter GV’s when the sun is shining? Well recently, I was in the same boat, and after watching the amazing vistas and skies in shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, I was inspired to use sky replacement, to great effect! Whilst it’s slightly time consuming to make it entirely convincing, it’s a fantastic way to avoid reshooting, and to enhance otherwise dull footage. There’s a good example in our graphics showreel here.
Less is more
If your video is destined for online distribution, keep in mind that you are constantly fighting to retain the viewer’s attention. One very simple way of doing this is to keep your videos as short and punchy as possible. We recommend that videos should be no longer than 90 seconds, and should utilise a device such as a transition or a graphic at around the minute mark to keep the audience engaged. Remember, keep it quick and concise- no one wants to watch a half hour advert online!
You may have seen fades, wipes and straight cuts used out of necessity, but here at Shout! we like to get a little bit more creative… Investing time in creating custom made, relevant transitions can not only help cover your cuts, but also add a stylistic flair to your film. Some of our favourite transitions are light leaks, lens flares and custom wipes. You may have seen a few examples of creative transitions in our graphics showreel above.
As a wise man once said- the visuals are only fifty percent of the picture. Sound is just as important as imagery when it comes to online video and there are a number of ways you can use it to your advantage. Adding SFX over transitions, astons and other graphics is a great method of emphasising your effect, whilst making it seem that much more slick and well produced. You might also want to think about using background SFX to help immerse the viewer in the world of the video.
Cut-aways are a key part of the editing process and are usually small clips of relevant video used to cover up cuts in interview clips. But what if you don’t have any? Well there are many creative ways around this, and one of our faves is to animate stills to create our very own stylistic cutaways! By merging and animating layers correctly you achieve some fantastic 3D effects that also cover the cuts. You can see some examples on the Graphics Showreel I mentioned. For those of the more inventive disposition, experimenting with different textures such as smoke and lens flares can make for brilliant ultra realistic dioramas.
Well, those are just a few of our top tips for better post-production. If you want more information on any of the techniques I’ve mentioned, contact Shout! Communications, the PR Video experts or check out our video e-book to learn more generally about the power of video.