Using video in PR campaigns is nothing new, but with equipment coming down in price and up in quality, professional looking video is possible on a small budget. I believe that this is one reason that there has been a huge surge in the amount of branded video content that is currently populating many websites and social media channels.
So, how do you ensure that your PR video does not get lost in the 300 hours of video content that is uploaded every minute (and that’s just on YouTube!)? In my experience, PR videos that have high production value will get greater audience engagement than those without. However, it is not just as easy as filming some brilliant shots or using an interesting editing technique, you have to ensure that what is used will resonate with the intended audience.
Nowadays an audience’s attention span is extremely short. Due to touch screen technology, all a bored viewer has to do is swipe the screen and they are then watching a different piece of content. Not what the PR industry wants!
Therefore, it is really important that you grab the audience’s attention in the first few seconds; it is equally important to keep the interest up throughout the video so that they see the all-important, call to action.
In this blog, I am going to look at some visual techniques that we use to keep the audience engaged.
Two of my favourite video gadgets are the jib and the slider. These are smaller, more budget friendly versions of the grip equipment used in Hollywood productions, and can really add some cinematic flair to your shots. The slider and jib are used to achieve smooth, moving shots that are much more interesting than a static shot.
The slider is extremely versatile and can be used pretty much anywhere that there is a flat surface. I recently shot at the Founders Forum event in Rome (you can find out more about the shoot in this blog, shoutcommunications.co.uk/blog/producing-shoot-abroad) and I used it to make my shots of the Vatican even more cinematic.
The jib is a bigger piece of equipment but it offers a greater range of movement. One of my favourite uses of it is to get some extra height on the shot. In our video that we made for the National Lottery we used the jib to get a top shot of the crowd of people attempting to break a world record. This would have been impossible without the jib!
In the camera world, bigger does not always mean better! Action cameras produce amazing, high quality images. The size and ruggedness of these cameras mean that you can put them in positions that a normal camera cannot go! On one memorable shoot I put the action camera inside a mug and had someone pour boiling water over it to make a cup of tea! The camera came out unscathed and we managed to get a great shot.
Multi camera shoots
When filming an interview, and when budget allows, I always suggest filming with two cameras. Not only does it make your interviews look great it can also help the editing process, especially if there is a lack of cutaway shots to film.
Moving on from filming and into the edit suite…
Start the film with the best shots
As I mentioned earlier you need to grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds of a video, therefore we always suggest putting the most impressive shots at the start. However, it does not always have to be visually impressive footage. You can also start with a really powerful soundbite. No matter what it is, if it grabs your audience’s attention, it’s job done!
Add some effects
One simple way to add some style to an edit is to use some flares or mattes. These easy to use techniques make relatively simple shots much more cinematic. They can also be used to hide edits, great if you do not have any relevant cut away shots.
Due to many people watching video content silently on their mobile devices, online videos are expected to work without sound. Most of the time this can be achieved by simply adding subtitles. However, sometimes you may want to animate the text or even integrate it with the visuals to make it much more engaging.
There are many more tips and tricks that I use to enhance a video production but I will save those for another blog! If you have any questions about filming or editing then give us a call! 0207 240 7373.