Maybe you have had a request for a specific type of video to produce for your company, an upcoming event simply has to be filmed, or the boss has something devilishly ingenious in mind. However, it could simply be that you’re aware your website could use a little extra to keep the viewer engaged, and with the current trend of video finding a way into every nook and cranny of the internet and social media, you want to produce some good quality marketing video content to introduce your company’s services or staff… but what are the types of video production out there, and what might best suit your company?
You might not want to spend all your money on one big video, and are wanting to produce a range of shorter, simple pieces.
You might want to test the water by creating a relatively small-scale film and take it from there.
With this in mind I have created a list of the types of video available from a professional video production company. There are going to be sub-categories and no doubt some totally new concepts I haven’t mentioned, so I would be interested in any comments and suggestions you might have.
1. Company Reel / Advertising Film
What used to be the staple diet of corporate video: a big hitting wonder to demonstrate as much possible about your company – its products, ethos, and possibly who is behind it. Doing it all in about 2 minutes. It used to be more like 4 or 5, but with attention spans depleting like ice caps, 2 minutes is more on the money. If you have more to say, it might be an idea to split it into a series of short videos, or find some other permutation of these options.
The advertising film features shots of your company in action, possibly with the use of drone, a slider or stabilised, hand-held gimbal footage for good movement within the shots. We could try high speed (slow motion), time-lapse or close-up / macro videography, depending on what suits you best.
These pieces most often feature interviews with owners or management to tell your story, and meet who is behind the enterprise. Alternatively we can use text or a voice-over, as demonstrated in our recent piece for the Universal Filling Machine Company:
Which features both customer interviews and a voice over, along with a custom built, temporary studio set which we set up specifically for the shoot due to the impracticalities of transporting a number of very large machines.
It also features some animation, slow motion, and even time-lapse, so it’s safe to say we threw everything at this one. This type of film could be advertising the company of course, but just as easily it could be produced for a new product line, one arm of the company, or for a new location.
Though once the staple diet of corporate video production, currents tastes are moving towards an ongoing ‘consumption’ of video, so this type of film is often supplemented with shorter social media pieces, product demonstrations, market updates or pieces of advice, or a sequence of testimonial videos.
2. ‘Live’ Event Filming
Live events could be a conference, opening a new building, a new product launch, a performance, or a team building exercise on location. Either way, you, your HR or your marketing department wants to continue to feel the effects of that goodwill long after the event itself.
We would suggest a two camera crew to operate on the day, one capturing interviews or ‘vox pops’ with attendees and organisers, the other taking ‘b-roll’ or all the shots with which to illustrate what we are talking about.
In addition, we must think about the audio requirements here carefully. It is likely that the event will involve speakers, who may well need to be amplified for attendees now as well as recorded for the edit later. These are two separate skill-sets which need carefully marrying together.
A good example of this scenario was at the Grand Opening of the new building for Benenden Hospital set in the beautiful Kent countryside, where our audio team supplied and organised the PA and amplified sound on the day, whilst also using and recording radio mic’s as per a traditional TV or video shoot.
3. Training Videos
Bottom line, video is there to help earn you money… or to save you time, which comes to the same thing. The training video is generally for new employees or customers, and essentially is there to avoid the need for a member of staff to say the same thing time and time again. It also ensures that what is said is 100% accurate, and all that all the essential points are covered.
We produced the below film for a Dartford based recruitment company who supply large numbers of workers for a fruit packing factory in Dartford. It’s seasonal work and the employees are not long terms propositions. They were finding that many individuals did not return for a second shift, maybe the work simply wasn’t for them, so they wanted to provide as good a representation of the environment and work required before the worker even set foot in the factory, to help them gauge if it was actually going to be for them.
Alternatively, it may be customers or members of an organisation who need some form of training. In the below example, Benenden Hospital’s physiotherapy department wanted to provide patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery with a comprehensive rundown and demonstration of the exercises, techniques and points to watch out for both pre and post-operation:
It is far easier to simply provide a link to these videos, rather than having to go through it with each new patient.
It also helps set a prospective patient’s mind at ease if they are thinking of getting the operation done. They can see the staff have a good level of expertise, that they are well trained, detailed and diligent, and introduces the patient to staff who they will meet, making the whole process far less daunting.
A ‘testimonial’ being an interview with one of your customers or clients, and probably featuring no more than that (i.e. no b-roll / cutaways / additional footage being shot). It gives evidence of, or ‘testimony’ to, the reliability, prowess and all-round trustworthiness of your business.
They can be shot in your offices, at the client’s premises, or in a hired studio or room.
Duration is fairly short, being 30 seconds to a minute. We would always suggest using two cameras on the interview, which means it can be edited down. And which means the interviewee is not obliged to deliver their sound-bite in one continuous hit – which would require having either an incredibly eloquent and unflusterable client, or a natural actor capable of repeating the same thoughts again and again until its all there in one take, without hesitation or deviation. Autocue and scripting is never a good idea – that veers into the realm of a presenter or actor – they are universally transparent, our human instincts are highly tuned to spot a ‘fake’, or acting, a mile away. And that blows the whole idea. What’s the point in doing it if you don’t believe you’re getting a genuine opinion?
Getting these right is about relaxing the interview subject, asking the right questions, knowing you have what you require, and having the skill to string the answers together properly in the edit.
These are not a complex video to produce, they are short and require very little time to shoot and edit. Consequently, they are relatively cheap, and so are an excellent way to begin producing video. If you’ve not done so before, this will give you an insight into the whole process and experience, with a relatively small outlay. You could even do a short series of two or three without impacting price a great deal, and gauge where to experiment with video production from there.
5. Drone or Aerial Videography
There is a pre-requisite here – your company or enterprise needs to lend itself to a few sweeping, aerial shots to create a whole film like this. Offices in the middle of cities for example may need to stick to a couple of high, wide city drone shots to start or end a larger piece, but golf courses, real estate, individual venues and buildings, hotels, activities in nature, holiday destinations, motor sports, yachts, arenas, even interiors of very large buildings, the list goes on – could all benefit from a drone footage film.
The great thing about a drone only production is that it is another cost effective way to produce a video, and it looks stunning. Gone are the days of helicopters and jibs, well not gone, but let’s just say the drone is one fantastic, very well-priced alternative. So a drone shoot itself will not normally take up up too much of your day, and if that’s all you shoot then the edit is a relatively quick and painless operation. It’s (nearly) impossible to fail montaging these beautiful shots to music.
Be aware that there are restrictions on commercial drone flight. Firstly you need a licence or permit to do so from the CAA, and even then certain areas will be out of bounds – the obvious example being near airports (Aerodrome Traffic Zones), yes especially Gatwick airport. Some areas will need a specific permit, e.g. from the council, and that will take time. There are also limits to height, range and proximity to the general public and crowds.
At SuperReel we have PfCO certification from the CAA, and carry an OFQUAL Level 4 qualification in Commercial Drone Operations.
6. Video for Social Media
Since the advent of the internet, video production has exploded in many guises. It’s seen the advent of the YouTuber, and allowed for greater and greater degrees of peer to peer image sharing via social media. Mobile upload and download speeds have reached the point where the likes of Facebook and Instagram are seeing more and more bandwidth taken up with video rather than pictures.
And of course businesses are taking greater and greater advantage of this. But maybe more so than with any category, these videos come with a definite set of caveats:
Keep the piece short. We are talking 10-30 seconds only. These are what we would call a ‘taster’, or a tease – look at them simply as an advertisement to drive traffic to your website. That is the goal, customers are not buying over Twitter, it is just a tool to move them in the right direction.
Don’t use interview or voice-over without adding subtitles. Most people’s feeds default to an auto play with the audio off, so everything has to be conveyed visually. If there is any interview or voice over, it simply needs to be subtitled in a large clear font.
Here is a link to a series of social media short films for Brighton Marina:
They can often be created by utilising extra vision shot when creating a main advertising reel, so can form an addendum to that. They do not take long to edit, and are another very cost effective run of films to create.
7. Explainer Videos & Animation
Now what if you don’t have a great deal to actually film when it comes to your business? Maybe you offer an online product or service. In such cases the ‘Explainer’ can be used to, yes, explain what you are offering and how it works by using a combination of animation and voice-over, but without having to shoot interviews or anything tangible such as a shop front, facility or warehouse.
Our animator, Ben, is highly a skilled, experienced and creative motion graphics designer. Examples of his output are in the film below:
Another advertising media which many companies require is photography, be it for the web, or for print. Whilst it’s not something we promote as a specific service (it’s simply not our primary industry) when requested we have added it into our shooting schedule and can supply full resolution, properly colour corrected photography and aerial photography.
Hello! From the University of Exeter, Humanities Dept at West Kennet Long Barrow, Wiltshire.
So there’s a good range of films to chose from. The majority of people still simply require one main advertising reel, and they can be the most fulfilling to create. And you can easily add a series of short social media films to that.
Or your cheaper, more budget friendly solutions are drone films, testimonials, or other simple, interview-lead pieces such as market updates with a member of staff.
If you have any questions or feedback, or if there’s anything you feel I have missed or would be useful to the list do let me know.
Or if you want to get in touch for a quote for video production, feel free to get in touch.