Often the idea of making a corporate video conjures up visions of an enormous budget, hours of pre-production, ever-shifting shooting schedules and numerous changes in the edit suite.
But this doesn't have to be the case. If you want to shoot a small budget, engaging video to be finished within a week, here are five tips to help you on your way.
A corporate video should fit into a bigger plan or a wider campaign. If the strategy and communication around the video is solid with clearly defined objectives, it won't need to explain too many things in too short a time, leaving you to focus on the big-picture communications (and keeping it engaging).
2. Know your audience
Actually, you don't even need to know your audience; you just need to know that highbrow corporate video doesn't work for anyone. Some clients struggle with simplifying the message and need guidance from a production POV. The video message may be top-level and critically important but audiences will respond better to a softer script and creative visual flair. Leave the legal jargon and the specifics of the merger, etc. for the printed material or email, that's also part of the communication strategy.
3. Script and storyboard
A signed-off script and approved storyboard will save time and money. You'll know the shots you need and when to get them, how the footage interacts with the voice-over and graphics and how to organise your cast and crew in the most efficient, budget-friendly way. It's also a win for your editor who'll be aware of what footage to expect and have time to plan for any graphics needed. A script and storyboard will also help your editor budget correctly and schedule enough time to do the job as quickly as possible.
4. Green screen
Film purists may turn away in horror, but using a green screen is your number one cost saving device when it comes to shooting corporate video. Filming against a single coloured back drop (often green) enables you to replace that background with other video, graphics or stills images. Not only does this save you trekking from location to location, it means shooting indoors (so no weather days) and it can add a much needed element of surprise and fun to, let's be honest, a corporate video, which can be like watching paint dry.
5. Create a great vibe on-set
It's amazing how attention to small details can make all the difference to any event, including making a video. The vibe you create on-set translates directly onto the film you're creating and you want happy relaxed actors and clients. Small wins that take a bit of planning but are worth it are:
Awesome props and wardrobe, these can be sourced beforehand and overseen by a sussed production assistant.
Great coffee and good catering all around. Do one "special" foodie thing your crew will love, that will lift the mood and make people remember you next time.
Be encouraging but don't force anyone in front of the camera if they're not comfortable, say 'thank you' a lot and have fun.
Lastly, while the cameras are rolling, think about shooting a short "spoof" video, fun bloopers or behind the scenes of client and crew in those "special" props you have in wardrobe. This can be packaged and sent to your client as a thank-you momento of a great shoot. It will be a light-hearted addition to your company showreel too.