1 - Do you really want a 'Corporate' Video? Who wants to watch a corporate video? 'Corporate' sounds dry and boring to me. What you want to tell is a compelling story. Long or short, simple or complicated, telling great stories is how you make something mundane into something watchable and entertaining. In the end what people remember is a good story and something that's not a cookie cutter production. How do you get that production? You work with a production team that takes the time to get to know you and your culture, and then tells some compelling stories about your organization. (We know how to do that at deweymedia + partners).
2 - Survey the landscape. What kind of videos are your competitors making? How are they telling their stories? Get a grasp of what (if anything) your competitors are doing, and make a list with outlining their messaging points.
3 - Bigger than life. How do you make a your story shine? Make it bigger than life. Make it filmic with great music and graphics, good 'casting' of people in your organization and a then tell a great story. You may not need all those elements, but you need to think big, bigger than life - bigger than average, because average doesn't cut it. With so much good video out there, you have to stand above the pack. So just how do you do that? Keep reading.
4 - What do you like? What are the videos you do like? How long are they? What resonates? The music, the images, the voices or the editing? Save links.
5 - What don't you like? Sometimes I think this is more important than what you do like because it helps you understand the things that don't work for you and your organization. Get a good understanding of why you don't like what you see. Remeber many elements of taste are subjective. Bad is as important as good to a filmmaker because that's how we can better understand your tastes.
6 - Borrow from the Best. An old advertising saying says 'steal from the best.' Everything is derivative or borrows from something else we have seen, heard or read. There are no original ideas so don't be shy about taking a great idea and adapting for your purposes. That doesn't mean copying an idea line for line, but it does mean a good concept in an existing video might work for you too.
7 - What can you really afford? I can't tell you how many times people have come to me asking for the moon with a tiny budget. Sure there are cool tricks and short cuts but you can only cut so many corners before you start shooting yourself in the foot. Be realistic. If you start chipping away at the budget around the edges you may prune the concept right out of the video. And remember, the low cost provider may not give you the best final product. Using an inexperienced young kid a year out of film school may seem like a brilliant 'can't lose idea' until you have invested days of your time and you realize she doesn't really know how to talk to people in a large organization, you have bad sound recordings and she has pissed off three tiers of management making them wait until she's ready.
8. Prepare for Take-off. Understand the process. If you haven't made a video before, make sure you know how it works - all the steps from Pre-Production through Post Production and DVD duplication or web delivery and best practices web site design for video, plus how to best facilitate the entire process. Assign a capable, knowledgeable and will-liked project manager from your company, because your going to need a lot of good will to get a project like this done.
9. Business Unusual. Making a video is not normal business for an organization - and a production is likely to slow things down. Employees like to watch and things take longer to film than they do in real life. Real fuses (in the electrical boards) blow, and people arrive late and often get nervous on camera. These are all parts of a normal production day. Relax, make it into a fun day of work and expect the unexpected.
10. Short is Better. Please, REMEMBER THIS. You can't tell it all. You can't tell it all. You can't tell it all. Once you conclude that there's no way to tell it all you can hone in on what story (or stories) you should tell. Your video is normally an introduction, a story, an overview, a profile, a case study or an explanation of a few complicated ideas.
11. Enjoy the Ride. Once you realize how easy video is to make, you can see new opportunities it provides. From new product introductions, to HR training, to company/organization overviews, to internal communications with your employees to external communications with customers. There are many ways to speak to your audiences, and maybe some don't need video, but as our constituencies become increasingly video savvy, why not make life easier for them by giving them user friendly communications tools.
Paul Dewey wrote this for Digital Content Producer.