Filming in your office? Don’t make these 3 mistakes!

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Choosing an interview location can be crucial to the success of your video. I’ve seen a number of videos suffer from just choosing the wrong location to shoot. Here are three things I look for when choosing an interview location.

Is it quiet?

This may seem obvious but it can sometimes get overlooked. Unless you are in a controlled studio environment, you need to be careful about ambient sounds at your location. It can especially get tricky if you are filming in an open office environment but it can be done.

Here are some questions I ask myself when checking an office location for sound.

Is it an open work area?
Does the area get a lot of foot traffic?
Are we near any AC vents?
Are we near any windows?
What’s out those windows? Maybe a busy street or an air conditioning unit for example.

There are definite advantages to shooting in-office, too, so don’t automatically shoot the idea down. Shooting in an open office space and seeing people working in the background can be great because it shows people are hard at work. Which is good! Just make sure the entire office knows what’s going on so you don’t have to repeat interview questions after someone’s cell phone goes off. Make sure those are on silent, even the office landline!

As for AC, there is usually no control over the AC in a large office building so the best thing I can do is just avoid the vents and compressors.

Windows can be great for a video for the view or to let light in but if the window is over Market Street you could be in trouble. I don’t think I’ve shot overlooking Market once without being interrupted by a cop, ambulance, or fire truck is always going by at a crucial moment. A window out to a side street is always better and I’ll always come prepared with extra sound blankets.

Is there depth?

Depth! Depth! Depth!

Depth is your friend! That means you want space between your camera, subject and background. This is too easy to skip in an office environment, especially if it is cramped.

I’ve seen too many terrible videos of someone being interviewed right up against a white office wall. There is no visual interest in the frame. The more depth you can have, the more visual interest in the frame.

Is there sufficient light?

What is the main natural light source? Fluorescent or light from the window?

Typically for myself the natural light is the base and then I add in a little extra to make the subject pop. Fluorescent lights are NOT your friend! They give off non-consistent colors and often flicker. Day light from lots of windows is typically the best to start with.

When I come to shoot in your office, the first thing we are going to do is shut off the fluorescents and find some natural light. It’s always possible to do it without any natural light, but I like the quality of natural.

Remember, video content that you publish should be on par with the quality of your brand and product.

Little things like this may seem silly but they are what separates your videos from the herd. Shooting in a cool office space can work really well for a video, but as with anything, do it the best you can.

5 Reasons why your videos aren’t converting

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As a content creator, I need to know what’s out there and create the best content possible, content that rises above the noise.  Along the way, I’ve noticed some bad video trends that should be avoided at all costs!

 

First, your videos are too long.

This is the age of Twitter and viral six second Vine videos. Collectively, people do not have an attention span long enough to wait for you to get to the point in a 10 minute video. If I have trouble waiting the twelve seconds it takes to see a guy fall off his bike in some Youtube video, what makes you think I’m going to wait through you introducing yourself for the first 5 minutes of your video? By the time you’ve gotten out your name and how long you’ve worked for the company, I’m bored. By the time you actually get to explaining your product/company/etc, I’m already watching cats on YouTube faceplanting off of couches.

I’ve noticed the sweet spot is about 60-90 seconds.  I know you’ve got a lot to share but the tighter you can make the video, the more engaging it will be. A good video will get your attention from the beginning, and not take time getting to the point. The point is to hook your audience’s interest so they want to find out more, not tell them everything.

 

Second, you’re not telling a story.

Ok, so say you’ve got your viewer’s attention. What’s going to keep them there? Remember, I’ve got cat videos to watch. Your video needs to tell a story to keep my attention. What’s better? A list of features about your product, or a story about someone who had a problem and found that your product was the perfect solution? Saying “We have many happy customers” or watching one of your customers tell the story of how he found you and how you/your product/company made his life a million times better?

Take Intuit, for example. They make Quickbooks, an accounting software. Which video are you going to watch, one explaining the many facets of their software, or videos showing real people using Quickbooks to run their businesses. Guess which videos they hired us to make?

 

Third, too much talking head.

If I wanted to watch a guy in a suit talking at me, I’d watch CSPAN. Guess what? There’s a reason CSPAN has such a low viewership. Nobody wants to watch a guy in a suit talking at them! What do they want to see? Anything else!

A good video will have someone talking whether it be an interview or voice over, sure. But we don’t need to see them talking the whole time. We want to see action! A good video will take advantage of the chance to intersperse action with narration.

The opposite can be true with video for an app or SaaS solution.

 

Fourth, too much screen capture.

I see a lot of videos get into trouble when there is no obvious physical product or action to show.  If you are launching your new SaaS offering you’ll need to show a little of the software just to briefly see how it works, but instead of making your launch video a glorified demo, focus on the user experience. Let’s see how your solution affects the life of the user!

Here is a good example of a launch video focusing on the user experience.

 

Fifth, the quality of your video should equal the quality of your service or product.

Your offering is awesome, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. Don’t have potential clients’ first impression of your brand be your incredibly lame video. Video can make a lasting impression, good or bad. According to MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, video is the 3rd most effective marketing tactic below in person events and webinars.  That’s a huge deal!

Don’t underestimate the value and importance of a high quality video content piece.