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Posted on 07.10.2009

Production Management 101: Video Production (The Last of a Two-Part Series)

video-production-management-101 In my last blog I provided hints for print production and now want to share some recommendations for your next video project. I’ve worked on dozens of videos but still get a pit in my stomach after every shoot. I wonder…did I capture everything, did I get enough good sound bites in an interview, was the sound working (the last one is typically out of your control but I threw it in because it did happen…thanks again, sound guy). Whether you’re working with a video production company on a corporate video or using the in-house handy cam to produce a short clip for your web site or YouTube, here are a few general tips that can help you avoid major problems. 1. Why is that tie making me dizzy? This tip seems elementary but many news professionals still wear stripes or other small patterns that make their clothing appear to jump all over the screen. This is called a moiré effect. Solids, solids, solids…I can’t stress it enough. Due to the sharp contrast on screen, solid white and black is also not ideal, but most any other color will work. 2. How did my 10 minute video turn into 12? Translating internal and external marketing materials into Spanish is now common, but it wasn’t eight years ago when I first received this request while making a corporate video. I had no idea the Spanish language is about 20 percent longer (written and spoken). Luckily for me, the Spanish voice talent I chose was also a professional translator so we were able to re-edit the script on the spot. Plan for the additional footage you need to fill up the extra time or be prepared to get creative in the editing booth. 3. Why is that person staring at me…you’re freaking me out! Do you get uncomfortable when a person being interviewed on TV looks like they are staring a hole through you? The interviewer did not tell the person to look at him/her and not the camera. If you are conducting an interview, be sure to tell your interviewee to always look at the interviewer and not to do the “eye shift dance.” It is really distracting. 4. How do I more easily edit five hours of footage into a three minute video? You are always going to capture considerably more video than you need, so avoid spending 50 hours in an expensive editing booth by telling the camera crew in advance you want time codes on your raw footage. That way the segment you want is easy to find. If your video is predominantly interviews, you can also give the footage to a transcriber. I must admit no list of tips can be as effective as what you learn “on-the-job” but if you keep these things in mind you will get a better final product.

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