Making Your Videos Look the Part (Part 2)

Welcome to the next instalment in our series looking into simple techniques you can use to improve the quality of your marketing videos.

Last week I looked into the importance of preparation and pre production, this week it’s time to focus on the actual filming. So without further a do…

framing

This is the easiest thing to get right, but it’s also the one that so many people get wrong. The frame is the window through which your audience is viewing your company and your message. No matter how good your message is, or how well it’s delivered, if the framing is off axis, too tight or too wide or simply just too dull, then you are taking away from the finished product.

As with so many things, the difference between looking professional and looking amateur is the detail. Most of the time you won’t notice the framing of a shot until it’s wrong. The devil really is in the detail.

With that said, here are some top tips for framing your footage better…

An example of good use of the ‘rule of thirds’

An example of good use of the ‘rule of thirds’

An example of poor use of the rule of thirds

An example of poor use of the rule of thirds

the rule of thirds

This is one of the most common techniques for improving framing and creating better shots. In fact, chances are your camera already has a grid, like the one shown on the examples above, built into it when you are framing a shot. The results as you can see in the examples above can be quite subtle, but the key is to use lots of subtle techniques, which when added together create big results.

If you are filming a colleague talking to camera, rather than positioning them in the centre of the frame, try aligning them along one of the vertical axes shown in the example above. This will work really well when it’s combined with an interesting…

background

Often an overlooked area, but your backdrop can both add to or subtract from an otherwise good shot. A classic oversight is not removing clutter or mess from the background. If you’re filming colleagues in the office, take the time to make sure desks are tidy and any confidential material isn’t in view.

An example of making the most of the background

An example of making the most of the background

If you have the opportunity to make use of an interesting location, make use of it! In the example above we had a unique opportunity to film in front of a fire training rig, which meant we not only got a really interesting background from a visual perspective, but also made reference to the subject matter of the video itself, which was fire safety training.

Try to look for locations or opportunities to capture footage with interesting background material as this can really add to the overall feel of a video. However, don’t forget the main subject matter! The majority of the viewer’s attention will still be on what’s being said in the foreground, so don’t let the background dominate.

Next week I’ll look at another key technique, lighting, to show you simple ways that you can further improve the quality of your marketing videos.

Nicholas Langdon