Where to Start When You’re Getting Serious About Video Production



Nowadays, it seems like every business is trying their hand at video production. Research has shown that video is an effective way to engage customers and get them excited about what you have to offer!

However, creating quality videos is hard work–it takes time, education, and in some cases, a lot of money. Unfortunately, this keeps many business out of the game, but brands that do invest in their video strategy see amazing results.

So what does the video production process really entail? Is it worth it for your brand? These are questions we hear all of the time here at Bloguettes, so for our 2018 Workshop, we’re bringing in a video production expert!

Chantel Lucas is a Multimedia Brand Editor and Producer at The Muse, an online career resource that offers a behind-the-scenes look at job opportunities with hundreds of companies, original career advice from prominent experts, and access to the best coaches to get personalized and private career help. She spends her days producing and directing branded video projects, so she’s got quite a few tips and tricks up her sleeve that she’ll be sharing with us at The Workshop.

Keep reading to get to know Chantel and get a sneak peek at what her session will be like!

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today!

I started editing video at a young age and after an incredible internship at National Geographic, I became a shooter and editor for a production company specializing in online marketing content. I then left for Europe to obtain my Masters in documentary film, and later moved to New York City to work for Contently — matching freelance creatives to branded video projects.

Today, I’m producing and directing branded video projects at The Muse.

Let’s talk about video. What are the benefits of using it to promote your brand?

Online and social video are the strongest tools you can wield for brand engagement. It may sound like an overstatement, but as Shakira is wont to note, the stats don’t lie.

Internet and mobile behavior show that video consumption is not only rising exponentially year over year, but we are also seeing that conversion and brand lift are positively impacted when a video strategy is employed. By 2019, video will account for 80% of global internet traffic. Not only will more users be interacting with more video, people are generally more likely to engage with content that has some video aspect — in fact, the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. 

Audiences, more and more, are moving to video and your brand should be there to greet them.

Is video for everyone? What kinds of companies should be taking advantage of it?

The answer is two-fold. Yes, video is for every company; and, no, not every company should be taking advantage of it immediately.

Before you invest in video, you first need a firm grasp on your brand and voice. When used effectively, video amplifies brand recognition and offers an authentic touchpoint with your viewer. When used prematurely, video can leave audiences uninterested due to broad messaging or, worse, put-off by poor production quality.

That said, there are companies that should incorporate video into content creation at a faster pace. E-commerce, and creative service business models should have a video plan in place early for both main web pages and social channels.

What are some common misconceptions when it comes to video production?

The biggest misconception that pervades production for both individuals looking to hire a video team and companies taking content creation into their own hands is, simply, the time investment required. And I get it. Between DVD featurettes (remember those?) and HBO shorts, I’ve watched enough behind-the-scenes footage to instill a healthy amount of false confidence — how hard can it be, right?

The answer: the production process is as complex as the video product you’re hoping to make. Videos for your company can take 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months to produce depending on the scope of the project and the elements involved. Are you filming in multiple locations or featuring several interviews? Is animation involved or several camera angles of the same scene? All of these aspects influence your project’s turnaround time.

You’ll also find that the bulk of your work is happening when the camera is turned off — in the stages defined as pre-production and post-production. Trying to anticipate how long you’ll need for pre-pro and post when you’re starting out in video is like attempting to estimate how fast you’ll make it through an airport’s TSA line. The laws of time somehow don’t apply. Some advice for both scenarios: prepare for any scheduling hiccups with some padding and give yourself time to change course along the way.

As you start producing more and more video, you’ll learn the time range you need for certain tasks in pre-production, such as scripting and shot lists, and you will also start to streamline your editing process. That is all part of the fun!

"The production process is as complex as the video product you’re hoping to make."

Many brands are intimidated by video production because they feel like they need a ton of equipment to get started. Can you give us a quick checklist of some must-have tools to have in your kit?

What’s beautiful about video production is that a compelling story or an insightful learning will trump high-grade, cinematic footage any day of the week. How often have you gotten sucked into a video that consists of cell phone footage with well-crafted subtitles on Facebook? That said, the advent of prosumer equipment and corresponding accessories means you can get up and running with professional looking video with a lean toolkit.

To get started, you’ll need these tools:

  1. 1

    A full sensor DSLR Camera (Canon 5D mark iii, Canon 6D, Nikon D800)

  2. 2

    A lens (24-70mm, 17-50mm)

  3. 3

    A Rode Videomic

  4. 4

    A lavalier mic

  5. 5

    An audio recorder (Tascam DR-05 or Zoom H4N)

  6. 6

    A tripod

  7. 7

    Video editing software (Adobe Premiere CC or Final Cut 7/X)

  8. 8

    A hard drive

  9. 9

    A smartphone

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start producing videos for their brand, but doesn’t know where to start?

A lot of companies restrict their videos (and creative brainstorming) to the services their business provides. For example, if your product is graphic t-shirts then your videos must be a series of interviews asking people about their favorite t-shirts and why they buy from your company. This is an outdated view of content creation. In fact, the age of customer tutorials is over altogether. Today, to cut through the sheer volume of video content online – did you know that every minute, 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube? – your brand should develop video that relies on compelling stories or educational content.

To start ideating, begin with what you like and remember from your personal media diet. Write a list or open a litany of tabs of the videos that stuck out to you this past week, month or, even, year. Then ask yourself:

What did those videos have in common thematically?

Who did you want to share the video with and why?

What types of camera angles or editing style were used?

For a company, the next step is to think of ways to incorporate the storytelling methods you’ve surfaced into your brand.

Let’s go back to the graphic t-shirt company, which I will now dub Spilt Tea-Shirt ™. Below I have some keywords and corresponding video angles Spilt Tea-Shirt ™ could run with depending on their brand pillars.

Spilt Tea-Shirt ™ is a fun, on-the-pulse consumer brand: for their first video series on Instagram, they sent five customers graphic tees with the Kardashians emblazoned on the front and asked the recipients to gift them to their moms on Mother’s Day. The customers filmed their mom’s reactions, and Spilt Tea-Shirt ™ featured the funniest takes.

Spilt Tea-Shirt ™ is an emotional, personal brand: in this video, the company asked its employees what their favorite outfit was growing up and why. The answers revealed something interesting about the how we label ourselves in childhood and who we hope to be when we grow up.

Spilt Tea-Shirt ™ is a socially conscious brand: for this YouTube video, Spilt Tea-Shirt ™ outfitted marchers with #MeToo shirts and followed them and their stories throughout a day of activism.

Video is a medium that invites creativity and non-traditional storytelling formats. To get started, hone in on what makes you stop and click when you’re roaming the web or scrolling through social media, and then match those storytelling styles to your brand.

Give us a sneak peek at what we can expect from your workshop!

I’m really excited to show workshop attendees the in’s and out’s of creative video production, including a comprehensive look at the pre-production and post-production process. You’ll walk away with a strategy for tackling your own video series and some fun ideas to get started with.

When you’re not busy at The Muse, what can we find you doing?

I’m a regular on the New York city museum rotation, with a strong affection for The Whitney. You’ll also find me people watching on the metro while attempting to finish my latest true-crime podcast or nonfiction book.

Wanna attend Chantel’s video production session at The Workshop? Classes are filling up, so be sure to get your ticket today!