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How To Craft A Great Video

05 Sep 2017
By New Zealand Story Group

There are so many great ways to get your story out there, from blogs and videos to websites and social media. In this blog, we focus on just one of the ways to tell your story, video content. A compelling video can help you grow your business overseas, raise brand awareness, showcase your product or solution, and more. But while it can be hugely successful, video production takes a lot of planning and can be expensive. It helps to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve. So before you start, ask yourself: why are you making it? Who is it for? Where will they see it? When do you need it?

Once you’ve got that sorted, you can move on to the craft. Every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end – and when it comes to video, a storyboard is one of the best tools to help you stay on track with that. Your storyboard is a visual representation of how your video will unfold, shot by shot. It should take the viewer on a journey, giving context, building emotion and a sense of who you are along the way. It helps to weave in attributes your customers are looking for: traceability, innovation, quality, creativity, transparency etc. 

While it might be tempting to try and share your whole story at once, it doesn’t need to be packed into a single video. In fact, you’re more likely to lose people that way. Instead, it’s better to treat your video as part of a series, giving you room to introduce and build on your story over time. You can also play up aspects of it by using your founders, team, or customers to share your story and history. 

Next comes the production – and that’s when it gets technical. So we’ve put together our top tips to help you get the most of your video:

1. Keep it short.
The attention span of the average person is short, so your video should be too. Keep it to a couple of minutes, with a good balance between visuals and voice.

2. Polish the script.
Take the time to craft and re-craft the words, so you get the result you want. It helps to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you were them, what would you want to hear?

3. Be conversational.
Tell your story in the words of your customers. If they were describing your business to a friend, how would they sound? What language would they use?

4. Work the sound.
The right microphone in the right spot makes all the difference to sound quality – and overall video quality. By pinning an external mic to a person’s shirt or jacket and taking the recording from that mic, you’ll get clear audio with minimal background noise.

5. Light it up.
Use natural light where you can, but avoid shooting into direct sunlight. If you’re inside, say interviewing someone, you can enhance your footage by setting up one or two lights.

6. Let people breathe.
If you’re filming someone, allow time for them to take a good breath before and after talking. Having that space around shots will give you more flexibility when you’re editing. 

7. Check the shot.
A quick look before the camera rolls can save you a lot of time, or even a re-shoot, later. Look for things like clothes that are out of place, too much shadow, busy patterns etc.

Want more? The New Zealand Story toolkit gives you access to quality video content, plus b-roll footage you can use in your own videos.