Communication, Design, Digital, Futures, Gareth Case, Video

[VIDEO] Can video content be produced in-house? [UPDATE]

A little less than a month ago, I posted an entry asking the question – Can video content be produced in-house. It sparked tremendous debate amongst marketing professionals, agencies and videographers. Well, 3 and a bit weeks later I have some of my home-grown video to show and would love to hear your feedback.

ONI_Project _Management

The Video was shot using a HD Flip camera and a £495 back drop and lighting kit. It has been edited using free iMovie software on my Mac and we have completed 5 videos using about 3 man days, considerably cheaper than the agency quote we received.

Yes, the quality is not amazing, but it’s sufficient for our needs and what’s more, if we want to edit or change it, the only cost is our time. We will have completed 8 videos in total by the end of the project which I estimate will have taken 5-6 days time and I will share these with you when they are complete.

These videos have been published in HD for YouTube and have also been provided to our sales teams on their iPhones and iPads.

Looking forward to your comments.

Please follow me on Twitter for my latest updates.

About garethcase

Gareth Case has more than 12 years experience of marketing in the B2B technology space and has held senior marketing roles at Intermec Technologies, Arc Solutions, Viglen, Athona and now ONI and has experience of working throughout EMEA, North America and APAC. His broad understanding of the full marketing mix combined with a diverse skill set has contributed to the success and growth of his previous employers. Gareth has proven, successful experience in the following marketing disciplines: Offline: Marketing Strategy, Team Leadership, Direct Mail, Campaign Management, Telemarketing, Print Production, Public Relations, Copywriting, Budget Management, Graphic Design, Collateral Design, Presenting. Online: Website Design, Content Management, iPad Toolkits, Social Media, PPC, SEO, Analytics, CRM, E-Marketing, Video. Gareth has experience of working across many vertical markets including Healthcare, Local Government, Education, Finance, Insurance, Manufacturing, Logistics, Retail, Media, Not for Profit and Legal. He has started this blog ‘Inside a Marketing Mind’ to share his experiences and promote debate around the latest marketing innovations. Follow Gareth on Twitter here – http://twitter.com/gareth_case and subscribe to the blog for all the latest updates. For a more detailed synopsis of Gareth’s skills and experience, please visit his blog or LinkedIn page


7 thoughts on “[VIDEO] Can video content be produced in-house? [UPDATE]

  1. Hello Gareth and delighted to see that you are pressing on with this and equally that you are using video with your remote teams through iPhone and iPads; a great opportunity to lift performance quickly and everywhere and I strongly recommend others to look at how they can do likewise.

    However, I am sure you will agree that you own time has a real cost, unless you had nothing else to do, which I doubt.


    Posted by Richard Wyatt-Haines | October 5, 2011, 7:16 pm
  2. This is a very timely topic for me because my own department has just decided to produce in-house videos, and I admit I have *no* video recording or editing experience. At least I’m not alone and it’s not impossible to accomplish!

    The reasons why we are staying in-house are mostly related to lack of resources and my institution’s largely burdensome RFP process. I really appreciate your candor about this topic, how you arrived at your decision, and how you have shared what is the beginning of your video recording process. My team is well-aware we will not be perfect in the beginning, as it is a learning experience for all of us. I just hope we can accomplish the goals set out by deciding to use video in the first place.

    Posted by Krista | October 5, 2011, 7:31 pm
  3. Great video, helped by having a pretty lady presenting! I agree though, you can get some great outcomes from a video produced inhouse. I do think that there are some instances where a proffesional video is warrented, but for getting simple messages accross about products and special offers, its a no brainer.

    Posted by Sion Williams | October 6, 2011, 9:38 am
  4. Looks good – Keep us posted on whether increases business responses.

    Posted by KevEd | October 7, 2011, 9:41 am
  5. If I can offer a slightly different focus, we have to be careful about using the term ‘video’ in such an all-encompassing fashion for, verily, all videos are not created equal any more than a snapshot from my phone is comparable to what Ansel Adams produced with his lenses.
    Also, as opposed to looking at what the relative ‘value’ of the video product is for the user (which may actually be hard to quantify), I would suggest we can simplify this a bit by focusing on the goals for the video and on identifying the intended results that are desired.
    For example, if the requirement is to present to a group of sales people some feedback from actual users of the products that they sell, then video captured from a FlipPhone, iPhone, or any consumer grade visual recording device readily available in today’s world is probably more than adequate in terms of ‘quality’.
    And, if the mere experience for the sales person of hearing (and seeing) a user describe their thoughts and feelings about products is sufficient, then ‘sophisticated editing’ is probably not a high requirement. Ergo, in this case, a ‘consumer grade’ answer to this video is probably warranted with the not-to-be-forgotten caveat that it still requires somebody’s time and effort to produce this and put it into a playback format.
    However, as the goals and intentions for the video are raised (whatever that means in any particular case) then the further away you get from the abilities of non-professionals to produce whatever it takes to meet and exceed those standards.
    What is tricky is determining where that line of using ‘in-house’ vs ‘outside’ resources can be drawn and this can only be accurately addressed with the specifics of the video project.
    I am all about using budgets wisely, not overproducing, and being smart about using any production element. At the same time, what I have seen in many cases is that because video recording and editing technology is more accessible than ever to the general consumer, the presumption is that being able to take that recording and create a communications product is also as easily accessible. Not necessarily so. The unique genius of video professionals is their ability to take what you see and what you hear, turn them into a tangible solution to a communication challenge, and actually change the way that the viewer thinks, perceives, or learns. At some point, the expense of engaging the professional is not only warranted, but demanded.

    One cannot underplay the aspect that these projects, however small, do take time. But, if you have that, the device, and if the requirements are relative, produce away! Your audience will let you know how successful you are.

    Posted by Bill Burdette | October 16, 2011, 4:19 pm
  6. Hey Gareth,
    A few comments from someone that’s been in the production business for more than a decade. For a first time outing, not bad, but there some minor adjustments you can make to improve the quality without adding to the budget…or spending years as a grip.

    First off, its painfully obvious the presenter is reading, but you’ve set the shot so as to appear like an interview. Its incredibly distracting to watch her look away from you as viewer while she addresses you directly by reading content. If the piece requires tailored content, have the presenter address the camera. Of course, they’ll have to memorize the material or you’ll have to add a teleprompter. If the latter option doesn’t work, then you’ll have to do a little more shooting to make the former option work. In this case, getting 10 to 12 “b-roll” shots of employees working, doing topically related activities or even graphic text, will allow you break away from the host long enough for them to read. They’ll only have to memorize a sentence or two on the front and back end to open and close the video. Otherwise, if the person presenting is not just on-camera talent and actually knows what they’re talking about, conduct the interview and have them deliver their comments conversationally. It’ll come across much more genuine.

    The addition of some “action” shots also goes a long way in making the video more interesting to watch. Two minutes of someone reading, regardless of their attractiveness, is not pleasant. The lack of visual interest will reduce retention as the viewers attention will wander from the talking head after a brief time. Even adding a couple of graphic slides will break the visuals up enough to keep someone’s attention, and add to the levels of retention.

    As for a couple of technical things, you’re one edit in the middle is an industry standard no-no, called “jumping the line”. Once you’ve established your host as a left frame presenter, that’s where they stay. You can’t jump across to the other side with them now talking from the right without jarring the audience. For a great example of how to manage camera angles with people talking, watch an afternoon soap or TV drama with lots of dialogue between people. Watch how they frame an individual during a scene and how they keep that person referenced, regardless of whether its a close up or wide shot.
    For your lighting, this link will show you the basics of 3-point lighting, a very simple set up that everyone uses, http://www.mediacollege.com/lighting/three-point/simulator.html. Just remember, the shading on a persons face should be on the camera side and you’ll have it down.
    Finally, when selecting a location, try to utilize the longest space you can find. You won’t need but a sliver of the room, but the added depth will give you some definition. Try to keep the person away from the wall and use the small area behind the person for a back drop. You don’t need a studio to create a nice setting. Most of the interviews I produce are done in poorly decorated conference rooms where I beg/borrow tables and lamps to set up in the background for interest.
    This link will give you an example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCln6mxNzXM. Everyone one of these interviews was done with a one person crew, 3 or 4 lights, and borrowed props set up in non-descript offices or meeting spaces (the one at 6:08 was shot is a god awful training room with tables and chairs everywhere). Remember, the only thing the viewer will see is what the camera lens sees, and typically, that’s a small area.

    OK…enough for now. Love that you’re tackling this yourself, but I hate to see people struggle simply because they have no one to show them the simple tricks and ploys professionals use to achieve quality results. If you have any questions…just email me.

    Tre Akins
    Digital Media Producer

    Posted by Tre Akins | November 4, 2011, 5:53 pm


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