The Five Phases of Video Production

Posted by Nick Francis
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There's so much noise online it takes more than a smartphone and the click of a recording button to produce video content that stands out in congested web traffic. 300 hours of video are uploaded and over 4 million videos are watched every minute on YouTube. That adds up to an unbelievable 6 billion hours of video that are consumed every day on just one major digital platform.

If you are serious about capitalising on video content to boost awareness, engagement, leads and sales; it’s important that you pay careful attention to all five phases of the video production process. Yes, traditionally there have been three phases - preproduction, production, post-production - but when you consider how important strategy development is at the beginning and distribution is at the end; we prefer to look at them as distinct phases.

SO, wHAT ARE THE 5 PHASES OF VIDEO PRODUCTION?

A full video production service take you from conceptualisation to completion in the following five phases:

Phase 1: Strategic development

  • video marketing strategy
  • content goals
  • brand guidelines

Phase 2: Pre-production - planning and coordination

  • content strategy
  • content goals
  • project scope
  • budget
  • timeline
  • story and script creation
  • talent scouting
  • equipment sourcing
  • location scouting

Phase 3: Production - creative execution

  • set up sound and lighting
  • primary photography
  • B-roll capture
  • voiceover recordings

Phase 4: Post-production - video editing to final product

  • sound mixing
  • visual effects
  • video editing
  • final delivery for distribution

Phase 5: Distribution

  • distribution
  • optimisation

Looking for a video production company in London?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 1: STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

Strategic development ensures that the video content communicates the right message to your target audience to maximise reach and impact. It’s important that video content supports your brand’s positioning in the marketplace and resonates with your customers with the end goal being to generate authentic leads, boost sales and get maximum return on your video production investment.


HOW TO DEVELOP A VIDEO MARKETING STRATEGY

A video marketing strategy sets out the plan of action to integrate engaging video content in the overall marketing strategy. Video content is used to build trust and customer rapport, raise awareness, promote a brand, generate leads and boost sales.

There are 8 steps to developing a video marketing strategy for your brand:

Step One: Understand your target audience

The crux here is to understand your video target audience well enough to know what content resonates with them and how they consume video content. In other words, what channels are they more likely to be on and what format do they respond to best.

It’s a good idea to invest in analytics and marketing metrics which measure the effectiveness of video campaigns across various channels, examine what works or doesn’t work, how the digital marketing platforms have evolved and uncover trends and insights that point in a new direction.

Step Two: Establish your video marketing goals

What are you trying to achieve with your video marketing campaign? Is it required to build brand awareness, educate and inform, motivate and inspire, drive traffic to your website or generate authentic sales leads? This determines what you say, how you say it, where you say it and how much money you spend.

A video campaign that is designed with a clear goal in mind will be far more effective than one that isn’t. Video content with a distinctive purpose that’s distributed and optimised effectively will give you a good return on your production investment.

  • What is your emotional goal?

Trust, peace-of-mind and excitement or fear, mistrust and apprehension… this allows you to emotionally engage with your customers. Video content that resonates emotionally with your target audience is the best type of video to produce.

  • What is your physical goal?

What do you want your customer to do? Tell a friend, share the video, open a link to a webpage, register for a webinar, make a call to the company, buy the product… this is known as a “call to action” and is the ultimate goal of any video marketing campaign.

Step Three: Check for brand consistency

It’s very important that your video content compliments your brand strategy. The video message and its creative style, tone and manner needs to be consistent with the brand across all platforms; from print and email to your website and social media channels.

What you say and how you say it in a video must stay true to your brand’s positioning. In other words, the place that the brand occupies in the minds of your customers and how it stands apart from its competitors.

Step Four: Set a realistic video production budget

Don’t overspend or underspend on your video production. What you spend depends on your content goals. Throwing ‘money at it’ won’t necessarily guarantee the video campaign will be a success; at the same time, underwhelming your target audience is a waste of money and a missed opportunity if you don’t get the ‘call to action’ you desire.

Your video budget needs to partner perfectly with your video goals. This goes hand-in-hand with understanding your video consumer; what digital channels you’ll find them on, how they like to be spoken to and how they consume video content. Only then can you decide how much you need to spend to create the type of video you need.

 Step Five: Choose your digital channels

Facebook probably pops up first when you think of video marketing and even though it’s the biggest digital marketing channel in the world, it isn't the only one. You can’t say for sure which digital channel(s) is best for your target audience until you understand them well and how they consume video content.

Choose a digital marketing channel(s) that fits well with your video marketing goals. The four best marketing platforms to consider are:

Your own network

Mining leads from your existing network is a powerful place to start. Send video content to your current database that is relevant and engaging. The ‘call to action’ should get them to click through to your webpage where you can capture their information and your sales team follow up on the lead; or the person makes a phone call to the company, direct to someone waiting to respond to the customer’s enquiry.

Corporate video blogs (vlogs) on websites are highly effective. They allow you to emotionally engage with your viewer and paint a visual picture where written content on webpages can be tedious to consume.

Social media platforms

Top of mind is Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat; whatever suits your content strategy best. Optimise properly to break through the video congestion and grow your video presence organically.

Paid advertising

Paid ads are one way to give your video content a significant boost. This includes Google AdWords and AdSpend. Paid ads is where video distributers pay for their video content to show up on the first page every time a user searches on the relevant keywords.

Content marketing takes time to build and optimise naturally. Paid advertising is the short-cut to super boosting what you hope to achieve in the long run with organic rankings, but it can be expensive in long run.

Step Six: Set up a system to capture leads

Generating leads is the primary goal of content marketing. In this instance, content is broadcast through a video. Consider setting up an email gate because this method of capturing leads follows the content wherever it is shared on various social media platforms.

Basically, gated content means a visitor must provide an email address in order to receive something valuable in exchange. The key is to encourage the viewer to enter an email address as part of the ‘call for action’. Someone who is willing to give you their personal information (name, contact number and/or email) is a genuine lead.

It’s essential to determine the best time and place to use email gates to generate leads. Email gates or any other method of capturing personal information can make viewers suspicious and are sometimes off-putting; chasing your viewers away, rather than engaging with them.

 Step Seven: Distribute and optimise your video content

Videos need to be distributed to the right channels and optimised properly in order to be viewed by the right people and to generate authentic leads. If you understand SEO (search engine optimisation), you know that optimisation is extremely fluid; the search algorithms that Google and YouTube use change constantly. You need to keep up with current optimisation trends to stay ahead of your competitors.

Search optimisation uses tactical methods to drive ‘first page rankings’ on search engines such as Google. Examples include quality content, backlinks, custom thumbnails, captions and popular tags, a compelling ‘call to action’ and relevant keywords in the description and title. The goal is to make your video content search friendly so your target audience can find your brilliantly-made video.

The most important element of video optimisation is understanding the role of titles and meta-descriptions. These incorporate keywords that customers enter into the search bar on Google, Facebook or YouTube to find what they’re looking for. They’re also known as ‘search queries’.

A video transcript is another effective method of boosting your search prospects. It’s where you do the hard work for Google and YouTube by extracting the content which is naturally scattered with keywords that your target market searches on. You stand a better chance of Google and YouTube qualifying and ranking your video content if you alert them to the context of the content.

 Step Eight: Monitor how the marketing strategy performs and adjust as necessary

Keep track on your video’s performance and change any element that is not working as well as it should be. Your video marketing strategy needs to be timely, relevant, memorable and optimised if you want to see a return on your investment in full video production services.

It’s wise to invest time and money in social media analysis, using advanced technology such as Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics. Learn to identify video marketing trends and find out who is watching your video, how they are consuming the content and whether this is translating to lead generation and business profits.

Video-based analytics provide you with valuable information on how long the target audience spends watching your video; in other words, the average viewer’s attention span. Your video may be too short, slow to get to the point or is not engaging. Monitoring your audience’s digital consumption patterns will help you tweak current videos and do a better job at creating new ones through a professional video production agency.


Looking for a video production company in New York?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 2: PRE-PRODUCTION

The pre-production phase sets the groundwork for the production phase. This is when the planning, research and problem-solving happens to ensure the filming process runs smoothly and on time.

The production phase typically deals with:

  • video production brief
  • content goals
  • scope of project
  • creative vision
  • final budget
  • project timeline
  • scheduling
  • storyboard creation
  • script writing
  • interview questions
  • talent scouting
  • casting
  • equipment requirements
  • location scouting
  • site visits
  • scheduling
  • graphic concepts
  • wardrobe planning
  • equipment planning

PHASE 3: PRODUCTION

This is the fun part of video production when all the research and planning comes together to create the perfect video for your target audience. A professional video producer will translate your video content goals into a visual masterpiece.

The production phase typically deals with:

  • setting up sound, lighting and video equipment
  • a-roll footage
  • b-roll footage
  • interviews
  • voiceover recordings
  • supporting graphics

The difference between a-roll and b-roll footage?

A-roll footage is the primary raw footage used to create the final video. It’s an old-fashioned term that was more relevant to big screen and television film-making when raw material was captured on celluloid film.

B-roll footage provides supplementary material that is usually gathered by a separate team. It includes footage from stock libraries that provides supporting imagery and cutaway shots to expand upon the video storyline.

B-roll footage is particularly useful for documentary videos. It’s also used to capture behind-the-scenes footage which is used in a preview videos, when required.


PHASE 4: POST-PRODUCTION

The producer and editor work together in the post-production phase to create their magic. The video production team supports them behind-the-scenes.

The post-production phase typically deals with:

  • music selection
  • sound effects
  • visual effects
  • colour correction
  • audio sweetening
  • supporting graphics
  • interview transcripts
  • video editing

The post-production phase takes the raw footage to ‘first edit’ to be provisionally approved and any changes made; to the final approved copy which is ready to be distributed and optimised.


Looking for a video production company in Los Angeles?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 5: DISTRIBUTION & OPTIMISATION

Distribution and optimisation is essential to get a return on your investment. The research, planning and beautiful filming doesn’t count for anything if your target audience doesn’t find you in the intense clutter of videos on the web.

Today, video content is created for its marketing purposes but more importantly, for its SEO purposes. SEO means search engine optimisation and is the process a company goes through to ensure its website ranks high on the search engines for relevant search words and phrases. The ultimate goal is ‘first page’ ranking on the three biggest search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Google loves video content. There’s no doubt that videos boost online visibility, drive more traffic to webpages and increase website rankings on search engines. This is why Phase 5 of the video production process is so important.


What is targeted distribution?

Targeted distribution is the task of placing video content where your target audience will find it and consume it. The distribution strategy is a critical element in the video production process and it needs to be strategic and selective.

Thorough research helps you understand what your target audience wants to see, where they want to see it and how they want to see it. Clever distribution puts your video in front of the people who matter.

These are your distribution options:

Your own business resources

Company website

Customer database

Instore/inhouse presentations

Blogs

Corporate marketing material

 

Social media platforms

Facebook

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

Snapchat

WhatsApp

 

Public relations tactics

Press releases

News sites

Exhibitions

Product launches

WHAT IS OPTIMISATION?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) are the tricks of the trade used to make sure Google notices your online content, approves of it and recommends it to readers. You want your webpage to be on the first page the comes up for a search query and that can only be achieved by producing content that is relevant, engaging and authoritative.

You can pay to rank on the first page (paid adverts using AdWords and AdSense) or you can use professional optimisation techniques to rank organically, in other words by natural progression.

 

HOW TO USE VIDEOS TO BOOST SERP RANKINGS

SERP means Search Engine Results Pages. These are the pages that Google displays in response to a search query. Everyone wants to appear on the first page but it’s not easy. Uploading a video to your webpage does not boost your rankings; you need professional SEO tactics to beat millions of webpages to achieve the hallowed first page ranking.

Videos that achieve high rankings on SERP have the following characteristics:

  • the video content keeps them engaged so they watch the video for longer and don’t ‘bounce’ to the next video
  • the viewer acts on the ‘call to action’ and ‘clicks through’ to the website
  • viewers share it which tells Google it is relevant and useful
  • viewers link it to another webpage which tells Google it is authoritative content

Looking for a video production company in San Francisco?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


IN SUMMARY

We hope that this guide has shown you that there is a bit more to the video production process than you might have initially thought. That said - it really isn't as complicated as some companies would have you believe - particularly if you have a video production company at your side who knows what they're talking about. The web is heavily congested with video content and it’s only going to get worse, which is why the strategy development phase in the beginning and the distribution and optimisation phase at the end will only continue to grow in importance.

Don't be daunted by the video production process - employ the services of a professional film production company in New York or wherever you are based. Starting off on the right foot and ending at the right place will save you time and money and ensure you get a good return on your investment.

Casual Films is a full-service video production agency that partners with your business to place the best video in front of the people that need to see it.  Whatever you're trying to achieve, we'd like you to think of Casual Films as guardians of your video marketing strategy, making sure that your video project achieves exactly what you need it to. 


Whatever you're trying to achieve take a moment to consult our easy to follow guide to writing briefs which will make your video more engaging, memorable and ultimately effective.

Topics: Production process, Being a better commissioner

Case Study: GoDaddy: Celebrating Entrepreneurs

Posted by Nick Francis
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This year we've traveled across the US profiling entrepreneurs for GoDaddy. Highlighting people who are following their passions and carving their own path, these 2-3 minute mini-documentaries showcase inspiring stories from GoDaddy's customer base. These stories are then pushed out on their YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

This campaign is cultivating a community of people who are committed to the small-business economy and inspiring others to pursue their own side-hustles and follow their dreams.

COSUBE: The Space Bringing Together Coffee, Surfing and Beer

Alex Morris saw the Portland surfing community start to grow, and with it an opportunity to create a new kind of space. A home base for folks who’re up before the sun to grab their wetsuit and head for the shore. A spot not only for surfers, but anyone who wants to kick back and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or cold beer. Enter COSUBE, a shop that carries everything for the PNW lifestyle, from surfboards and wetsuits to casual tees and hoodies. More than just a retail clothing store, it’s also a full-service surf shop where surfers can buy or rent the stuff they need for a day at the beach. COSUBE’s in-house shaping bay also gives locals the chance to watch the art of board making, or even opt to take lessons and craft their own. As more Portlanders discover a love for the outdoors, COSUBE is ready to welcome them with open arms, tasty drinks and all the surfing gear they need.

Learn more about COSUBE...


Meet the Man Dedicated to Maintaining the Legendary Hattie’s Hat

A frequent visitor to the Ballard neighborhood, Max first got a job at the well-known Hattie’s Hat washing dishes and bartending. He found he loved visiting with the locals, asking folks what they wanted to drink. In 2009, Max got word that the current Hattie’s Hat owners were looking to sell the legendary spot. Eager to save one more old Seattle bar, he insisted they sell to him. Today, Max is on a mission to maintain the space’s vibrant history—from the nicest local saloon for loggers and mill workers in 1904, to a more formal restaurant in the 1950s, to finally transforming into the iconic Hattie’s Hat. As the city continues to change, Max is more determined than ever to keep the legacy of Hattie’s Hat alive and maintain the tradition of old Seattle bars.

Learn more about Max...


 

Gabe Smith’s Inspirational Journey from the Streets to the Stage

Envision. Believe. Obtain. These are the words that carried Gabe through his darkest times. After a hard childhood, Gabe ended up homeless, sleeping in his car and on park benches. By all accounts, Gabe had nothing—but that’s when he discovered he had everything he needed to survive. Every day, despite his grim circumstances, he typed out his thoughts in the Notes app on his iPhone, writing his techniques for overcoming the obstacles life had thrown his way and giving advice to others facing battles of their own. As the words and memos started to string together, Gabe came up with the idea for a self-help book to use his story and experiences to inspire others. He purchased a domain and built his website on his phone at work using GoDaddy’s Website Builder, creating a space to showcase his book to customers, as well as his motivational speaking and one-on-one coaching services. Gabe knows what it means to envision, believe and obtain and is on a mission to show the world they can do it too.

Learn more about Gabe...


GoDaddy: Cubs the Poet is Out to Show the World Poetry Still Matters

Cubs is breathing new life into a classic form of art: poetry. What started as reciting rhymes on the street became a business when he recognized a demand for custom poems. Cubs draws on the vibrant energy of the New Orleans community to craft pieces that allow him to meet people where they are and help them evolve. Written on an old school typewriter, his poems weave together emotions with words to deeply connect with people’s innermost thoughts and feelings. Most recently, Cubs launched his own publishing company to produce a book and help other poets and writers share their work with the world.

Learn more about Cubs...


GoDaddy: Whitney Mitchell is Capturing the Beauty of New Orleans Through the Eyes of it's People

After a career-ending track injury at LSU, Whitney knew she had more to offer the world. She knew she had a story to tell. Picking up her camera, she became dedicated to capturing the beauty of her friends, showcasing the vibrant culture of New Orleans right along with it. This passion led to Twomacks, a brand rooted in music, art, clothes and kicks and a celebration of all her city has to offer. As her business grew, she began connecting with folks deeply rooted in New Orleans culture, tapping into something special to paint a picture of the city’s flamboyant spirit. Through her content, Whitney highlights the characters and views that make this buzzing New Orleans community so unique.

Learn more about Whitney...


 

GoDaddy: Danielle Smith is Designing the Bag that Every Music Producer Needs

After graduating from FIT, Danielle Smith found herself immersed in a community of musicians, singers and artists. Music producer and friend SKI BEATZ asked her to create a bag that could carry his MPC, which became the first SOUNbag prototype. SOUNbag allows creatives to pack up their equipment and carry their studio on the go.

Check out the design studio of SOUNbag founder Danielle Smith and get the scoop on how her company got its start, right here!


Is your company making great stories happen? If you want to share them in the best way possible you should get in touch with one of our team. Our experienced producers who will be happy to bring them to life with you. Make a no obligation enquiry by email or right here.

Topics: Explain or promote products and services, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, Talking head, Case Study

Case Study: RB: Are you Listening?

Posted by Nick Francis
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We get to work on a wide range of work at Casual. It's great when we get to produce a piece of work which stands for something that we believe in. It's even better when we get the opportunity to be really creative in producing it. That is what happened with this film for multinational consumer goods company RB. To give the project a real cherry on top we were over the moon to win a Gold Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Film Awards.

THE BRIEF

Produce a video for social distribution about RB’s 'Reduce, Reuse, Replace and Recycle' commitment to plastics. Through that commitment they aim to remove or reduce plastic packaging wherever possible. They are also investing in research into alternative materials that can replace its use.

So the film should reinforce RB's commitment on plastics, in the framework of their purpose
- Generate interest on their commitment on plastics
- Drive behavioural change
- Create connections with stakeholders and boost conversations

It style is should reflect RB’s identity (confident, direct and simple). Have a human element and be factual, but emotive.

RB is inspired by a vision of the world where people are healthier and live better. RB invests in innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. "Everyone has a role to play. A cleaner world is everyone's responsibility.“

THE SOLUTION

RB: The Planet is Speaking: Are you Listening

A thought-provoking and emotive sound-design led film that compels the viewer to take action.

In this simple yet visually powerful film, we will capture moving tableaux of beautiful landscapes and evocative natural elements, and create matching soundscapes for each tableau, out of non-recycled plastic.

It is not until later in the film that we reveal that these ambient nature sounds have all been made out of plastic products - straws, water bottles, plastic bags - by Foley artists in a studio. The viewer is led by on screen text that sets up the story, challenges them to really listen to the plastics problem and join in the commitment for a cleaner world.

The emotive power of this film starts with the beautiful and evocative natural images we are seeing, and ultimately builds until the final reveal.

It’s time to listen to our Planet.

 

RESULTS

"Sometimes in corporate life you get to work on a project that can really make a difference and means a lot to you personally. Are you listening? The RB film we made with our friends at Casual Films is one of those projects. It outlines how we see the issue of plastics at RB, and encourages others to take action too. And all in 90 seconds! We’re very proud of it - and tonight have another reason to be, as we won a Gold Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Film Awards. Watch the film, share the film, and most of all - let’s all do our bit to reduce plastics.

- Jo Osborn – VP Internal Communications & Corporate Brand, RB

“It seems I am already late sharing it, but I really want to say how proud I am of this film about plastics and how strongly I believe in it. Since the first meeting about the concept I have had goose bumps about its impact. Today we are celebrating it in Cannes with a Gold Dolphin Cannes Corporate Film Awards. It was a lot of work, but worth all the reviews and discussions!”

- Federica Di Persio – Corporate Brand Manager, RB

 

AWARDS

The Planet is Talking: Are you Listening also won a Gold Dolphin for Environmental Issues and Concerns at the 2019 Cannes Dolphins Corporate Film awards.

Cannes Dolphins RB Are You Listening Award Win


Whatever you're trying to achieve with your video project, the most important step you take is the first one. Get off on the right foot with our no nonsense guide to writing a really effective brief. You can download it here.

If you would like to discuss a project with one of our team of experienced producers - no salespeople - please drop us a line here. We look forward to helping you make your next project the best yet.

 

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, How-to, Case Study

Webinar: How to get great videos made with Vodafone

Posted by Nick Francis
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We're extremely grateful to Vodafone's Global Head of Learning, Catalina Schveninger who was kind enough to share her time and ideas with us in the first of our Better Video Power Hour Webinars. We managed to cover a wide range of thoughts and ideas in just 40 short minutes so there's lots in there for commissioners and producers to benefit from. 

Catalina started out in HR in 2002 working for GE. Since then she has worked in a variety of international roles, including T Mobile in the Netherlands. She joined Vodafone in 2014 as their Global Head of Resourcing and Employer Brand. Over the year she has commissioned a wide variety of content projects and so is well placed to share how to get really effective work made. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.

Vodafone - Hero

Vodafone - Youth Hero Film

This is one of the films that we discussed with Catalina - an attraction piece for younger potential employees. She was at pains to say that if your finance department don't like the content you're producing to attract a young audience to find out more, the chances are it's about right. She shared how you can build support to help to get the content that needs to be made made. Given the amount of noise in the online environment, making content which doesn't differentiate is not an option.

Some of the questions we covered include:

  • Why use video?
  • How to get creative ideas made within a large corporate?
  • Who is doing it really well?
  • How to get your videos seen?
  • The importance of purpose in internal engagement?

If you missed it, don't worry you can watch the recording right here. We will also hold another one on the 18th September (exact time TBC) on how to get the most from your existing videos/assets. Special guest to be announced.

Vodafone Attract and Recruit Casual Films 2Click on the image above to watch the recording


If you have a project that you would like to discuss, please drop us a note, an email or a call. Our experienced producers are ready help make your next project the best ever.

If you are keen to kick your project off on the right foot the best thing to do is to get your brief exactly right. You can download our guide to doing that right here.

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Train and develop staff, Production process, Being a better commissioner, How-to

Even films about compliance can be great…

Posted by Nick Francis
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One of the best things about being filmmakers is the breadth of things we get to make films about. There are the dawn shoots in the desert, the police chases through suburbs, even a spot of husky racing through the Arctic tundra. We’ve definitely had our fair share of filmic fun.

Believe it or not though - the job isn’t always passport stamps and wrap martinis in rooftop bars. Every so often we get to scratch our heads a little to convey something a little less energetic. This is where the creativity of the job really comes into its own. Much (if not most) of our work focuses on the types of things which business and financial services companies want to communicate. That includes audit, tax, regulation and compliance.

This is where the true creativity kicks in. One of the great things about making films for companies is the fact that they have to fulfil very specific objectives. This means that we have clear bounds within which to work. It also means that we can choose creative treatments which really clarify what is being shown – which really ‘tell the story’ we are trying to relay. This is where fairly physical ideas can come into play.

PwC - IFRS Rube Goldberg

For this project for a top four professional services firm, we created a technological Rube Goldberg Machine from calculators, computer parts, and robots in order to visualise the digital journey insurers will undertake in preparation for a new piece of accountancy software.

Our brief was to make a film which will convince insurers that IFRS17 will be an asset to their business. We wanted to show them that by embracing technology and digital advances, they won’t only minimise disruption to their business, they will maximise their disruption to the marketplace.

PwC IFRS17 Moodboard

The moodboard helps to show commissioners what the visual style of the film will be

This film is to be used across social media, for events, and in presentations - but we knew that we needed to create something completely different and unexpected in order to resonate with our audience.

As we travel around the circuit, we move from old technology - paperwork representing cumbersome legacy data, to new technology - digital graphics and robots. This journey shows the technological advances made through the years in accountancy.

The visual represents the ease of automation, the smooth journey for insurers, and the build of new processes and systems. This idea allowed us to create a hugely inspiring and impactful film, which is sure to generate high levels of engagement amongst our target audience.

PwC IFRSThe storyboard. This is created in the initial stages of the project to show what will be happening onscreen during the film.

We were really pleased that this film was recognised at the New York Festivals Awards with a Silver Award for production design. Which just goes to show you really don't need to be contained by the subject matter, in fact it just might be the things which inspires you to greater heights. You could end up toasting your film nonetheless.


If you're interested in getting a few more tips on how to make better, more effective videos in less time for less budget download our our TOP TEN tips right here:

Download Top Ten Tips

 

Topics: Explain or promote products and services, Production process

Captive corporate audiences are a thing of the past. All is not lost though…

Posted by Nick Francis
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Once upon a time, corporate communicators could produce materials which were either read out at departmental meetings, shared in company magazines, or played from VHS tapes to teams in smoke filled magnolia washed rooms. They sat there once a week or month to hear what the overlords from head office had deigned to share. They had no choice. They were effectively captive. This was not a golden age for communication quality.

Now your audience are rather more… dynamic. They can choose what to watch and when to watch it. For good or ill, you have the power to reach them almost 24 hours a day and yet engaging them can be as hard as ever.

Attention is the new currency

Applications designed to capture and sell our attention have turned our time into a commodity. This means that everyone is now fighting for it. Their Instagram or Facebook feed, their families and friends, billon dollar box sets and your piece of comms. It’s noisy out there. You need to cut through that noise to be noticed. Why is this so challenging?

This has made the quality of content skyrocket 

The technological revolution which has put the power of television studios and distribution networks in our hands, has pushed the bar up drastically on what constitutes quality. From Netflix to HBO, and Amazon Prime to network on demand, broadband Internet has substantially increased the amount of excellent content available. From live sports coverage to stunning wildlife documentaries, new technology is enabling a level of access and production values that were pretty much unimaginable just a few years ago. We’re living through the golden age of glossy TV.

What does this mean?

This means that whomever your audience are – external or internal – they are judging the content you share against the most sophisticated systems to capture human attention that have ever existed. I know that seems pretty tough – and it really is – but there are ways that you can still reach them… 

Most important: deliver genuine value

The number one thing that you need to do to cut through to your audience is to deliver them value. For more information on what I mean by this check out this blog here. As Seth Godin says, you should create content which your audience would miss and seek out if it wasn’t there. A simple way to think about this is through the mnemonic TRUE – Timely, Relevant, Useful, Entertaining. Lead with the value with the material you share – make it easy for them to consume. 

Be consistent

Whether you are sharing material internally or externally, it’s important that you are consistent with the material that you share. Once you’re sharing work which is of value to the audience, they will begin to look forward to each iteration. Meet them half way by sharing to a schedule.

Think creatively

Are there other ways that you can cut though? Of course –  you just need to get a little creative. There are a number of ways that you can do this. One is by using new technology.  There is now 360° video/virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and interactive video. They represent new and ever-improving ways of providing immersive stories to the audience. They are a goldmine for corporate communicators who are willing to push them and use them with a little creative flair. They provide an opportunity for a different type of immersion in your brand narrative from what was possible before – enhancing and enriching the stories that you choose to tell around your brand. 

Don’t forget about emotion

Video’s ability to communicate emotion is the most powerful asset in the communicators bag of tricks. This means that whatever you are trying to communicate, you should look for to include a human angle to help it to land with the audience. That might mean using animated characters, finding the stories of individuals that illustrate the experience of the many, or just getting a member of your team on the screen to explain the point. This will help the audience to make sense of it and remember it.

We hope these help. Whatever you’re trying to achieve, for whatever audience you’re trying to reach, our highly experienced producers are ready to help you get there. Fill in the form on this page and one of our producers will give you a call back to discuss your project.

Topics: Train and develop staff, Production process, Being a better commissioner, How-to, Content Strategy, Brands as broadcasters

Five ways to land complex concepts with video

Posted by Nick Francis
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Lots of the content that we share in this blog focuses on what the Red Bulls of this world are doing to communicate with their audiences. We share these because the more extreme examples help us to illustrate the underlying principles more clearly. The fact is though that most of the videos that we produce don’t have people jumping out of space balloons, or helicopters or stunts of most kinds. Most of our work is a little... slower paced. That in no way means that it needs to be boring though. There are some really great ways to make even the driest subject matter engaging and interesting. It does help to follow a few key principles though...

1. Keep it Simple

OK - this is a strange way to start a blog about making videos about complex content but do bear with us. The point is you need to condense your information down to the key point you are trying to make - as much as feasible. Do not overload the video with too much content. Think about what you want the audience to think, feel or do as a result of watching and then focus on achieving that one thing. Clarity is essential. It is almost impossible to make a film which is too simple in what it is trying to achieve.

RBI - The Jobtopus (2)

Focus on the elements of the brief you most need to relay to create videos which land the message.

Take this film for RBI Recruitment. They wanted to illustrate the fact that they have eight recruitment titles in their stable. What else is famous for having eight 'bits'? Quite. This animation cuts away everything else they could have included and focuses on the one this that RBI were trying to get across. As a result, it lands the message effectively.  

2. Think about actual people in the target audience group

When making videos about complicated ideas particularly there is a tendency to make them even more complicated by trying talking to the audience as a block rather than a collection of individuals. This can lead to weird phrasing and a quite impersonal feel. The best videos are the ones that speak directly to each audience member. A great way to do this is to think about two or three members of different parts of the target audience when creating your script and film. Do test it by thinking about other members. If you don't know any, it's usually worth doing a little bit of leg work to find them. 

3. Use experts who know and love the material

'Talking head' or interview led films are an excellent, cost effective way to get your message across, particularly if the interviewee has an in-depth understanding and can relate it clearly and with energy, as the fund manager does in the above film for Glint.

Glint - Testimonials 04

A knowledgeable expert can explain ideas clearly and interestingly

4. Use animation and visual metaphor

Animation is a brilliant way of communicating more complicated ideas. This is because it allows you to show and tell the concepts you are explaining at the same time. Normally, you should never explain what you can show - but - using metaphor to underline the principles of the voice over helps to demonstrate the ideas without feeling overly obvious. This makes the information far more tangible and memorable. You can see this at work in this animation for the EIB.

 

EIB - Camena (1)

Visual metaphor is a great way of underlining the key ideas in your animation

5. Don't forget emotion

Content that focuses on creating an emotional response in the audience beats the purely rational in effectiveness tests every time. No matter the subject, it is important that you include a bit of character as this engages a different part of the brain and helps the information to stick. This means the audience are more likely to remember and act on your message. As a quirk of the way our brains work we automatically attribute agency to the objects we see moving. This can be used to great effect to build engagement with the audience. Look at how the character of the ball bearing in this film helps to draw you into the message. 

PwC - IFRS Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg machines are satisfying to watch. Here it demonstrates the interconnectedness of the subject matter in a nifty visual metaphor.

But...

Sometimes video works best promoting other media

This might sound slightly contrary to the whole point of this blog, but there may well be some occasions when video is not the right route to take. Emotion and information exist in a balance in all films. Too much focus on emotion – with practically no information – and the film can feel superficial and lacking in substance (think of most fashion ads). Too much information and not enough emotion, and the film will be dry, difficult to follow and impenetrable (some corporate reports embody this pitfall).

They should be like yin and yang. In every informative film you should have a bit of emotion, and in every emotive film you should have a bit of information (even if that is a basic narrative structure). Because of this, if you have lots and lots of information to get across, video might not be the best way to do it. You’ll probably find it more effective to create a PDF document, use video to outline a few salient points and promote reading the PDF through a shorter, more engaging film.


Whatever you're sharing videos about online it helps to make sure that they're the right length to maximise engagement and action. To help you do that - no matter the platform - we created a whitepaper. You can download it right here.

 

Topics: Explain or promote products and services, Production process, Being a better commissioner, Content Strategy

5 ways to get the most from existing assets / video content

Posted by Nick Francis
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Existing Assets

 

How do you make the most of video content assets that you already have? Most businesses will now have a large amount of past material that they want to reuse or repurpose. This could be footage from past brand or corporate videos, TV commercials, internal films, promotional stills or even music. It takes time, money and thought to create content that is worth sharing in the first place so it makes sense to want to get the most from it. If the content is for social, having more helps you to get noticed and to stay front of mind for your audience. A bit of extra mileage can make a big difference. So what are some of the ways to find it?

1. Tell the Producer

The earlier in the process the production team know that you want to create as much content as possible, the better. This allows them to look for ways to maximise the final outputs throughout. Share the all the content that you have so that they can see how to best incorporate them. Don't worry about whether you think it's right or not - they will know what they are looking for and will be able to help you.

2. Speak to the Editor

No-one knows the footage as well the the person who has just spent hours pawing over it. Sometimes the production team might have shot hours of footage to create a single 60 second output. This is a very rich hunting ground for additional content. If you want to know what's there, speak the editor. They will be able to let you know what you did or didn't get. Quite often what you think you got and actually got can be quite different things, so it's always a useful conversation to have. Don't worry if you don't get a chance though - this is the kind of thing that your producer does on your behalf.

3. Transcribe your Interviews

It can be a little blinding to look at four hours of interview recordings. One way of making this a lot easier is to get it transcribed. This allows you to do a search for words or phrases - significantly reducing the time needed to scoot through. It can also make it easier for you to understand the content that's there. There are some really excellent websites which do this automatically. The output is not perfect but it's certainly good enough to be getting on with. We use and recommend Trint.

4. Think Cross-Platform

Sometimes a piece of content may have run it's course on specific platform might by ripe for another. For example short reedits which wouldn't work for your company website can be really effective when used with some overlaid graphics on Instagram or Facebook. You may be able to grab still images from videos and share them as Instagram Stories with some supporting copy.

5. No Piece of Content is Ever 'Spent'

Finally, try not to think of content as being 'spent'.  There are always ways to get a little more mileage out of the material that you have. Try to look with fresh eyes. It can be as simple as going back over an old project with a different frame of reference and seeing clips or soundbites in there that make sense in a whole different way. 

Reused assets can lead to really powerful results, particularly when included from an early stage...

BMW - Careers (1)

BMW Careers

This film for BMW Careers is a perfect example of using pre-existing content from the business’ library. Naturally they had a large amount of really lovely footage from the promotional material produced for the main brand. This was combined with graphics, some library, some UGC – also from BMW – sound design and a specifically composed music track. The addition of the track really pulls the production together – making it more than just a collection of disparate material. This is a clear example of how making the producer aware of the stipulations at the outset of the project allowed the creatives and the production team to incorporate the different assets seamlessly.


Whatever you are trying to achieve with your video content, it helps to have people who know what they're talking about on your side. Our team of producers, strategists, creatives, editors, animators and filmmakers have made literally thousands of films for people just like you. They would be happy to discuss your ideas, requirements and the potential that video holds for you. Book a no strings call back from one of our filmmaking team, right here.

Topics: Production process, Repurposed content, How-to, Content Strategy

What's it like filming in a rainforest in London?

Posted by Nick Francis
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We’ve recently delivered a series of films for London Zoo on Behalf of Evening Standard Independent Group. It’s been a real labour of love for the crew, particularly Olly Atkinson, who has always had a bit of a soft spot for our furry friends. In his rich and varied careers before Casual he produced none other than the Secret Life of Hedgehogs. David Attenborough watch your back.

To find out a bit more about the process of shooting in the zoo we caught up with Olly to ask him about some of the challenges of shooting in a synthesised rainforest. Misty camera lenses and plastic cased GoPros watch out – the climbing anteater is about…

London Zoo Olly Interview

Casual's London MD, Olly Atkinson, who produced the films explains some of surprising challenges of shooting in a zoo! Keep watching to see the film at the end


Whatever you want to make a video about or expert global team are on hand to help. Fill in your details and thoughts on the form on this page and one of them will get back in touch very shortly. We've produced work from the Canadian Arctic to the Iraqi Desert (and a fair few conference rooms in between), so our staff understand your challenges and how to translate them into effective video content efficiently, whether your films subjects are going to try to break open and eat the camera, or not.

You can find the book a call back form here.

 

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, How-to, About Casual

How to make your content last longer

Posted by Nick Francis
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How to make content last-2

 

It's a really common question - it takes time, headspace and money to create content that is worth sharing. So we thought we would share a couple of thoughts on how you can maximise your content's mileage...

1. Shoot Plenty

Whatever you are producing the more material you can shoot the more options you are giving yourself for the future. You may choose to use that extra material to create social cuts now or to hold them back to refresh the content with a reedit in the future.

2. Tell the Production Team

It helps if the people making the videos know that you want them to last as long as possible. This will allow them to work this into the creative/production.

3. Use Animation

It's great - reflecting brand and looking professional and is infinitely changeable - we have an animation from 2009 that we are still making reedits to for a client. Oh yeah - and the characters don't usually resign.

4. Does it Really Matter?

Usually, you get bored of your content before your audience do. They may be coming to it fresh.

5. Deliver Lasting Value

Just like Steve McQueen, really great ideas, information and entertainment don't go out of fashion.


What's the best length to guarantee engagement online? Well, one way to find out is by downloading our What's the Right Length for Video Online? Whitepaper.

Which is good because it's right here:

Download Casual's Right Length for Video Online Whitepaper

Topics: Production process, Being a better commissioner, How-to, Content Strategy

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