12 Most Annoying Video Production Problems
People think that videos are easy to produce. In fact, BAD videos are easy to produce. There are lots of things people can do to make the process tougher than it needs to be, and they often find ways to do that.
Let me count the ways…
1. No vision
If you want to do a video, take the time to figure out what you want to do, and WHY you want to do it. After that, decide whether you’re making a one-off or a series, and if you plan on a web series, whether it’s sustainable or not. There’s no hiatus on the internet. You have to come up with something every single week.
2. No pre-production
If you know what you want to do, take some time to figure out HOW to do it properly. The less time you take in pre-production, the more time your editor’s going to have to spend figuring out what to do with your footage = the more money you’re going to have to spend to get your video edited.
3. No quality
Everybody wants to “fix it in post”. It doesn’t work like that. Video is “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. Whatever you film, that’s what you have. Nobody’s going to make your 640×480, grainy-looking video into widescreen HD for you. Video will end up looking the same or worse, never BETTER than how YOU filmed it.
4. No light
When you don’t have the right amount of lighting on your subject, the computer translates colors that are different yet similar as the same. If someone’s wearing dark blue next to a black wall, the computer might decide that’s the same color. If that happens, making the picture lighter isn’t going to help you. This is one reason you want to be sure how the camera you’re going to use reacts to low light situations.
Your best bet is to bring a light that attaches to your camera, and even then, that might only properly light an area up to 6 feet in front of your lens. That type of light won’t help you at with far-away subjects.
5. No tripod
A video might look good to you while you’re filming it, because you’re focusing on the people or things in the frame, but if you’re holding the camera in your hand, you’re probably not holding it steady, which will be obvious when you sit down to edit it, and will be obvious to your desired viewer.
Buy a tripod and sit the camera on it, or at least set it on a flat, immobile surface to capture your video. Making the video steady in post-production is very computer processor-intensive = costly to you while the computer analyzes and configures every single frame of your video.
6. No producer
If you don’t have a producer, the editor has to figure out what to do with your footage. Last time I checked, editors cost more than producers… WAY more. It’s in your best interest to decide ahead of time who’s going to look through your footage, and log it, and prepare the sound bites and other audio, video & graphic elements for the editor. Make sure that person is good at handling those tasks.
7. No microphone
A lot of people assume that because they can hear the person talking, that sound is being picked up in a quality fashion by the microphone their camera comes with. When they try to edit it, they often find out they were wrong, and there’s a lot of background noise in their audio. Your best bet is using a camera that allows you to attach an external mic. That way, you can set it to pick up your subject more than the background, and have a better chance of your finished product having a quality soundtrack.
8. No names
For some reason, people think they know how to spell every name in the universe. If you’re doing a video where you intend to give the participants credit, make sure you get them to SPELL their names for you. How do you know whether it’s Kim or Kym? o_O .. You don’t. Have them say and spell their names while you’re filming them, or have them write their names down for you before or after you film them.
9. No cutaways
It’s amazing sometimes, how people don’t figure jump-cuts into their concept of how a video’s going to flow. A jump-cut is when, for instance, someone coughs, and you think you have a good take because your subject says all the words, but you don’t realize that in order to delete the cough, it’s going to ruin the quality of your video unless you have video to cover the jump with = a cutaway, because you’re cutting away from one video to another.
So record a bunch of EXTRA footage while you’re filming your video, just in case there are audio interruptions or the cameraperson bobbles the handheld camera or someone kicks the tripod, so you can delete the incorrect sections and cover it up with a cutaway.
10. No clearances
If you’re going to use music in a commercial production, you have to get clearance for it, meaning you have to get whomever holds the copyright to the song you want to use to agree that they’ve allowed you to use it. This normally requires you PAYING THEM, because business is business. If you can’t get in touch with the copyright owner, or you can’t afford the $$$$ they want from you in exchange, you shouldn’t use the song.
A lot of people build their videos around songs that they can’t use, and then end up having to substitute songs that don’t work for their presentation. One way around this is to hire someone specifically to make music for your use. Another way is to search for songs released under a Creative Commons license that allows you to use it without paying them in a commercial production. You’ll probably still be required to give that person credit somewhere in your video, in exchange for the free use of their music.
11. No time
If you haven’t done your pre-production and production properly, post-production is going to take quite a bit of time. Unless you show up to the edit suite with a list of items that merely need to be assembled, there’s going to be a lot of artistry involved in finishing your project… assuming you hired a quality editor to begin with.
The less time you allocate for your edit, the less of your great footage that you painstakingly retrieved will make it into the final video. It takes time to check what footage you have. It takes time to figure out whether the clips work with each other or not. It takes time to figure out whether the points you’re trying to get across are being made clearly to the viewer. If you don’t do all that “figuring out” before you get to the edit, you’re either going to spend a lot of time = money on post-production, or you’re going to rush through it, in which case, you probably could have saved yourself even more money by not filming as much as you did to begin with, since nobody will ever see it.
12. No budget
A lot of people believe that they can create quality videos by pointing a camera at someone or something, importing the footage into their computer, editing, compressing and uploading it themselves. People like this don’t reserve much of their budget for editing the video, opting instead to spend money on the camera, transportation, food, whatever. Once they figure out that a) they don’t know what they’re doing, and b) they need to hire someone to bring their concept to reality, because c) they’re costing themselves money trying to do it themselves, because that’s time that they could have been spending making money, they try to get someone to do it cheap, and end up with a cheap editor, skills-wise. Think about it like a car… no point in buying one if you can’t make the payments.
As companies increasingly rely on video as their first line of contact with potential customers, you want to maximize the quality of your presentations so people don’t confuse shoddy video production skills with shoddy business practices.
If you can’t make a decent video, why would anyone let you operate on them?
If you can’t afford to hire someone to create a quality presentation for you, how well could your company be doing, financially? (= consumer confidence)
You put your best foot forward when you’re DOING your business. Put your best foot forward when you’re REPRESENTING your business.
Featured image courtesy of Creative Commons.