Case Study – Presenter Videos

A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves in the studio shooting the first in a series of presenter videos for a new client of ours. It was good to work in a studio again as recently the majority of our work has been out on location. Studios are great from our point of view because you have 100% control over everything and generally it all runs very smoothly. In this blog I thought I’d take you through the day, explaining what we did and how we did it.

Pre-Production

Before we got to the studio we had a fair amount of pre-production to do. This involved us writing the script, organising the studio hire, casting a presenter, organising a sound operator and making sure we had the correct gear for the shoot. Our client wanted to use a presenter from the get go but for other options please see two of our previous blogs – What if I don’t want to appear in my corporate video? and Do I have to appear in my company’s promotional video?

The Set Up

We arrived at the studio at 7am and the first thing we needed was some coffee! Whilst that was being organised we got to work setting up the many lights we had, the camera and all the paraphernalia that goes along with it. Studio shoots require quite a few lights than usual as you need to light the background and the talent separately.

Once all this was done our sound operator arrived and having discussed the various options we settled on a two mic setup to ensure we got the best possible results.

Kirsty, our presenter was next to arrive. We got her to try out a few different outfits and finally settles on one that looked good on camera and wasn’t too noisy for the microphones. Some fabrics can make a horrible sound when rubbed together, such as if the presenter gesticulates. During this process we also noticed that studio had an echo to it, as we hadn’t used the venue before it wasn’t something we were prepared for but it was no biggy as we know how to overcome situations like this. We quickly got some drapes out and fashioned a sort of booth around Kirsty, we could have overcome the issue during the editing stages but we’re firm believers of doing it properly in the first place. This made a huge difference and we quickly moved on to the next job.

The Shoot

O directing-01nce we were set we began rehearsing with Kirsty and as she had prepared well we were soon recording the first take. We had broken the script into small chunks so that it was easier for Kirsty to memorize one section at a time. We filmed each section kirstymultiple times until we were happy with the performance and we then changed lenses so that we could get a different shot. These two shots (left) were done so that we had options in the edit as the video wasn’t going to be covered in GVs. It’s important to have an understanding of the edit whilst filming because you can get the shots you need rather than filming a load of footage that will not be used. A video that involves a script is also great because it instantly gives you a strong direction. A lot of our videos aren’t able to be scripted because, 1) you need to be trained to be able to deliver a script naturally or 2) some of videos feature very busy people who just don’t have the time to prepare. In the case of the second point the challenge for us is to create a narrative in the edit using the content from the interview answers, this is where experience and a strong knowledge of film-making is handy.

The Edit

editingOnce we wrapped up the shoot we moved to our new powerful edit suite where the video was put together. This involved picking out the best takes and stitching the script back together so it played out in a natural way with good pacing. As the video was a ‘How To’ video we needed to use screen capture of our clients website and shopping basket. We used some specialist software for this and added it to the video in the correct places. The next job was to create a logo ident and select some music for it, as this video is the start of a whole series it was important to get this stage right as it will be added to all future videos. So, once the rushes were edited, the screen capture was done, the ident and music were finalised we entered the final stage which involved colour correction and audio balancing. The colour correction was used to enhance Kirsty’s skin tone and to add a bit of contrast so that she ‘popped out’ and the audio balancing was important so that the video sounded consistent throughout and the music didn’t drown Kirsty out. Once all this was complete and signed off we exported the video in a suitable file format for use on YouTube. YouTube was selected as the main platform because it is one of the most popular search engines, second only to Google, it is the most popular online video portal and it gives you good embedding options as the video needed to appear on a specific page of our clients website.

The Outcome

Below is one of many videos from the complete series. When watching it you may not think that all the processes above were involved, but trust me they were, in most cases the processes involved in video editing should not be obvious to the end viewer because if they were the video would be very jarring to watch (check out one of our previous blogs for more info on this).

If you would like more details or would like Echo Video to put together a quote for your next project then please give us a call on 01273 911345.