Video is here to stay. More than 65% of the internet population will watch online videos this year.
What metrics are you tracking? Video marketing, content marketing and storytelling are some of the biggest factors in search engine optimization (SEO).
If you are focusing on building high-quality video on your website, it is important to consider how audiences will respond. One of the biggest mistakes I see is that businesses market to their audience, but do not focus on their experience.
Video production goes far beyond making sure you capture the footage and render everything with a resolution that’s acceptable.
VIDEO PRODUCTION MISTAKES
What Are Mistakes In Video Production
Video production mistakes can be costly to correct.
Thankfully, there are many ways to avoid these mistakes and save yourself an uncomfortable amount of time, stress, and money.
From forgetting to back up your footage to not budgeting enough for your project, there are many things that can go wrong during video production.
To perform at a high level, there are some mistakes to avoid. Do your research, so that you can have higher success rates in your video production business.
You’ve done the hard work of coming up with a great plan, hiring the right staff, and working your butt off in other areas of your business.
Now it’s time to make your video content shine. With all this hard work, you don’t want a mountain of mistakes that you have to undo — especially if you’re an entrepreneur looking to make a bigger dent in conversion rates or set yourself apart from other companies for leads.
1. Thinking You’ve Made It After One Good Video
I recently was talking with a video production company in Los Angeles, who told me that many new and small business owners come to them and ask them to create videos for them.
Trying to get into the video business can be very costly, but these newcomers think they’ve already made it because they have one video created. They think that having one video on their website is making all the difference and that they are now set for success.
This actually is a very common mistake among many businesses. Many small businesses think they’ve made it when they have made one great video and promoted it. But is this really enough?
To be honest, it isn’t. The most important factor when creating a marketing video is not the video itself, but the promotion of that video. This means that you need not just to create one good quality video, but also to promote it. You need to make sure as many people as possible see your videos. To do this you will need to promote your videos on social media and various other platforms.
You should create at least two videos – one with sales content and one with promotional content. Promotional videos are usually used in order to increase brand awareness or generate leads through link building or lead capture forms on your website.
2. Not Looking For Your Next Client
If you’re like most freelance video production companies, then you’re probably busy working and not very concerned with acquiring new clients, but the truth is that there are a lot of reasons why people pick a freelancer over a larger company and it has nothing to do with the quality of work.
Freelance video producers don’t have big advertising budgets which means that they have to get creative when it comes to spreading the word about their services.
A couple of issues are related to this:
No Call To Action – If your video has no call to action, then what’s the point? You need to draw viewers in and give them a reason to contact you for more information. Putting your contact information front and center on your website is a good way of doing this without being too pushy or sales-y.
Not Knowing Your Market – Video production is all about capturing the viewer’s attention so you can sell them something… or at least get them interested enough in your product or service that they’ll want to learn more. So, it makes sense that you want new clients coming in the door.
- Poor Audio or Inconsistent Audio
Poor audio is one of the most common video production mistakes in the industry. If your audio quality is poor, no amount of fancy graphics or video effects will make up for it.
With smartphones and digital cameras at everyone’s fingertips, you don’t even need to be a professional to produce a professional-looking video these days.
The key is consistency.
Look for background noise. The easiest way to destroy your video’s quality is by not paying attention to your environment.
If you’re filming outside, pay attention to the background noise: Are there cars? People? Appliances? If you’re shooting indoors, check for echoes and reverberation.
Pay attention to mic placement: A proper mic setup is critical to producing great sound on any shoot—even an iPhone shoot.
Find a quiet place where you can record (preferably not next to other people), and, if possible, use a boom pole or mount your microphone on a stand instead of holding it with your hands.
Using an external microphone will also help eliminate background noise, but if that’s not an option, make sure you use the microphone that came with your device as opposed to plugging in headphones or earbuds (which are notorious for poor audio).
4. Shot List Issues
The Shot List is the most powerful tool a video production professional has. A Shot List is a planning document and a record of what was shot on the day of the shoot. It’s a guide for video production so that everyone is on the same page and on time.
A Shot List is essential before any shoot. A good Shot List speaks volumes about your professionalism and can help you get more jobs.
But too many people have problems with their Shot Lists because they haven’t been shown how to make them work effectively.
Here are five common mistakes that people make when creating their shot lists:
- Not writing the script in advance (or failing to use one at all)
- Failing to include visual references
- Not including audio references (or forgetting to include them)
- Assuming that all your actors will read their lines as written (which they won’t!)
- Not checking on all the details in advance. That way you can spend time on the day of the shoot actually making videos instead of doing research and administration.
5. Hiring Bad Actors
Hiring bad actors and extras can ruin a production. Find out what you need to avoid when hiring for the set.
Trying to find professional actors to be in your video project can be difficult, especially if you work with a low or no budget. In this section, we’ll talk about how to find good actors, and what you should expect from them.
Let’s start by discussing the importance of quality acting for your project.
First of all, the better your actors are the more time you will have for shooting and the less time you will spend editing a not-so-great take.
If a take is not working for any reason, you can save time by simply getting rid of it immediately rather than having to deal with an impossible editing situation.
There are many different ways to find actors for your projects, but keep in mind that just because they might have experience, doesn’t mean they are good at acting. Here is a tip that will help you hire the right people!
If you can, try to work with a casting director or talent agent. It can be extremely helpful to work with someone who has experience casting people for video projects.
An experienced casting director will know how to find good actors who can deliver the lines convincingly.
- Neglecting The Art Department
If you’ve ever watched a movie or TV show and thought, “Wow, that set looks really fake,” you’re not alone. The most realistic-looking sets are actually filled with scenery that’s been carefully constructed to look like the real thing.
They can look so real, in fact, that they are often almost indistinguishable from the actual thing. In fact, even if you were standing right next to them, you could easily be fooled into believing that they’re real.
That’s why it’s so important for set designers to put all of their efforts into creating sets that are as believable as possible.
Good set design is one of the most important parts of any movie or TV show. It’s the same with videos you can for clients.
The art department has the task of creating the world in which each scene takes place, and without them, all of the work an actor does would be for nothing.
7. Focusing On Tech Instead of Onscreen Talent
Focusing on technology instead of onscreen talent is a common mistake that many video production companies and freelancers make.
This can lead to videos that are unfocused, boring, and unimpressive.
Treat your video like a conversation between two people. The person listening is your audience.
- What is the point you want to make?
- What words will convey it?
- How will those words be delivered so that your audience understands them?
Capture the moment the way you want it to be seen, create a connection between viewers and the talent, and produce a video that everyone will want to see and share.
8. Getting Your Permits Wrong
If you’re going to be filming any kind of action shot, such as a car crash or a fight scene, then you need to make sure that you have the correct permits.
This is also very important if you’re going to be asking any member of the public to take part in a video shoot.
Filming without the correct permits can result in serious fines, and it can also lead to you being banned from filming altogether.
Getting your permits wrong is one of those rookie mistakes that nobody should make when planning a production.
The first thing to understand is that not all countries are the same when it comes to filming permits.
Some countries insist that all productions must have permission from the police, while others only require permission from other relevant authorities such as fire chiefs.
Even within a single country, there can be variations between states and cities, so local knowledge is really important if you’re visiting a new place for a video shoot.
The most obvious reason why it’s vital to get your permits right is so that you don’t get into trouble with the law. If you’re trying to shoot an action scene and things go wrong, this could result in serious injuries or even death.
9. Inconsistent Company Branding
Having a strong, distinctive brand can help your business stand out from the competition. But if you want your brand to be memorable, it needs to be consistent.
You don’t have to do everything yourself. You can outsource some elements of your branding to freelancers or pass on some work to employees you trust. Just make sure that everyone is working toward the same goals and using the same guidelines when they communicate with customers.
Here are some common mistakes you need to avoid:
Using Inconsistent Colors Across Your Products
A good rule of thumb is to pick two or three colors that represent your company and use them on all of your marketing material. Sometimes you might add other shades for emphasis, but don’t get carried away or you’ll end up with a rainbow of colors.
Changing Fonts Constantly In Your Marketing Efforts
Not only are inconsistent fonts irritating, but they also send a message that you’re not serious about the quality of your product or service. Be bold and confident in two or three different fonts, and stick with them through all of your marketing materials.
Changing Logos Constantly In Your Marketing Efforts
Your logo is an extension of your company’s brand, so it needs to be used consistently across all of your marketing efforts. If you absolutely need to change something about your video company, make sure you maintain consistency across your brand.
10. No Parking On Location!
We’ve used something as simple as ‘no parking on location’ as an example to express this wider point. But making a simple (but potentially huge) mistake like not sorting out parking for your crew is a huge oversight.
The best film crew are involved with the decisions of the director and are able to help achieve a vision through their work.
The most efficient film sets are ones where everyone knows what they’re doing and has been trained to do it properly. This is done by the film director in consultation with the key crew members.
In order to create an efficient production, the director needs to prepare in advance by researching as much as possible about the project, location, and cast. The script must be finalized and any props and costumes need to be organized.
A well-run set is one that allows everyone to concentrate on their jobs without distractions or interruptions. People not directly involved with filming need to be kept away from the set and all cables, wires, lights, and equipment should be hidden or removed from sight.
The most basic requirement of any set is good communication between all those involved.
Crew members should know exactly what they are meant to be doing at any given time and should have been told how long this will take them so that they can plan their day accordingly.
The director should give clear instructions as to what she wants by using words that everyone can understand so no one gets confused or makes mistakes.
11. “We’ll Fix It in Post” Mindset
In the digital age, it’s easy to be in a “we’ll fix it in post” mindset. But sometimes fixing something in post is just not possible. When you’re on set, keep an eye out for small mistakes that can ruin a shot, and try to fix them before they happen. A few simple things can help you make sure things are perfect while you’re still shooting.
The more people involved, the higher the chance of mistakes happening. Small mistakes like slippage or a dolly hitting your tripod legs might happen if you work alone. If you work with many people on set, there are more chances of problems arising. You may find yourself chasing problems instead of solving them.
The earlier you discover mistakes, the better. It’s always easier to solve a problem while you are shooting rather than when you start editing your footage later on.
Once you’ve gathered all the material that you need for your project, take your time and review it carefully. This will give you enough time to solve any problems with the footage in case there are any issues with audio recording or camera work.
And just to wrap up, here are some (more minor) video production mistakes that will get you in trouble quickly (or even over time):
- Using too much stock video or music.
- Getting too “techie” with screen-shots and complicated graphics.
- Overusing the zoom feature.
- Indulging too many ‘talking heads.’
- Including too many scenes in one video.
- Using overly-complicated words and phrases, rather than good marketing language.
- Not having an interesting narrative to your videos.
- Shooting without a Shot List.
- Not using enough, or enough good lights.
- Not using multiple cameras when shooting a video (this is where the money is).
- Not using an external audio recorder or wireless lavaliere microphones (these can be hidden under your talent’s clothing and will give you much better sound than what you could ever get out of your camera).
- Poorly-chosen backgrounds. This is more important than you might think. There’s a reason why people used to go to studios to shoot their videos — bad lighting in your house can make even the most beautiful subject look terrible on video, and that’s not fair to anyone!
- Shooting in sunlight with no fill lighting (your talent will have giant shadows on their faces!).
- Lack of preparation time for interviews and/or run-throughs (know exactly what you’re going to say before the camera starts rolling).
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