We work with manufacturing companies a lot.
Which is really cool — We get to see how things are made, like Pepsico’s Fruit Shoot drink.
These videos — while fun — are often last minute. Tight time constraints can’t be helped as factory work is demanding and leaves little time for creative planning.
However, the less known in the planning phase, the more room for error in production (that’s why pre-production is so important). That doesn’t stop us from providing high quality video, but we’d rather not leave it to chance.
After several last minute videos with limited information, we came up with 5 things to help you prepare before production.
So…Whatcha doing with this video?
It may seem an obvious question — but it’s often over-looked. Mostly because it’s hard to imagine all the ways you could be using your videos.
Some examples are:
- External Videos
○ For sales or point of purchase
○ To alert customers about problems your product solves
○ Used as a complement to an awards presentation
- Internal Videos
○ Safety training
○ Job training
○ Introduction to the company
○ Encouragement and motivation for employees at quarterly meetings
- Web Videos
○ Highlight friendly staff members
○ Show a process within the company
Videos used for an awards ceremony and videos used to teach safety to employees have drastically different goals. When you’re producing a video for training, you have to think about questions to ask yourself when planning an educational video. There are learning objectives, processes and prior knowledge to consider.
If your video is to boost morale or celebrate an accomplishment then your video will be more emotion-based; joy, pride, appreciation, etc.
Knowing the purpose of the video sets the tone and keeps the focus clear.
Keep things on a schedule
A video about your company shouldn’t hinder the factory’s operations. With a production schedule — it won’t.
A lot of times these are one-day shoots, so there’s a limited time to get things done. Production schedules define who should be where and when.
This becomes really important in factories that span across 3 or even 4 separate buildings.
Your video production team will have a pretty good idea how long interviews take. They can help you figure out how long each person needs to stick around. That way no one’s time is wasted.
Make your employees aware of the video in progress
In industrial settings, safety is key. We don’t have to tell you that. Our production team is well taken care on factory shoots; provided with PPE gear and clear instructions on where to go, when to go there and with whom.
There’s another important element of awareness — and that’s your employees.
Unaware employees lead to distracting background noise. With interviews and presentations, capturing clear sound is incredibly important. Viewers will get distracted if you’re setting the tone for an intense process and they hear employees laughing under the narration. That kind of background noise is hard to get rid of in post-production — even for professionals.
When your employees are aware of a video in production, they’ll be inclined to mind their volume when passing these areas.
Provide important information before production day
Productions are best when the right information is provided to your production team ahead of time.
Industrial videos are usually based on interviews or narration — and sometimes a little of both. Most of the information needed to meet your video’s goals can be found in a script or in an outline — if one exists.
Scripts based on narration are written out word-for-word. The direction and goals are clearly defined.
Interview videos can be trickier. They tell a story through information you want to draw from interviewees. That’s the key. You need to have an idea of what answers you want, and then think about what questions to ask.
Ideally the scripts, outlines and interview questions should be provided a minimum of 2 business days before production. You know creatives — They love to mull over things.
You may choose to hire your production company to play the role of interviewer or you may provide one yourself. Either way, if you know the sound bites you want, then your production company knows what kind of B-roll to collect.
Let’s talk ‘bells’ and ‘whistles’
There are a lot of elements that go into making an industrial video, starting with a plan, shoot and edit. Anything else — though they look simple — take extra thought and time to create;
Narration is usually pre-planned and pre-scripted. It’s also something recorded by outside talent — which takes time to choose the best voice and then record the script.
If you want something identified within the video (machines, processes, chemicals, etc) it’s best to communicate that ahead of time so they can be marked with a slate during production.
Looking through a day’s worth of unorganized footage is daunting.
Graphics can be simple or elaborate, it’s up to you. The important part is the correct spelling and figuring out which machine is which, so the appropriate graphics are created during post-production.
There is a lot of confusion about music rights. Even though you saw someone’s dog dancing to the latest pop tune on YouTube, it is still not a good idea to use the same piece on your company video due to copyright restrictions. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of high quality production music which can be licensed for your production. Providing direction for the mood you want to create with your video will help in the selection.
Factory sounds are great in these videos, but probably will not come from the microphone on the camera. If you want these effects added to your video, a separate, high quality mic is used to collect sounds. Outside sound effects (crowd cheering, fire blazing, earth rumbling) can also be sourced if needed.
Planning makes perfect
Last minute videos are not a problem. This is a face-paced world. Time constraints will always be a factor, but that doesn’t mean your production team should go unprepared.
- Provide information on how your video is going to be used
- Create a production schedule
- Make your employees aware of the video in progress
- Provide any and all information at least 2 days before production
- Figure out any extra components you want to add to the video ahead of time
Providing time for brainstorming to happen before the production team steps foot onto your factory floor is the best plan. The sooner the goals of your production are known, the sooner a great video can be crafted — on time and error-free!