Not using it. The power of video is legendary but a lot of companies still shun this media often unaware that costs have fallen since the high-flying eighties. I also believe that a lot of PR people (who usually make the decisions on corporate videos such as Video News Releases and promotional programs) have a straight print or university background with very few coming from a TV or video production grounding. A pity, as video has incredible power to sway viewers, to educate, inform and entertain.
Calling in the video producer too late. On numerous occasions we’ve been commissioned to shoot a video at, say, a presentation day for a firm but there has been either no time to organise a reconnoitre or budget to do so and we’ve found the venue very video unfriendly – areas designated for interviews are within earshot of noisy entrance foyers or strong sunlight streaming through big curtainless windows. On one occasion a client had a big announcement to make to the media and scheduled this for a garden area just outside their Head Office. Again, we were called in late to record video of the event for staff consumption only to find the sun was creeping over the top of the building and almost obliterating the speakers’ dais. Fortunately we had just enough time to relocate the dais and microphones to a more evenly lit space nearby. We later found out the internal PR department responsible for the event had decided on the venue after an afternoon reconnoitre not realising the sun would be in a different position for the morning session.
Not thinking of video framing when organising events. When a company organises an event that is going to be recorded on video, it pays to think about the framing of such video. Put your speaker in position along with any signage on backgrounds or adjacent pull-up banners and think how the video camera will see all that. Video of people talking is normally shot with the bottom of frame around the 2nd coat button and the top of frame slightly above the top of the person’s head. If you visualise that, can you still see any of the appropriate background or the logo, say, on those vertical banners?
– If you have more than one speaker, is there much height difference and, if so, will that make a difference to the shot composition? We’ve seen examples where logos have been out of shot or, worse, half in shot due to a lack of such thinking before the event.
– We’ve also seen additional problems because the dais has been set up in line with a screen for a PowerPoint presentation. In other words, think where the cameraman might have to set up his camera and make sure the screen from that position will not be directly behind the speaker as that will cause either the screen to blow out (be unreadable) or the speaker’s face to be too dark if the screen is to be seen and the slide recognised. Also tell your presenter not to walk between the projector and the screen as this will blow him/her out as well with that extra light on their body.