Creating web videos for Greg Merrilees at Studio1Designs
If you’ve ever thought about what goes into making a web video then keep reading. I’m going to step you through our process for making a series of information videos for Greg Merrilees from Studio1Designs.com. It’ll give you a good sense of the web video production process and it might give you a few ideas for your own website.
Greg is an experienced Melbourne designer who focuses on creating websites that raise client profiles and grow conversions. He told us he was interested in video for his own website because “people have different ways of engaging, and video has all the senses covered”. A series of information videos explaining his services would teach people about what Studio1 could offer in a personable way.
For Greg’s information videos, we produced a series of straight-to-camera videos starring Greg. It’s becoming common for businesses to have multiple videos on their website with to-camera messages from managers or staff. That’s because those kind of videos allow you to build trust with your audience and give them an insight into the kind of business you are. Perfect for what Studio1 wanted to achieve.
The videos also needed to match the high quality of the Studio1 website.
Step 1 – Planning a Web Video
Greg wanted to create videos that would target different kinds of clients visiting his website. By that I mean if somebody comes to Greg’s website to learn about commissioning a website design, then there’s a dedicated video just for them. The same applies for the other products they offer.
By tailoring information for an audience, viewers will be happy to invest the time in watching your video because you’re speaking directly to their interests.
Presenter-to-camera videos lend themselves to this strategy because they’re simple and direct. It’s also easy to produce many at the same time.
To get the project started, Greg wrote a draft script. Often someone who works within a business is best placed to write the first draft of a script. They’re often more compelling than an external script writer because they understand their audience best.
Writing a script that will work well on video is a bit different to writing regular copy. The first draft might have all the right content and information but it often needs to be refined.
That’s where we came in. We took the first draft of the script and made same small edits. The aim was to alter the script to make it easy for greg to present and easy for the audience to understand.
Using simple language, short sentences and avoiding jargon will ensure a video is easy to watch but it’s also important to think about how language can support visuals. Writing a script that presents information visually will make a more interesting and dynamic video than one that just talks to it’s viewers.
Step 2 – Pre Production and Shoot
The planning stage of production involved deciding on a location and creating a schedule.
A good location will set the scene for your video and allow the crew to get great looking footage. It also tells the audience a lot about you. If your video is set in a trendy office then viewers will associate your work with being trendy too.
It can work the other way though. A highly corporate background might give the viewer a different idea about your designs. So it’s important to think about the visual impression you want to give people before you chose a location.
For Greg’s video, we used his office at Studio1 in Melbourne. The neat office with a wooden desk, iMac and a painting on the wall, gives the audience the sense of a modern studio. It positions him as a professional and it builds trust because the audience is being brought into his world and they can see how he works.
Getting the best shot required moving some furniture around (we made sure to put everything back before we left).
We made a schedule for the shoot so that Greg knew when he needed to be available and so that we had plenty of time to set up and light a great looking shot. It was also important to give Greg as much time as he needed to rehearse and re take each video where necessary. Presenting naturally to camera can take a few tries so it’s important to allow time for that.
Step 3 – Edit and Deliver
Once a video has been recorded, it’s important for our clients to have their videos playing on their website as quick as possible so that they can start to see a return on their investment. With this in mind, we had the first cut of Greg’s videos online within a few days so that he could send us his feedback and request any changes or edits.
This gave him the chance to go through and make sure that he was completely happy with the content and how we had assembled it. If you want to learn more about this stage of the production, take a look at this blog post for a detailed breakdown.
To save more time we uploaded the videos straight to Studio1’s video hosting – a service we’re happy to provide our clients to save them from waiting to receive video files only to have to upload them again.
Greg was really happy with the videos and is now using them as part of the overall marketing strategy of his website. If you head over to the Studio1 website you can see them for yourself.