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Kirk Loftin


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What Kind of Video Do You Need?

Often, bosses will come in with an idea: let’s make a video! And...that’s it. That’s the end of their idea, but there’s so much more to it. Knowing precisely what kind of video you need helps tremendously to actually get it done. Not every video is equal. If you want proof of this, just look at the filmography of John Travolta (sorry Mr. Travolta).

What do you want your video to do?

Do you want to show off your new office building? Do you want to explain your complicated new software so anyone can understand it? Do you want to tell a story about a mouse who burned down a coffee shop? Sure, these can all be videos, but they’re all very different videos. Knowing what you want your video to say will help you shape which kind of video to pick from. Interview-style videos, animated demos, explainer videos, VR tours, narrative videos, and how-to videos are all great options, just figure out what you want your video to do and which fits that goal the best. 

What resources do you have access to?

Planning to create a massive CGI-effect heavy video doesn’t make sense if you don’t have a budget. How much research needs to be done? Do you need a writer to write a script? Do you need animation? Do you need video equipment? Sound equipment? Do you need to buy lunch for your crew? Do you need to schedule times for interviews? Who is available to work on the project? Are you hiring an outside video company or doing it in-house? Knowing what tools/people you have access to will help you know what’s actually accomplishable. Too often projects start with grand ideas and poor planning, and honestly, do you want a disaster? Because that’s how you get Super Mario Bros.: The Movie.

Who is your video for?

A super fast, kinetic video set to DJ Khaled is not going to be appropriate for your “Welcome to Pokey Oaks Nursing Home” video. You have to consider your audience while you’re planning your video out. Are you trying to get a kid’s attention (“Buy this toy!”), or a CEO’s attention (“Buy this service!”)? Tone, rhythm, volume, cuts, colors, music, voiceover, script, animation or live-action are all different things to consider when looking at potential audience for your video. Also consider the size of your audience. A personalized video is an incredible tool to keep people feeling connected, but that’s a heck of a lot easier to do with ten investors than ten thousand. 

The key here is planning. I know you’re super excited about your idea, but take a step back, take a few deep breaths, and think for a moment. If you don’t think through your process before you start, you’re going to make your project blow up in size (including heart palpitation-causing jumps in costs). Having a road map and plan for exactly what you want for your video helps everyone involved understand what’s expected, what’s wanted, and what can be done. With any creative work, planning as much as possible frees up those creative people to do their best work as stress-free as possible. Hubspot has a great resource about the basics. And don’t want to lose your bonus because of poor planning.

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