Top 6 ways to mess up your video

Video is a key form of digital content for communicators today. More impactful than a mere still photo or schematic, a film can be the ultimate weapon that transforms your communications and gives them the punch they need to get through to your audience. That said, there are some technical mistakes you need to avoid.

1. Poor framing

Filming is like writing: there is a grammar. If you don’t follow a few basic rules, you’re sure to make hash of your video. For instance, a downward will shrink the subject, who will no longer have the aura she or he need to project. The speaker’s utterances are discounted, we are conditioned not to take them seriously. The same thing happens when you film your subject from too far, too close or when the person is on the left side of your shot, looking… left, into empty space. Each shot must be calculated and thought out so that it has impact, follows logically and supports the speaker’s words.

2. Bad image quality

Poor focus, approximate white balance, backlighting, blurring or underexposure, and your picture will be worthy of a holiday video. Is this the image you want to convey of your company? Always keep in mind that a video embodies you, it will always represent to your audiences, prospects and partners, your reflection, your quality and your professionalism.

3. Crappy sound

To have a beautiful image is good, to hear perfectly is even better. How many speeches are spoiled by mediocre sound, recorded by a microphone placed too far from the source or directly through a smartphone. To make sure you get good sound, you need the right equipment. A good microphone, a tie if possible, a good recorder and good headphones.

4. Lack of inflection

Unless you are an actor or journalist, it is almost impossible to sound natural when reading or reciting a text, or even appearing on camera at all. Hence the importance of being ‘mediatrained’ by a professional before any recording. This will prevent you from sounding flat or stilted, will make sure your contribution has momentum and above all, will make you want to listen to yourself!

Always keep in mind that a video embodies you.

5. Impersonal settings

In communication, there is nothing more useless than a video that does not resemble you and does not convey your values. Why film a spokesperson in front of a white wall when you have premises that reflect your image more?

A video is a signature, if you want to stand out, it must respect your storytelling and be beautiful!

6. Filming with a smartphone

Yes, many companies are now filming on smartphones, a very practical and inexpensive tool. However, a video filmed with an iPhone will never achieve better quality than a film made with a dedicated camera; and especially, a smartphone will not allow you to exploit all the possibilities offered by a professional device. You will be limited in postproduction; editing capabilities suffer, you won’t be able to overlay certain computer graphics and your ability to colour correct will be nil or almost nil, not to mention the video quality itself.

It’s a little like convincing yourself you could win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Twingo, or do Motion Design on an Amstrad CPC 6128.

BONUS. Foregoing professional help

Would you head to a garage for medical advice any more than you would go to your doctor to have your car serviced?

The same holds true for making videos. There are professionals who will listen to you, build your storytelling with you, advise you, and take inspiration from your values to enhance your videos so that they will be beautiful, impactful, and reflect you.

Failed or successful, a video remains a powerful communications weapon, one that is a double-edged sword. It’s up to you to decide what image of your company you want to project!