Video Basics

Ideas, tips, tricks and thoughts about creating a video.

By Mitchell Creative Group

One of the most popular and highly expanding media formats to date. There are videos everywhere. Everything from a basic clip created on your cell phone through more elaborate videos created with your home video camera. In business, there are demo videos created from Powerpoint presentation slides, and more elaborate videos that resemble television commercials to help sell your stuff— to tell an audience more about your business, service, product, or idea.

We have SnapChat videos that have made insane readership numbers over the past few years, YouTube videos that also have skyrocketed on recent years. Social media is crawling with videos, and people are engaging in them— by millions of views. Social media platforms are now becoming fame and fortune creators— revealing talent all over the world.

Why create a video at all?

We are creatures of intrigue— of interest, of growth, development, and exploration. Our keen senses are always on the listen or lookout for sensual data. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and emotions all play a part of what we do, see what we see, what we hear, and how we feel. We are attracted to all kinds of things depending on the person, group, company, or audience we are and what we have an interest in engaging.

In advertising, creative design, and marketing it’s no secret that the idea is to not JUST to show your stuff but to elicit an emotion from whoever is seeing what it is you’re creating. You literally want to change the way someone feels. You want them to feel good or bad (and sometimes neutral) about something and can do that easily depending on how you present it. And that can be in person with certain words or phrases. It can be on a printed piece of material (advertisement, brochure, flyer, etc…). It can be electronic/digital; website, banner ad, or VIDEO.

A video is a representation of actually being there— in motion. It stimulates the parts of our brain that feel like we’re there in the action. We’re witnessing it like it’s really there. It also allows us to show more than 1 thing at a time in a series. We want to continue seeing more. We need motion. We need more data.

It’s also a technological advancement. We simply have technology today that didn’t exist years ago. It’s progress of technology. And one of those advancements is video. And it ties in well with today’s extraordinary universe and internet of “things.” Devices that engage in video.

Think of flat media like an infographic. It has a lot of data points that you read about and hopefully tells a story that’s useful. A real simple graphic with a few data points— or a large graphic with lots of data points. Tells a lot or a little. But it’s flat. It does’t move. It’s not as interesting or engaging as something with motion.

A book, a newspaper, or series of documents— lots of info. But static… it takes much more effort.

But video— ahh… it entertains you. It stimulates you, it takes over and walks you through it with no other effort than just “watching.” You don’t even notice the emotions, thoughts, and feelings happening in the background of your mind. But they’re there— churning away.

Think of all the movies you’ve seen— which are ultimately an insanely high budgeted video. They can make you feel all kinds of emotions. And the stronger the emotion, the more it “sticks” to your mind— to your memory.

In commercials (expensive videos), you can sell a sugary, bubbly drink (soda) as “refreshing, cool, and delicious… made with all natural ingredients” with images of splashing in pools, smiling kids, and good times. You can sell simple running shoes that were made in a factory in China— as emotional powerhouses, geared to make you the ultimate athlete— a faster runner, running that marathon, up that mountain— to just “do it.”

The basics of video are really very simple. Your goal? You want to create a media that people can watch and see what you want them to see, feel the way you want them to feel, and do what you want them to do. And how you do that will make a HUGE difference in the effectiveness of your goal.

You might have something so simple as I want to show a new product. You know that you can create an image and some text for your website since most everyone these day uses the web to interact. Check!

You also know that advertising in the right place will also help build awareness and exposure to this new product so you create a cool new print ad that gets in front of the right audience. Check!

But you also know that videos are being watched at an insanely growing rate. That they’re fun. Engaging. And the new choice of media that millions are watching. So now you want one too!

Where to begin?

There are so many types of videos. From the cell phone quickie, to a professionally-created video on high end equipment. You can create a slide show from Powerpoint presentations and add voice overs and titles that ultimately constitute a video. You can video tape clips, add pictures, music, and then have them assembled by a creative professional (like we do here at Mitchell Creative Group), or have a friend crank it out on their laptop using something as fundamental as Apple’s iMovie®.

Here are some steps to help get you started in the world of video:

Phase 1. How and Why.

Regardless of how and where it’s created, you need to answer a few key questions first:

1. Why do you want the video?
Why do you want it, what’s it for, what is the hopeful end result of the video?

2. What size video are you hoping to have?
What caliber project do you envision? Is it big, small, simple, fancy, advanced? What type of expense to you hope for?

3. Do you have examples of the type of video you want?
This can help you answer the above questions— and help get an estimate of cost/time.

4. How will you use it?
Will you have it online, on social media, on your website, on DVD, exported to mass produce? Is it a music video, company video, or product demo?

5. How will it be created?
Are you creating it? How? Is someone else going to create it?

6. Format.
What’s the end deliverable? YouTube, MPG4, FLV, etc… It depends on where it will reside.

Once you have these basic questions figured out, you then need to start phase 2— The Wireframe.

Phase 2. The Wireframe.

Next, you need to rough out a plan. Sketch out a rough idea. Either on paper— or using Powerpoint or Keynote to assemble a rough outline of what you want to do create with descriptions on each slide.

A. Title of video

B. Subtitle that describes what the video is for

C. Script. Pretend you’re making a comic strip that each square sort of tells what happens in sequence. So you can roughly see the order of content you want to create and how it will flow.

D. Assets required based on the script. This will help you determine what you’ll need to create the video.

– Will you need voice over?

– Custom artwork. Illustrations, drawings, charts

– Photos?

– Raw video? Will you need a videographer, or are you video recording the video?

– Presentation media? Will you be using slides in the video?

– Logos or company identity material?

– Transition or title slides needed throughout?

E. Call to action or ending. Contact info, website link, phone number… What is the end result, what you want it to end with?

Phase 3. The Game Plan.

Next you need to figure out how it’s going to be created. After going over all the above criteria, you have enough info to share with a creative team, or person that will be helping you create the video. All of the above info will affect the cost, the time, and end result (quality). So in essence:

  •  Who is doing it? (WHO?)
  •  When you hope to have the video in hand? (WHEN?)
  • What type of budget do you want to invest in this project? Your budget estimate?

Cost

The cost of creating a video will depend on all the criteria above. Video is usually on the expensive end because it takes a lot of computing power, special software and skill, and often a lot of work needed to get the quality up to modern, high level performance. Remember, modern media is high definition— so the artwork all needs to be 100% top quality.

The four primary factors include:

  • (SIZE) How big a project? (small and simple, larger, longer, etc…)
  • (QUALITY LEVEL) What level of quality you want? (basic, high-end professional, etc…)
  • (AMOUNT OF WORK) How much work it entails? (How much “stuff” there is, what shape it’s in, what needs creating, etc…)
  • (TYPE) Type of video. (YouTube, DVD, etc… all affects processing time and quality)

Here’s a reasonable range for cost on certain videos. Remember, it all depends on the 4 primary factors though. These are literal averages based on our work, and collected data from a few dozen other creative agencies and groups.

Also keep in mind that the prices will vary depending on experience, quality of work, and commitment— meaning that a video designer might offer a cheap price to get you in the door, but will fall short of providing expert advice and hand-holding advice through the project’s end. You really want a cohesive, trusting work relationship.

Cost to work with video can go into three levels. They’re all contingent on the four primary factors above. There is a HUGE margin in cost because of all the variables. These are more professionally based examples, as opposed to a personal or family version where quality may not be so important.

  • Basic. $500 – $2500+
  • Moderate. $2500 – $10,000+
  • Advanced. $10,000 – $100,000

Here are a few other examples/ranges based on actual projects:

  • Basic video created from presentation slides: $1500
  • Basic video created from presentation slides, adding customer-recorded voice over, and several effects: $2500
  • Basic Quicktime video created from a live webcast export, edited and re-assembled into a chopped up version, delivered as YouTube video: $3,000
  • Moderately-sized video created from webcast export, audio enhanced, title pages added, background music/sound added: $5,000
  • Advanced commercial video. Script, photos, professional voiceover, transitions, titles, overall design: $7500

Samples and Examples

Here are a few samples of varying videos, ranging from simple to advanced.

http://whorubands.com/video.html

http://kidecentiverewards.com (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kpfkQupNiE)

http://www.weblivenow.com/eetimes/inventions/tii.html

http://www.weblivenow.com/cisco/

http://www.mitchellcreativegroup.com/weblivenow/JBJS/jbjsjobs/downloads/jbjsjobs.mov

http://www.mitchellcreativegroup.com/samples_misc/ednflashdemo2/

Followup

It helps to answer all the questions in the above sections. Provide that info to help get a more accurate quote/estimate on a video project. It helps to have a mockup sketch, presentation wireframe layout, and samples of what you like.

Followup questionnaire to use based on above sections: (copy and fill it out!)

Phase 1. How and Why.

1. Why do you want the video?

2. What size video are you hoping to have?

3. Do you have examples of the type of video you want?

4. How will you use it?

5. How will it be created?

6. Format. What’s the end deliverable?

Phase 2. The Wireframe.

A. Title of video

B. Subtitle that describes what the video is for

C. Script. Pretend you’re making a comic strip that each square sort of tells what happens in sequence.

D. Assets required based on the script. This will help you determine what you’ll need to create the video.

– Will you need voice over?

– Custom artwork. Illustrations, drawings, charts

– Photos?

– Raw video? Will you need a videographer, or are you video recording the video?

– Presentation media? Will you be using slides in the video?

– Logos or company identity material?

– Transition or title slides needed throughout?

E. Call to action or ending. Contact info, website link, phone number…

Phase 3. The Game Plan.

A. Who is doing it? (WHO?)

B. When you hope to have the video in hand? (WHEN?)

C. What type of budget do you want to invest in this project? Your budget estimate?

Cost

The four primary factors that affect cost include:

A. (SIZE) How big a project? (small and simple, larger, longer, etc…)

B. (QUALITY LEVEL) What level of quality you want? (basic, high-end professional, etc…)

C. (AMOUNT OF WORK) How much work it entails? (How much “stuff” there is, what shape it’s in, what needs creating, etc…)

D. (TYPE) Type of video. (YouTube, DVD, etc… all affects processing time and quality)

1. Basic. $500 – $2500+

2. Moderate. $2500 – $10,000+

3. Advanced. $10,000 – $100,000

You can contact us any time with questions, or a free consultation on any video project. Call 508.581.9565, email [email protected], or go to our website at http://www.mitchellcreativgroup.com.

Share This Content!