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Shooting Your Marketing Video

Part of the Video Marketing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You finished your script, and you're ready to commence production of your marketing video. But, if you've never been involved with a professional video or film shoot before, you may be overwhelmed or baffled about what elements need to come together, and in what order, to get your marketing video made.

Here's a list of the essentials you'll need to shoot your video:

  • HD camcorder: Choose a major-brand camera that suits your price range and records to an SD card, flash drive, or internal hard drive. An external microphone jack will allow you to record better sound. Make sure you also have at least one extra battery, a charger, and extra recording media.

  • Lighting: Make sure you have adequate light in your shooting locations. If the ambient light isn't enough, invest in a light kit or camera-mounted panel light.

  • Sound: Consider upping the quality of your sound with a camera-mounted shotgun microphone, or a boom microphone plugged directly into your camera and operated by a crew member.

  • Location: Choose a location that suits your script where you also have enough time and space to shoot your video with minimal interference. Make sure there's also a waiting area for your cast and room to store and charge your equipment. Remember — you can often barter free or cheap space with an offer of free publicity through your video.

  • Props/costumes: Go through your script and make a list of every prop and costume you'll need. To avoid continuity errors, pay close attention to what your actors are wearing scene-to-scene.

  • Cast: Cast the roles in your video with people who not only look believable, but can also speak and act well. Go with trained, experienced actors, if possible. Your local arts scene will likely offer up a community of actors that will suit your needs. Craigslist.com and Backstage.com are both great resources for casting.

  • Crew: The most-essential crew positions are:

    • Director: in charge of all creative and technical aspects of production, calls "action" and "cut."

    • Producer: coordinates the overall production, keeps the shoot running on time and on budget.

    • Cameraperson: operates the camera, works with the director in setting up the shots.

    • Production Assistant: this position ranges from "go-fer" work to assisting in sound and lighting

  • Scheduling: Once your cast, crew, and location are secure, schedule your shoot with ample time to get the footage you need. If you don't need your full cast all at the same time, stagger their arrival times.

  • Shot list: Use your script and storyboard to create a list of every shot you need. Group the shots with the same location and cast members together to make the best use of time. Remember, most scripts are shot out of order.

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Video Marketing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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