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How to film good quality videos

Like photos, videos are a powerful communication tool - maybe even more powerful than photos since a video is actually only a series of still images played back (often with sound).

According to a 2018 survey conducted by Brightcove Inc.(US), 76 per cent of consumers said they had purchased a product or service after viewing a video. The findings of this survey attest to the undeniable power of video as a powerful marketing tool.

Besides marketing products and services, an organisation can use video to animate its reports, offer training by use of video tutorials, capture and share success stories through video interviews, etc. In order for a video to communicate effectively and achieve its objectives, it must be of good quality. Here are 6 things you need to be mindful of in order to produce a quality video.

1. Have a clear message you want to communicate

Having a clear message you want to communicate through your video is paramount to the quality of video you will produce. A good video should take viewers on a journey that starts from where they are (their understanding of things) to where you want them to go (them understanding and appreciating what you are communicating).

Having a clear message for your video guides your filming and production process. This is the reason you should have a script for your video. A script serves as a filming and production guide to help you check and ensure that the communication in your video has a chronological flow for easy comprehension.

2. Follow the rules of photography

In my last article on How to take photos that tell a story, I pointed out 3 things every photographer must adhere to in order to take photos that communicate clearly. Those 3 things apply also to videography only that instead of snapping, you will be filming.

3. Sanitize the filming location

When filming, make sure you have an environment free of any unwanted sounds or objects that may be captured in your video. Always ensure that anything that appears in your video–whether audio or visual–adds to the message you want to put across because anything that appears in your video and yet is not part of the message you want to relay is a distraction and takes away from your message.

4. Match background colour to subject's colour

Be mindful of the colour contrast between your subject(s) of interest and their background. If, for example, your respondent has a dark skin complexion, or is wearing dark clothes, then you should have a lighter background and vice versa.

This helps to make your subjects easily visible and distinguishable from their background which will enable your audience to clearly see and follow the subjects of interest in the video without straining their eyes.

5. Monitor sound recording

I have heard many stories of videographers who have gone out and gathered good video footage only to realise after the recording that they either forgot to capture the audio or the quality of sound they recorded is very poor.

Always check and ensure you have good quality audio captured along with the video throughout the filming. Ideally, you should have a person on-set dedicated to monitoring sound.

6. Use cutaways

During production, in order to break monotony in your video, especially when it comes to video interviews, use cutaways in your video. Cutaways are footage related to the film's theme but not from the main action of the film that you show as the audio from the main footage is playing.

For example, if your video is of an interview about cattle farming, you can show footage of the respondent on a farm with cows as he/she shares their experience.

The author is a communications expert

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