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How to make a video 100% remotely?

There is no doubt government lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are making things difficult when it comes to filming videos. Difficult, but not impossible. Just like we’ve all learned these past few months to work remotely like never before, we’ve also learned that it’s entirely possible (and not that hard) to create quality video content even when everyone stays at home.

Here at Echo Studio, we’ve certainly learned to master that art, connecting with co-workers, customers and contractors to craft great videos without ever being in the same room. As a company, you can even use this unprecedented situation as an opportunity to refine your brand image, come up with new content strategies or develop new ways of connecting with your users and customers.

Whether you need to make a commercial video to showcase a product or service, a brand video that shares your purpose and values, customer testimonials sharing feedback or explainer videos demonstrating how something works, all of these be done without having to resort to a filming crew.

How? Well, there are numerous ways of creating video content without needing people physically present, which can be roughly divided into the three main practices:

  • Using stock footage
  • Creating motion graphics instead of real-life images
  • Filming yourself from home

Using stock footage

Resorting to stock footage to create your video doesn’t necessarily mean it will look stuffy and standardized: it’s all about choosing and using your images wisely, and then editing them into a smart montage. Think of stock images as tools: they’re at your disposal to help you create, and it’s up to you to forge with them a piece of content that will really fit your message.

Make sure everybody is on the same page as to what sort of images you want to use: when drafting the script, be as precise as possible when defining what images should illustrate what message.

Ultimately, the images will be just one ingredient of your final video – the main ingredient perhaps, but not the only one. Once you’ve added well-written copy in the form of on-screen text and/or a voiceover and have craftily combined all those elements together, you will be all set to produce quality content that is truly unique.

Creating motion graphics instead of real-life images

Animation and graphics offer many advantages. First and foremost: absolute control. When you create the images for your video from scratch, they can be tailored to your exact needs, tastes and requirements.

Here too, be as precise as possible early on in the process in order to put everybody on the same page: how are your messages to be conveyed and your brand image to be represented? Colors, style, esthetics… every aspect matters and will affect the video’s overall atmosphere.

This of course implies dealing with people who are good at making graphics and animations, capable of understanding your exact needs and who are in tune with the latest trends and best practices, which tend to evolve quickly in this field. Make sure you pick a video agency that can deliver all that.

Filming yourself from home

The most straightforward method for creating video content remotely is self-filming. This can be done easily enough and with satisfying quality with everyday devices such as a smartphone or computer. But without a filming crew on hand to give you professional advice, you have to make sure you have all the basics down.

If you’re using a phone, film yourself in selfie mode in 16:9 landscape format and choose the highest quality setting (HD). Place yourself so that the shot is halfway between a close-up and a medium shot: you should be visible from the chest up. Shoot during daytime and sit (or stand) next to a source of light but not in front of it: if there’s a window behind you, your face will be in complete darkness.

Take a minute to arrange the background: tidy up a little, create a pleasant and even cozy atmosphere if that’s relevant with the context of the video. Look straight at the camera, with your eyeline level with the lens or slightly above it. Before you start, make a short test recording to verify image and sound quality (be careful of background noise in particular). One more thing: budget permitting, adding graphics to a homemade video will instantly give it a professional look. Your favorite video agency can handle that for you!

When you’re done, watch the entire video to make sure it’s ok from beginning to end – for starters, make sure it has sound – before you send it.

If you need any advice or assistance to make compelling, high quality remotely crafted video content, just drop us a note!

 

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