You need 3 things for successful video: interviews, b-roll footage and music. If you’re not familiar with the term b-roll, here’s a quick run down from our friends at wikipedia. The more videos I make the more I realize how critical b-roll is. It can make or break a non profit video production. Don’t get me wrong, you need good interviews and music, but at the end of the day great footage can move people in a way that a talking head can’t.
Capturing great b-roll can be tricky.
You can shoot an interview or select music any time but capturing great b-roll is all about being in the right place at the right time - that visit to a special site, the program that only runs at certain times, an annual event, and so on. If you approach shooting b-roll on a project basis, you are stuck with whatever falls within that project’s time frame. Sometimes you get lucky, but more often than not you will find yourself wishing for footage from an event or project the could help tell your story.
Shift your approach from a single video project to an ongoing video program.
View it like you would photography. When you have a special event, you take photos or hire a photographer. You need to start thinking about video in the same way. What is the mission and vision of your organization? What moments/events capture what you’re all about? Plan for the future and start capturing that video footage now! Building a video library will make future video projects better and easier.
Determining when to hire a professional and when to DIY.
Hiring a video production company for everything isn’t practical nor does it make sense. When trying to determine whether to produce a video yourself or hire it out, you need to consider the audience and the goal. If your goal is to attract new supporters, strengthen your existing support base, or raise money, it usually makes sense to hire a video production company. High quality production goes a long way in presenting your organization in a polished, professional manner.
If your audience consists of staff or existing supporters and you want to deliver an update or thank you, it probably makes sense to do it yourself. Normally there isn’t much of an upside to putting a lot of polish and finish on an internal piece. When you consider the capabilities of smart phones and tablets, there’s no reason not to shoot some of the video yourself.
Consider a hybrid approach.
Sometimes a good middle ground can be to shoot the video yourself and hire an editor to finish the project. When using an outside editor, you want to make sure you clearly scope out the project and identify your main themes. It’s amazing what a good editor can do with the right direction. Here’s a handy guide you can use when collaborating with an editor. The video below is an example of a hybrid project. The school district shot all this footage and I edited it.
Do you shoot your own video? What tips/info would be helpful?