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Online Video Filming Tips

10 Essential online video filming tips

Lots of people are filming their own videos these days, especially to be used on websites. The great thing is that an online video can quickly explain what you do or make, be used to demonstrate how to do something or provide an insight from interview comments.

Whatever you do it’s always best to plan your video and try to make it as professional as possible. It reflects on your business and while a good video can make you look great a poor video can equally make you look bad. With this in mind we’ve put together a basic set of online video filming tips to help you create a killer video.

1. Get close to your subject

A good rule of thumb is to get close to the subject you’re filming. Although you can use the zoom to get closer it’s not the same as actually being close. The visual perspective is not the same when using a zoom, and this also goes for the sound.

Not only this but a zoomed in shot is more likely to wobble and getting the right focus is also harder. Using a telephoto shot will also narrow your depth of field so that only a narrow band is in focus.

With a shot on full zoom your microphone will not be focused on the actual subject. This means you’ll probably pick up lots of noise you don’t want instead of the sound you do want.

2. Film your scenes using multiple shots

If you watch television or professional online video production you’ll see that scenes are generally filmed with more than one shot. This technique is used to make a shot more interesting or show specific details or points of interest.

For example, if you’re filming a machine then you may want to get a wide shot that establishes where it’s located, then a medium shot to show a specific part and a close up to show the real detail. Different shot sizes and angles can be used to good effect. However, you’ll also need to consider if one long shot works better. If in doubt, get a few different shot sizes so you have some options when it comes to the edit.

3. Film more than just the subject

Cutaways are a term that’s used for additional shots help to tell the story. The term is pretty much self-explanatory – the camera ‘cuts away’ to something else. You see the use of cutaways a lot in interviews. For example if you are filming a person talking about their new car then you’ll probably want to get shots of their car to ‘cutaway’ to in the interview. This is a great way to make something more interesting and help illustrate relevant points. From an edit point of view it’s also a handy way to cover over a join in an interview.

4. Filming height

Generally speaking you usually film at the same height as the subject. There are times when you’ll want to change height (say for dramatic effect) but a good practice is to do most at the same height. This gives a more natural look to the shots and puts the viewer in a perspective they are used to.

5. Don’t use the camera mic

Camera mics are good for general ambient sound but that’s about all. If you can afford to it’s worth investing in an external microphone, and if possible a wireless radio mic. This will mean that you get good quality clear sound from your subject and they wont be fighting to be heard against background noise. There are different types of microphones that you can use, such as gun mics that pick up sound from a distance, through to clip mics that are clipped to peoples lapels or clothing.

It’s also worth investing in some decent headphones so that you can hear what’s coming from the mic instead of being distracted by background noise. Getting the sound right is a big thing with online video production and often overlooked. If you get this right from the start then you’ll be well on the way to a good video.

6. Think about lighting

It sounds obvious but lots of people ignore lighting. If you don’t have enough light your shots will be dark and uninteresting. However by simply controlling the light and putting it on the subject you’ll make the video look a lot better. When you’re filming it’s best to have the light source on the subject. Think about where there are other light sources, so you can use these if you don’t have your own lights. For example, if there is a window in the room then don’t place the subject in front of it as you’ll just get a silhouette. If you film with the light from the window behind the camera then you can use the light to light your subject.

7. Use a tripod

This is probably the best investment that you’ll make. Steady shots are the key to making your video look professional. Hand held shots do have their place but if you’re a newbie to video production then always use a tripod.

Wobbly shots are very off putting for a viewer and really distract from the overall message. A good tripod should have a smooth pan and tilt and be appropriate for the weight of your camera. Most camera shops will also sell tripods and it’s worth trying one out that you are comfortable with.

8. Plan everything

Planning your video could mean the difference between success and failure. Plan what you’re going to film and think about the shots and cutaways you want to get at each location. If possible write out a running order and script, and if you’re conducting an interview plan your questions in advance. Make sure the questions are leading (how, why, what) and they don’t just elicit a yes or no answer.

9. What can you do for them?

All an audience want’s to know is “what can you do for me.” It’s that simple. So you need to always have this in your mind during the filming and the editing of your online video. Make sure that the story relates to the viewer and if you’re doing a voice over make sure you use words like you and your. This is particularly true of sales videos.

10. Be ruthless in the edit

When you edit your video you need to be ruthless. Think about the message you want to get across and don’t deviate or sidetrack. Don’t include anything that does not belong and focus on telling the story. Keep your video concise and to the point and if possible 60 to 90 seconds long if you’re making a sales or explainer video.

If you follow these simple online video production tips then you’ll be well on your way to producing a great video for your website. If you’d like any help or advice or would like to commission an online video production then we’d love to help. Contact your friendly experts on 01527 910050 today.


5 Pitfalls to Avoid with Web Video Production

5 Pitfalls to avoid with web video production – FREE Guide

There are loads of techie guides that refer to stuff like codecs, frame and bit rate and compression software. These are great of course and should be used in order to get the best technical quality out of your videos. However, there are not so many easy-to-follow guides that help you simply make a great video.

So we’ve put this free guide together to help you avoid the common mistakes and make your web video production stand out from the crowd.

1. Mess and clutter

One of the biggest mistakes we see is when there has been no attention paid to what’s in the background of your shots. Lots of people mistakenly believe that no one will take any notice of what’s behind them – wrong! Viewers take on messages from the whole scene and this can influence their decision. So, for example if the background is dirty and scruffy (and your saying how good your service is) then it’s likely they won’t believe you.

Remember, if the camera is pointing at you then it’s also pointing at all the stuff behind you! So think about where you’re filming and pay attention to the background.

2. Invest in a tripod

With web video production your pictures will be more compressed than usual. The thing about this is that it affects the way that pictures are handled and where you have lots of shots with a moving camera the picture quality can be made to look worse.

However, this can simply be rectified if you invest in a tripod. A tripod is always a good thing to use when shooting as many amateur videos usually suffer from constantly moving, hand held shots. With a tripod not only will your shots be stable but it will also be an easier watch for your viewers.

3. Think Lighting

Good lighting is an essential part of any web video production. If you’re video is too dark then people wont want to watch it. So, if you’re filming say a process in your factory it’s worth putting a light on it. We’ve seen lots of videos that are made well apart from the lighting that then lets down the whole production. It’s better to be too bright than too dark.

4. Sound quality

People take away a lot from a video sound track. So give some consideration to the quality of the sound and what is actually being recorded. Invest in a good quality microphone to make sure what you record is a good quality and clear to start with. Take the time to record a background (or ambient) soundtrack as this can add another dimension to your video. If you’re recording a process then the viewer may want to hear how it sounds – so record this too.

When you edit your web video production also think about whether you want to add sound effects and music. Don’t fall into the trap of just bunging music over an entire video. Videos need ‘light and shade’ and having a combination of sound effects and music can be more effective.

5. To zoom or not to zoom

Ah, the bane of many a web video production… the dreaded zoom. The cardinal sin of video can be the over-use of the zoom buttons. If you have any doubt whether to use the zoom then don’t!

Zooming in and out of a subject can give the viewer sea-sickness and is vey off putting. It’s better instead to think about the shots first and plan a static close up, medium wide and then wide shots. These can then be edited together to make a better sequence.

Another consideration is the placement of the camera. In general, the subject should be in the centre of the shot. Think about whether your shot is also level. Wonky shots are really off-putting for a viewer.

If you’d like any advice or help with web video production then we’d be happy to help. We’re a professional video production company based near Birmingham in the West Midlands. We work for businesses all over the UK and help them make the most of the explosion in the use of web videos to drive sales.

Contact your friendly experts today on 01527 910050.


How to optimise your website video for search rankings

4 Ways to get your website video to the top of the search rankings – FREE guide

OK, so you’ve got some awesome website videos and now you want to drive loads of lovely traffic to your website. You know that videos are indexed well by Google but how do you actually go about getting your video in the rankings.

Here’s our quick guide to how to do it.

1. Use YouTube

It sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many people forget to use this free platform. Basically Google gets information from thousands of different places on the Internet. These are compiled into the results that you see when you do a search. The great news is that YouTube and Google seem (albeit denied) to have a special relationship with each other in terms of favouritism. This means that videos on YouTube are 85% more likely to show up in the rankings than other platforms.

So definitely use YouTube but also don’t exclude the other channels such as Vimeo and Google Video.

2. Optimise your video

Again, this seems obvious but many people simply upload their videos but don’t bother optimising them. It’s vital that you optimise your video titles, description and tags. And you don’t forget to optimise the actual title and file name as YouTube look at all these factors. It’s always a good idea to do some keyword research so that you use tags that are relevant and not too competitive. Long tail keywords work well, especially ones that are geographically based (such as a town / county).

3. Video sitemap

If you have a video hosted on your own website then you’ll need to create a video sitemap. While videos are indexed by the search engines on the platforms such as YouTube automatically they’re not on a ‘normal’ website. This means you’ll need to create and upload a site map with meta data about the video title, content and running time.

4. Compelling thumbnails

When you upload your website videos make sure that you pick a thumbnail that’s going to make the viewer hit the play button. Think about what will draw the user to the video and select the thumbnail accordingly.

If you’re considering website video production then talk to us first. We help loads of businesses like you achieve huge online success and improved conversion rates with stunning explainer videos and website videos. We back this up with making sure all the techie stuff (as above) is done to ensure maximum exposure.

Give you friendly video production company a call today on 01527 910050.

Are your website videos legal?

Some legal basics for website videos

Website videos are the fastest growing means of communication for lots of businesses. From explainer videos through to how-to-guides and video blogs. The explosion in affordable video has also meant a lot of people making their own videos and unwittingly facing copyright infringement cases.

This is obviously a shock for many and can end up ruining a business as well as a businesses reputation. The most common charges are for copyright and trademark infringement, defamation and right of publicity.

As you may imagine, most of these cases are when people use or download copyright content that they don’t own. By far the biggest offender is a downloaded image that’s then used in a video. However, there also lots of cases of people using company logos, music and video clips that they simply don’t own.

So, in a nutshell you can’t just download stuff and use it in your new video. If you have any doubt then it’s worth checking with a solicitor first.

The fines for copyright infringement with your new website videos can be very high. This is not only the actual fine but also the court fees and solicitor costs. Simply saying you didn’t know your should have used something is not an argument that will stand up in court.

If you don’t fancy producing your own website videos and would like to use a professional video production company then we’d love to help you. We’re trusted by a wide range of organisations from SMEs to global brands to produce persuasive videos that work.

We can help you achieve the online success that you deserve. Our website videos (typically called explainer videos) are short, attention grabbing videos that boost sales. The great thing is that they can massively increase your website conversion rate.

“The kind of revenues the videos have helped us generate is amazing. We whished we done them years ago” Carrie Rice – Marketing Manager, RDI Ltd

Contact your friendly experts today on 01527 910050 – we’d love to hear from you.


Ethical Video Production Company

Your ethical video production company

When brands like Citizens Advice, Telefonica, Pepsi, Nestle, Trading Standards, NFU and Royal & Sun Alliance want to engage an ethical video production company they speak to us first.

Our ethical and sustainable approach to producing videos has delighted our clients and delivered real business benefits. We work with lots of businesses like you who want to improve training, promote their business and basically sell more stuff.

We always want to do the right thing by our customers. We work tirelessly with your goals in mind as we realise that your success is also our success.

“The video that Stormnet Media produced on behalf of the Post Office and our Partners has supported the up skilling of our teams in a fun and user friendly way. They are professional, enthusiastic and come highly recommended.” Tracy Bond – Training Manager, The Royal Mail Group

Our ethics have stood us in good stead. We have an open and honest approach in everything that we do. We’re consistent, fair and trustworthy. We hold confidentiality in the highest regard and respect the privacy of our customers and everyone we interact with.

We’re conscious of our carbon footprint and we’re proud to be green – We’re conscious of our environment and operate a totally paperless business. We save unnecessary travel where possible and provide online previews of videos to save you valuable time, and of course unnecessary use of fuel and emissions.

Here’s just a few things we do to ensure that we are an ethical video production company.

Recycle and reuse – We try to limit our impact on the environment and this includes recycling packaging and eliminating the use of paper

Energy audit – we carry out regular energy audits to see how we can best reduce our carbon footprint. This includes low energy lights, timer switches and improved insulation

Reduced commuting – We encourage our team to car share on the way to work and allow flexible working hours and home working. This improves productivity, reduces our carbon impact and creates a happy working environment

Buy green – We work with our suppliers to buy sustainable and green products where possible. We look at how long products will last and not just make a buying decision on price

Go online – We love seeing our customers but we also realise that sometimes we can use video conferencing, e-mail or a phone call instead. We provide video previews online to save you travel time and allow you to share video at a touch of a button

These are just a few reasons why we are chosen as an ethical video production company. We’re green and proud and love what we do. This shows in our enthusiasm, professionalism and awesome videos.

We’re based near Birmingham in the West Midlands and have production facilities in Warwickshire and Worcestershire. We work for clients all over the UK.

Contact your ethical video production company today on 01527 910050.


Video Production Guide

The managers’ step-by-step video production guide

OK, you know all the reasons why you need to get a video produced for your business. You know that it will boost sales and improve training. You know that videos are more affordable than ever and you’ve even see lots of your competitors successfully using video and you know you’re missing out.

So what’s stopping you?

The thought of getting a video produced can seem a real headache. There’s choosing the right video production company, dedicating precious time to lots of meetings and producing the script, then there’s the disruption of the filming and all the time spent overseeing the editing.

Unfortunately, most video production companies put the onus on you to do a lot of the organisation and work on stuff like the script. This makes the process painful, elongated and often increases budget.

However, you’ll be pleased to know that there is an easy way – Shake hands with Stormnet Media.

Persuasive videos the easy way

Getting a video produced with us is a breeze. We’ll even hold your hand every step of the way through the process.

We do all the hard work so you don’t have to. After all, that’s what we’re being paid to do! So when you hook up with us you’ll be guaranteed of an easy ride, a stunning video and no headaches – Guaranteed.

Step 1: We get to know you.

We study your brand, your aims and your goals so we can agree on a direction for your video. Serious? Fun? Training? Corporate? Any way, we’ll make it spectacular!

Step 2: We provide a fixed quote

Before we start any production we provide you with a fixed and itemised quote. This details exactly what the production will entail, from how many days filming and editing, through to any animation and voice over.

The great news is that not only will you love how affordable the quote is but the price is fixed. This means that there will be no additional surprises. Not ever.

Step 3: We create a killer script.

We really want to engage the viewer and accomplish the goals we’ve all set for the work. We write a script to do just that. This sets the stage for the whole thing! It also means that you can see from the get-go what it is you are getting.

Step 4: We start creating visual style.

This is where the design work begins! It includes designing storyboards, and illustrating the video. You always get the opportunity to feedback through this stage. Once we get your approval, we’re ready to get moving.

Step 5: We put it into motion.

Here’s where your video starts to really come together. Firstly we’ll complete the filming (if you’ve gone for live action). This could be on location or in a studio.

If you’ve gone for animation then this is where we animate all the frames together.

Step 6: We pull it all together

This is the real fun part. We record you a professional voice over, edit all the footage together, add in any animation and graphics and seamlessly integrate any sound effects and sound track.

And we make it simple for you to provide input – We supply you with online viewers that you can share with colleagues for feedback.

Step 7: We deliver.

You get your brand new video! We’ll supply in a number of formats for online and web use as well as a HD master file.

Why brands trust Stormnet Media

Our simple, no nonsense approach has helped loads of businesses like you improve training and sell more stuff.

You might not have heard of us before but we’re actually one of the most trusted media companies in the UK. Our clients include: Ferrari Europe, Nestle, Britvic, NHS, Motorola, The Post Office, Trading Standards, B&Q, DHL, Black and Decker and Royal Sun Alliance, to name a few

“Powerful and compelling videos have helped us double sales across a number of strategic channels – Highly recommended” Tony Parkin – Business Channel Development, Orange

If you’d like a to chat to us about video production or would like a no obligation quote then we’d love to hear from you.

We’re based in near Birmingham in the West Midlands and work all over the UK. Call your friendly experts today on 01527 910050.

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