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Tag: Steps

The Animated Video Process: 7 Steps For Getting It Done Right

You just got approval to start on your animated video project and you’re asking yourself, “What do I do now?” Well, first-off, you should totally celebrate! An animated video is a great way to build up branded content and tell your company’s story in a new and excited way. Plus, it’s a fun process. Here are our seven steps for creating a great animated video.

1. Concept

The concept is the story. Without a strong storyline, the visuals won’t have any impact and won’t meet your business goals. This phase includes the Creative Brief — a questionnaire that the clients fills out. Here the video production company finds out about goals, branding, unique selling points, benefits, and non-negotiables (items or topics that cannot be cut). This is the fuel to the brainstorm where the concept is born. At VAC, we take our creative brainstorms very seriously because it sets the framework, tone, and strategy for the video. They’re also a moment to have fun with ideas and get a little playful — which might sound like we’re screwing around, but this gives the team an opportunity to change perspectives and develop bold ideas. Once this step is complete, a couple of concepts are pitched to the client. Once the winner is selected, onto the script!

2. Script

This is where the message is developed. Characteristics of a strong script are concise and casual language, staying on point, and having a strong call to action. Without a call-to-action, your video ROI will be difficult to measure. Typically this step only takes about 3-5 days and from there it’s open up for revisions. A big benefit of having an outsider write your video script is that it’s a new perspective. Heck, your producer could also be your customer, and a great script always keeps the audience in mind.
(Image Sourc

3. Storyboard

  Here is where you start to see the visuals. After a concept and script are approved by the client, we draft up frame-by-frame the look of your video. Here is where you can see the beginnings of design and how the story progresses. It’s important to remember that at this phase that everything is sketched out. This makes it easier for us to incorporate your feedback and keep things moving along.

4. Style

The reason why we create each video from scratch is because each video should be unique to your business and accurately reflect your brand. A style frame is a single, full-color frame that reflects the final aesthetic of your video. They might include text, icons, backgrounds, characters, or more. An easy way to think of a style frame is your video without motion. Here is an example of what we mean:
Since an animated video requires both a designer and an animator (sometimes creatives specialize in both), it best to start with design, approve it and then move onto animation. That way if you find that you would prefer your dog character to be a cat, we can make the change before sending it over to the animator.

5. Voiceover

The voiceover. It may seem like a small part of the video in comparison to the design and animation, but it carries a lot of weight. It’s important because you need to find the right voice for you and your company. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all voice, it’s all about finding the right tone to match your brand. We find there are three basic tones to use: Excited, Dramatic, and Neutral. Your story and brand voice will help influence the tone. Are you launching a product and trying to build up awareness? You may want to find an excited voice to pump up your viewers. Or is your product or service a solution to a major problem? Using Drama can help build things up. Lastly, if you find that you need a simple video that explains a certain topic pretty extensively, a neutral tone can reduce distraction so your audience can get the full meaning of your message.

6. Animation

This is where the meat of the project is — adding motion to your video. This phase can take about 2-3 weeks but it’s important because every frame is carefully timed to make sure things are transitioning smoothly and any characters look lifelike (not robotic or awkward). There are two types of scene transitions in animation. The first is when you let the computer create in-between frames (or in the biz, we refer to as “tweening”). This allows for effortless motion between scenes. The other is traditional cell animation (think of old school illustrations such as Looney Toons). This is the preferred method when a video has a lot of characters in it. When a character moves across the screen, the animator needs to think about how their legs, arms, and torso move together. Because of this high complexity, it's done by hand and takes much longer, but it’s worth it! Accurate motion is required for making your viewers feel connected to your characters.

7. Sound Design

The final stage is adding sound. This can be anywhere from adding a song (our friends over at Marmoset have great tips on music licensing) to just sound effects.   Sound effects can make a big difference for your video. They can spice up an otherwise mundane scene or can call attention to a certain section. With the information from the Creative Brief, your producer will know what action you’re hoping your viewers take and make sure the sound design helps highlight it. Wrap Up It might seem like a lot at first, but every step in the process is important in telling your story. Just remember that if you have a solid foundation in your creative brief, animation, design, and sound are just icing on the cake. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our animation process. Also feel free to add questions or comments or tweet us! The post The Animated Video Process: 7 Steps For Getting It Done Right appeared first on Reel Marketer.
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4 Crucial Steps for Kicking off Your Next Video

There are a lot of moving parts that go into making a video for your website. Since there are so many different types of videos, there are no hard-and-fast rules on how to approach one. However, there are a few fairly universal questions and processes that need to be sorted out before you jump into scripting, table reading, and production! ### What is the goal of your video? Example 1: Do you want a person to watch this video, then head to the next stage in your sales funnel? Example 2: Are you looking for people to better understand a tricky concept related to your product? Example 3: Do you just want to delight the heck out of some customers? Understanding what your video is trying to accomplish at a high level is crucial. Not only will it impact the decisions you make at each stage in the video creation process, but it will be the key factor in knowing if your video was successful. For example one, maybe you'd want to keep an eye on the traffic flow in Google Analytics. For example two, perhaps success looks like less support tickets related to that concept. And for delightful number three, your metrics might be video engagement, social shares, and qualitative feedback, such as comments on a blog post or messages on social media. Using video in your marketing efforts is a long game. Setting goals for each video, and then taking the time to reflect on how videos perform against those goals is a key part of growing as a video marketer. ### Who is your audience? This is a simple question that's often overlooked, but it goes hand in hand with goal setting. Is your audience familiar with your product? Did they opt in to see this video? Are they coming from a paid ad? A new audience arriving to the page via a targeted ad might need a little more introduction to your company and a whole lot of delight. An audience of superfans who arrive on the video's page via an email can probably do without a lot of explanation. You might even get away with some "inside" jokes. Without understanding who is going to watch your video, it's nearly impossible to approach the messaging correctly. So before you start thinking about the idea or the script for your video, be sure to get a handle on the intended audience! ### Where will this video live? Is this video going in an email? Autoplaying on a landing page? Will it be on a product page with a call to action right below it? Holy smokes. You need to know the eventual home for this video. Context is everything, and it's a much more seamless experience for the viewer when your video is in harmony with the context around it. Take, for example, the video on the product page for Wistia's 360 player. Since we knew the video was going to live on this sleek, evergreen product page, we decided to keep the script straightforward and concise. During production, we also made sure that we had a thumbnail image that would complement the aesthetic of the page. If we know a video will be used on our blog or social media channels, we're confident that we can experiment with more playful, casual videos, whereas product pages and educational videos in our library tend to be more buttoned-up. Context can also inform the length of your video. There's a lot of moving parts when you're making a video, but the whole endeavor could end up being pretty ineffective if you forget to think about where this thing is going to live. ### What kind of timeline are you working with? Like any other project, it's important to understand the timeline you are working with. Is this video due by the end of the week? Is it due tomorrow because it's topical? By the end of the quarter? Coming up with creative approaches can be hard enough as it is, and we always try to embrace the limitation of time to help us scope our projects. For our annual conference, WistiaFest, we knew we had several months to make an intro video for the first day of the event. This meant we had time to plan for a complicated shoot with the whole team involved. We had the opportunity to go over the top, so we did.
In contrast, when we launched Timeline Actions, we were working on a tighter deadline, so we went with a simpler, straightforward concept that we were confident we could pull off in a few days. When you're scoping your next video project, make sure your account for all the different aspects that will go into the video. - Concepting - Scripting - Rewriting - Table read - Production - Editing - Delivery Over the years, I've learned to add a little buffer for each stage of the process. The script will no doubt receive feedback, the talent won't get their lines on the first take, and something about the final edit won't be up to snuff from the product team's perspective. If you have to move fast, consider scoping the idea to include less people, so that you don't get bottlenecked by other people's schedules. If you have more time, take the opportunity to brainstorm some more out-of-the-box ideas or try some more difficult production techniques. ### Now what? So let’s recap. You know the goal of your video. You've got the deadline. You've wrapped your head around the intended audience AND where the video will be embedded. Bazinga! I think you're ready to start brainstorming some projects that embrace all of these limitations! The answers to the questions listed above will be super helpful to anyone involved with your video project, so as a tip, try to get all of this information either on a Google Doc where you are scripting, or on the Trello card for the project. Good luck with your next video!
How to Shoot Video with a DSLR Camera
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5 Steps so that your First Video Production Goes Smoothly

So you have finished a script and you want to make a video using what you’ve written. This is great!

Good news – congratulations are already in order as you have already come a very long way. Now unless, you have your own crew and are going to be your own camera operating person then you will need to hire someone that will shoot your video.

Personally, I really like this approach, for a couple of reasons.

Guest Article Written by John Montana

First, you wear only one or two hat’s, instead of 10. As a video maker you will have so many responsibilities to make your video be great. Give that responsibility to an expert. Secondly, you are expanding the group of artists that help you make you video or film…your team.

So in order to make the best of this and get off to a wonderful start, here are 5 tips that will go a long way in making your shoot go smoothly.

1. Understand the Elements of a Basic Story

The Bottom Line is this: The video creator is first and foremost a storyteller. You must have a cohesive, compelling story to tell. This is not a difficult thing to do, as everyone has at least 1 real-life story to tell.

What's Your Story?

Whether it is a breakup, or a family trauma, or a secret desire… the list is endless. You have to trust that no matter how painful the story is, or how embarrassed you are of that story, it has been experienced before by someone else.

This is not a bad thing… it means that we are all connected in many ways and that these stories are indeed universal. We all have a unique story to tell that many people will relate to and identify with.

2. Have Your Shot List Ready

There are some video creators who will storyboard every single shot on their shot list. Alfred Hitchcock was notorious for this, as he was also notorious for giving his actors very little freedom in their movements and portrayal of their characters.

iPhone iMovie Video Camera

I don’t do this personally.

I write out a complete shot list of every scene that I want to video. What I am trying to say is this – ALWAYS finish your shot list before you get to your set. It will give you a road map of what you want, and how you will shoot your video. And because you are so well prepared, you can easily replace or remove a shot that you don’t need.

Or you will be inspired to get another shot…one you didn’t think of before. And when this happens, it always feels great.

3. Choose Meaningful Locations in Advance

I love shooting on real locations. The environment is real, as it is the world of the story. This is very helpful for your actors to believe the world they are in. But have it ready to show your video producer, so that he/she can prepare adequately.

Karl Schoepp, Gaffer, Lamp Operator, Cinematographer, Filmmaker
Karl Schoepp, Gaffer, Lamp Operator, Cinematographer, Filmmaker

Bring them to the location… let them see what you have in mind. This will help your producer immensely as it will show them HOW to shoot there…what types of shots will work from your list, and which ones won’t.

4. Know What Equipment You Will Likely Need

This usually will come to you when you are preparing your shot list. As the video creator, you should have an idea of how you want all your video shots to look. This usually means that you should have a basic working knowledge of the type of equipment you will need in order to get the shot.

Manfrotto Compact Tripods

Example: Your opening montage is a sweeping arc of the countryside that then leads into a house with two people eating dinner. You should know that this type of shot is going to require a crane, with the ability to swivel 180 degrees, and then also have it on wheels or some stable moving vehicle that this crane can be attached to. This will show the producer that you know what you want and it will be their job to try and get it for you.

But if you walk into a meeting with your producer, and just hand them a list without any clue as how to get it done, well, prepare for disappointment.

As a next step to learn more info on the kind of video equipment you will need, see this article “What Video Equipment Do I Need?” This list, which addresses all levels of budget, will supply you with an excellent first step for everything you need to know.

5. Learn How Communication Really Works

In my experience of making short videos, I honestly feel that this is the single most important thing you can bring to any meeting with your crew. The ability to communicate with your team on what you want and how you want to get it! And you MUST be able to shut up and then listen to what they have to say.

Woman Thinking Bubble Chalk Board

Communication is a two-way street. If you go in and start to demand all these things and be immovable…well all I can say is, good luck with that! So I will finish this up with giving you an example of something that happened to a dear friend of mine on a shoot that she was the line producer on.

The video creator had gotten a location for free, with the stipulation that they all be out by 7am, as that was when everyone came in to work for the day. It was an office building. This video creator was incredibly arrogant and unwilling to listen to his team. There was a certain moving shot that he wanted, but because of the tightness of the location, this was unattainable.

But he was so adamant and ego-maniacal that my friend had to go to the main producer, who then had a screaming match in front of the crew. He ultimately scrubbed the shot, but the damage had been done. He lost so much time arguing, that he lost 7 shots that he really needed.

So the video stank.

Moral of the story – be the supportive leader of the team! Listen to your team. Get a great film or video in the can. All this other stuff is just, excuse me, b.s.

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So, these are 5 important tips that every video creator should have addressed before meeting with a video producer. If you take the time to prepare for your shoot correctly, then when you actually get to the set, things will flow much more smoothly that if you were careless.

Because if there is one thing you can always count on, is that there will be “challenges” that arise on the set. It is how well you deal with them that will make or break your video.

About The Author:

John Montana is an actor living with his wife in L.A. and has begun to make short films. His most recent film, “Hungry” has been accepted into 24 film festivals all over the world. Check out his short films at No Title Production Films.

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