Do You Need a Script For That?

When we meet with a new client to discuss a project, it’s often asked, “Who writes the script?”. That’s a good question, but it’s putting the cart before the horse. Really, the question to ask is, is a script necessary?

At Good Fruit, we’re all about authenticity. Allowing real people to use their own words, to tell the story. We then remove the stumbles and long pauses during the editing phase, making the final story smooth and seamless. We’ve successfully produced thousands of videos this way over the past decade, all with different uses and goals. However, there are a handful of times that scripting is necessary.

1. How To videos. How To videos, like the ones we produce for Melling Engine Parts, require specific words and exact terms to be used, making a script important to make sure you get it right.

2. Animation videos. If a video is going to be animated like this one we did for CPAN, it will require voice over. I have yet to meet a voice over artists that does not require a script to read from. Looking for a good voice over artist? Looking for a voice over artist? We recommend using Speedy Spots.

3. TV Commercials. TV commercials like this one we did for MSU Libraries, have to be an exact length. A script is usually needed in order to make sure you stay within the allotted time.

There are a few other times when someone may decide to go with a script for all or some of a video, such as with a historical video. However, the three types above are the three types of videos that require scripting.

Other times, people feel more comfortable with a simple outline with a list of pre-chosen questions or topics for them to review and think about before the interview. That’s fine too.

Ultimately, it comes down to what your goals are and what you’re most comfortable with. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a shout. Thanks!

Are Your Videos Fully Inclusive?

Picture of the Good Fruit Video's vehicles

Are Your Videos Fully Inclusive?

There’s a big difference between having a video and having a video that’s fully inclusive. In the United States, 3% of all citizens are legally blind, 4% of citizens are deaf or hard of hearing and, though there is no concrete number, it’s estimated that a minimum of 5% of US citizens cannot read due to dyslexia or a learning disability. If your video is not fully inclusive, you could be missing out on reaching 12% of your potential customers, clients, supporters, volunteers, champions and fans. So, what are three questions you should ask yourself before making your next video?

1. If Someone Can’t See My Video, Do They Know What’s Happening?

A trend in instructional videos today are well shot videos with only a music bed and text to supplement the video. However, if a person cannot see it, will the video be useful to them? Consider providing some sort of audio description in your video. There’s a spectrum when it comes to audio description. Most people can get the gist of the video with simply the spoken word of interviewees or a narrator speaking generally about the topic. However, sometimes it may be important to describe everything happening in the video in detail for someone to really understand what’s going on (especially for those trendy instructional videos). If you think it takes away from the overall artistic vibe of the piece, consider creating a second, accessible version.

2. If Someone Can’t Hear My Video, Do They Still Understand the Content?

Adding captioning to videos should be something always on your radar. Depending on where you host your video, it can be pretty easy to do as well. For instance, Youtube will auto generate captions for you. However, always review the captions for accuracy before publishing. On occasion, auto generated captioning can even include offensive words. Also, if you are going to present the video to a group outside of the world wide web, make sure that the video is subtitled or has the captioning burned into it, so anyone that needs it, can read the spoken words of your video.

3. If Someone Can’t Read the Text on My Video, Are They Missing the Point?

Text in a video can really help drive certain points home. It can also be helpful overall for viewers to really absorb the content. However, if there are certain things that are simply written and not spoken, those with vision loss and those with cognitive or learning disabilities may not pick up on the information you are trying to relay. Consider adding a detailed description and/or Alt-Text to the video that can be read by a screen reader.

Now you know what to think about before making your next video. But what about the videos you’ve already produced? We suggest doing a simple audit of your old videos. You can download a free video audit sheet to use here (nothing is there yet. I’m working on it.). Note… Make sure you’re reviewing all your videos, including ones that may only be on social media or on your website. If you find they’re lacking in accessibility, don’t fret. There are usually ways to add captions, alt-text and video descriptions to videos, no matter where they are hosted. If your video does not include any audio description, consider explaining the video in the description.

Don’t have time to do an audit yourself or would like assistance, Good Fruit Video is happy to help. Just give us a shout(contact form)!

I hope this information will help you with your video projects past, present and future.  Not only will asking yourself these questions help you be more inclusive to individuals with disabilities, but it will help your videos be more accessible for everyone. It’s a win/win!

If you have additional questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at anytime at justin@goodfruitvideo.com. Thanks!

I Have A Great Video. Now What? 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Video.

video shoot

Video is an amazing tool that can do some incredible things for your organization and brand, but like any other tool, it needs to be utilized correctly to get you all those results you hear about. We’re here to help you identify the ways you can get the most out of your videos.

Upload it to Youtube, Vimeo or another video sharing site.

First thing is first. Utilizing a platform like Youtube or Vimeo will allow your video to automatically come up in web searches. Videos carry a lot of weight on the world wide web and so they carry the priority in searches. They also make it easy to share the video in e-mails or on webpages.

Helpful hint… Google (the #1 search engine) owns Youtube, so they prioritize that video content over others.

Send it in e-mails

Whether it’s a sales e-mail or a newsletter, including links to videos are shown to improve open and conversion rates.

Helpful hint… programs such as Constant Contact and Mail Chimp allow specific tools for embedding videos.

Embed it in your website

Make sure the video is embedded in the appropriate place on your website. I.e. if it’s about your organization in general, have it on the Home Page. If it’s about a certain program, house it on the page about that specific program.

Helpful hint…Have the video near the top of the page, so viewers can watch it first and, if they’re interested, go into more detail by reading the text underneath.

Share it on social media for free

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others allow you a free platform to share your video. The numbers will not be as large as those coming from television, but viewers watching a video online are much more targeted and are choosing to watch the video and those are the numbers you want! There are also paid options for all these platforms. Putting a little money behind the post can exponentially increase the targeted views as well.

Helpful hint… Upload your video straight to Facebook allows for a much more interactive experience, as your video will automatically start playing in the same window, rather than making the viewer click on a link first and be redirected to where the video is housed.

WRITER’S CHOICE: Play it before speaking or at an event

When speaking in front of a group, you only have a finite amount of time to share information about your organization, program, event, product. Using a video allows you to provide a 10,000 foot view of whatever you’ll be speaking on, quickly, making the most of your time. You are then left with the opportunity to answer questions and elaborate on details that are most interesting to your audience.

I hope you found this article helpful in getting the most out of your video. There are several other ways to effectively share your video and as technology grows, the opportunities will also grow. If you would like to learn more, we suggest these articles by HubSpot. If you would like assistance with sharing your video, we’d suggest reaching out to one of the following organizations we’ve worked with in the past…

Glow Social Media

Change Media Group

Inverve Marketing

Smith Advertising

Thanks!

So… How Much Will This Video Cost?

So… How Much Will This Video Cost?

Eight Variables That Will Effect the Cost of a Project and One That Shouldn’t

At Good Fruit Video, we’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of clients throughout the last decade. Clients that provide all sorts of different products and services to their customers, consumers, employees, stakeholders, donors, and volunteers. Every single client has their own goals for their video project, but one thing always stays the same… every client wants to know how much the video is going to cost.

In this blog, I will work to educate you on the variables that ultimately lead to the cost of your video project.

Variable 1: The Planning

Planning is extremely important for ending up with an excellent video. Answering the questions about the purpose, audience, message, timeline, and vehicle(s) for your video are paramount to the overall success of the project.

Once you answer those questions, you will need to identify how you want to project to be done. Will your production be:

  • Documentary style, utilizing interviews and complimentary video.
  • Direct address, scripted video.
  • Cinematic style, utilizing scripts, storyboards and potentially actors.
  • An animation, such as a whiteboard video.
  • A live, streaming video, such as Facebook live or webinar.

All five of these production types have benefits and negatives, depending on your goals for the project.

Variable 2: The Crew

The size and expertise of your crew will change the price quite a bit. A person or crew, fresh out of high school or college, are going to cost less than a professional crew with years or decades of experience producing videos for clients. Utilizing a member of your own team to shoot the video is another option, though unless that is their main role, it may hinder performance in their in their daily work.

Depending on the production type, the size can also vary. A documentary style production will normally have far less crew members, usually one to three, while a cinematic crew may have five, ten or more crew members on set.

Variable 3: The Equipment

Good lighting and quality sound are probably the two biggest factors behind a great video. Understanding the need for additional light and sound equipment, as well as stabilization and other gear, such as a slider, jib arm or even additional camera is extremely important to make a quality video.

Variable 4: The Travel

If a videographer or crew is traveling any amount of distance in order to capture video for your project, that will be included in your cost for the video. Travel rates vary, depending on the distance, crew size and time it will take the crew to get to the shoot and get back to the office. Shoots that take multiple days may also incur room and board charges.

Variable 5: The Shoot Time

Most production companies charge in half day and full day when it comes to shoots. A half day is usually up to four or five hours and a full day is up to eight or ten hours. However, there are teams that may charge in only full days or simply per hour. It really depends on the company and how they feel they can bring the best value to their client. Also, remember, a videographer or crew will need time to set up and tear down equipment, before, after and during a shoot. Plan accordingly.

Variable 6: Post-Production

Again, depending on the approach to a video, post-production can vary. If a video was shot in a documentary style, the story will have to be created from the interviews and other audio captured. From there, additional video (known as B-Roll) will be used to complement the narrative. A process like this can take anywhere from two to four hours per hour of video capture. With cinematic videos, putting the story together may take less time, as so much was put into scripting and controlling the production. However, after the story is put together, things such as color grading and sound sweetening are done to polish off the video and make it ready for viewer consumption.

Variable 7: Turnaround time

Do you need your finished video in a month, a week or a day? The turnaround time for the finished video will dictate the amount of concentrated effort needed by the production team to execute on your production and thus will affect the cost of the project. However, turnaround time is not only for finished projects. The amount of time given prior to scheduling, rescheduling and even canceling a video shoot can dramatically affect the workflow of a production team and can ultimately lead to additional costs.

Variable 8: Opportunity Cost

Is the shoot the one and only opportunity to get video of an event or interview with a certain person? If so, the cost of opportunity is great. NOTHING can be left to chance. EVERYTHING has to work right. The pressure is on and it’s going to cost you. But you’ll be happy when you have the video later on.

Conversely, when you book a videographer or crew, you are booking their most valuable commodity, their time. Until we are able to clone ourselves, there’s a huge value to that.

The Non-Variable:

There’s one thing that many people consider when thinking about the price of a video. Length. Call me crazy, but I don’t see this as a variable that should affect the overall budget. A video, with little video editing needed, may take little time to complete, whereas a 30-second spot, may take hours and days to get finalized. Ultimately, if the video does what it’s intended to do, length should not matter.

Instead of looking at the length or video as a value driver, consider these other things instead…

What’s the value of the goal you are trying to meet?

Will the video help you make money? How much?

Save money? How much?

Recruit? Who? What is that person(s) worth to your organization?

Train talent? On what? Will a video help you do this better?

How long will you use this video?

So how much does a video cost? Ultimately, it depends.

How Long Should My Video Be?

video screen

This article might get a little uncomfortable. I’m about to share a secret with you that you may not want to hear. Ready?

No matter how much someone is interested in your product or company, no matter how much they love it, or love you, you still only have a very very short amount of their time. In today’s society, it’s best to make a quick impression, they will respect you more for that. So, how long is that impression? Ten minutes? Five minutes? Three minutes? Try two minutes.

Yes, two minutes is the magic number. For now at least, until there starts to be even more demands on people’s time, and then it’ll drop again. Here’s a few questions or comments I’ve received when relaying this information.

We play our video at an event where everyone is there for us. Surely, our video can be longer then, right?

Maybe. No matter where you are, you’ll start to lose viewer’s attention exponentially after 2 minutes. Remember, just because a person is with you at an event, doesn’t mean they’re fully there. They still have a smartphone that is full of their e-mails, social media accounts, news articles and videos, all vying for their time. They obviously care enough to be there in the room, but that doesn’t mean you have their undivided attention.

But we have so much information to share. We can’t share it all in two minutes.

This is true for nearly every organization, program or event. Two minutes is rarely enough time for everything. Consider making one, 10,000 foot view video, that gives an overview and maybe touches on a few key messages. Then create multiple, bite sized videos that share specific information about specific things. That way a viewer can pick and choose the information that’s most interesting or important to them. If you force viewers to sit through information they don’t care about, you will lose them.

Is there ever a time when videos can be longer and still be effective?

Training videos are the exception to the rule. However, breaking up training modules into smaller, bite sized nuggets of information will still be more effective and help with overall information retention.

I hope this blog has been helpful for you. If you’d like more information about this, we’d recommend you check out this article by wistia.

Seven Things You Can Do to Save Time, Money and Headache in the Video Production Process And Four Things You Should Expect From Your Video Production Team

explaining

When you hire a professional video team to make your content, you are paying a premium for the expertise, experience, equipment and quality that comes from a professional. Depending on the size of your company, it can be a huge step, but one that can have huge return on investment if done correctly.

 

There are a few things you can do to help streamline the production and save time and money in the process.

1. Be Realistic

You should expect to be spending money for a professional. With a budget under $1,000, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get much done. If you have a budget under that, you may want to look for students who are currently studying video production as a possible solution. Doing a production yourself may also be an option, but work on it will take you away from what you do best and can ultimately do more harm than good.

2. Be Specific

The more specific detail you can provide about what you want of your video, the better chance the final piece will fit your vision and meet or exceed your goals. Things like:

1. What’s the purpose of the project?

2. Who is your target audience?

3. What are your key messages?

4. What is your timeline?

The more specifically you can answer these questions, the better the end product will be.

3. Be Prepared

Having assets, such as pictures and logos, at the correct size and resolution, prepared before hand will help the production run smoothly. The bigger a picture, the better. Think, at least 1000 pixels in width and in height. Vector files (.ai and some .pdf files) allow you to enlarge and shrink the graphic without losing any quality and should be used if possible. If not, use the same rule of thumb as with a picture.

4. Don’t Wait

Waiting until the last second can be a headache and painful on the pocket book. Take the time to look at what is coming up for your organization and decide then and there, if video is something you want included.

5. If You Think You May Want It, Get It

You don’t always need to know what you’ll use it for right away. We hear lamenting from clients, all the time, when something went by and they have no video to remember it or to use in videos later on. Having that footage in the future, even if you don’t know what you’ll use it for at the time, is going to be greater than the cost to capture it.

6. Be Decisive and Thorough

In order to get your project completed quickly, efficiently and within budget, make sure to review the full video completely, before providing edit notes. It’s also important to have everyone responsible for the video, review it before providing edit notes.

7. Share Your Wares

You paid a premium to get a quality piece(s) produced. Now you need to utilize it so it can help you meet your needs. Whether that’s embedding it in your website, sharing it on social media, sending it in e-mails, using it at presentations or, hopefully, a combination, your video will only be effective if it’s used. If you need help with this, ask your network or the production team for suggestions for someone who can help.

 

So, what can you expect from a professional production team?

1. Their Work Should Always Be High Quality

If you want to be seen as a professional, you don’t want to put out non-professional content. Video production companies do this for a living. A production team’s equipment, knowledge and experience is going to help them produce a piece that’s professional and makes you look and sound like a professional.

2. They Should Always Be on Time and Meet Deadlines

Everyone’s time is valuable and you are paying the rate that the professional put on his or her time. It’s not too much to ask for them to be on time and meet deadlines. That’s why they’re in this business.

3. They Should Always Make You Look/Sound Good

No matter if you’re just being interviewed or reading off a teleprompter, you may flub a statement or stumble over a phrase. No worries. A professional production team should take the time to remove bites of you um-ing and ah-ing, long pauses and repetitions to make you sound concise, knowledgeable and professional. There are many ways to cover the cuts so no one ever knows they cut up your sound bite.

4. You Should Always Be Satisfied with the End Product

The ultimate goal at the end of each project is a happy client and any production team should work until this goal is ultimately met.

 

I hope you found this blog informative and helpful to making your next video project the most pain free and great experience ever.

 

Sincerely,

Justin Caine, Lead Farmer

Good Fruit Video

517-708-3809

www.goodfruitvideo.com

justin@goodfruitvideo.com