If you work in the sphere of large organisations, you will have become accustomed to the corporate go-to video style of talking heads: a company leader or communicator reeling through information with the hope that the audience will stay engaged throughout many minutes of autocued text.
As best as everyone tries, it can be exceedingly hard to keep concentration & absorb messages this way. Time & time again you will find your attention flail now and again even watching the most engaging of presenter.
With video, there are unlimited approaches to choose from. Through our experience working with team leaders & internal communicators across the globe the most important aspects to consider in discovery sessions and pre-production are:-
– Creating the correct tone for the brand/organisation/message
– Decision on principle visual style
– Draft scripting
During the briefing stage, we usually discuss our dominant animation & live action video styles with clients. This allows them to have a quick overview of our 3 primary tried and tested approaches, and allows a basis for moving closer to the production stage.
The data friendly choice
The most popular animated style of choice in the internal communications sphere is that of iconographic video. This is, in essence, animated infographic content usually and is therefore suited well to fiscal reports and any data heavy messages. Iconographic styles are quite formal, but informative.
The secondary advantage of iconographic video is the speed of which it can be produced – as a rule of thumb it usually takes one third less time to create a video of this style than the others discussed in this article. This is amplified if an organisation chooses a group of these videos – as once the branded vector icons are created for one video they can be used in future productions. In most cases this leads to the point where we have a bank to choose from, handy for both the storyboarding and final animation processes.
The third point of note when choosing this style is future proofing. Iconographic video can be edited relatively easily with the only real constraint being a voiceover change, as opposed to live action filmed shoots where for parts may be edited but essentially not created after the filming itself without another day of shooting.
Endearing and engaging
We have found that character videos have always had a certain appeal to users – there is something inherently endearing about this style of animation. This style is great for induction videos, illustrating situation based messages, and for giving warmth to a brand. It can appear quite informal, so is great for less serious messaging.
Character production takes longer per minute to produce than iconography due to the time needed for rigging so they can be animated. However, like iconography, character videos can be changed and updated relatively easily for future variations, and once a character is rigged they can be imported into new projects.
Live Action Filming/Green Screen
High production value & massive range of options
Live action is simply a term for filming either on location or on green screen. There is a huge spectrum of different options available here, so it is important to find out what best fit your budget and needs.
For the most part – we would always recommend doing a green screen shoot where possible. This makes it easier to place graphics on screen with the presenter – great for anchoring content and key messages – and as it is done in a studio allows for control of the sound quality in the room. This also gives a little bit of flexibility in the post-production where new content can be added in. It’s a good idea to shoot various GV shots (for example the outside of a building) to cut in should you need to splice two takes together and cover the join.
Another option may be to have a key person giving a piece to camera, and then cut into one of the aforementioned animation styles. The film audio can then be used as a voiceover track, giving you visual flexibility and an option to break up the video and keep engagement to a maximum.
We always recommend shooting in at least full 1080p HD, using broadcast quality cameras and high quality lavaliere (lapel) mics. If possible also record the audio with a second lapel or boom mic, in case something goes awry with one audio source. HD is especially important for green screen shoots, as it ensures a clean key of the footage (and no nasty green ghosting around the presenter).