About this process

  • Department: Content Services
  • Responsible: Video specialist
  • Accountable: Head of Content
  • Consult: Strategist
  • Inform: Delivery team
  • Date created: 08/05/2019
  • Date last updated: 13/03/2020

Nowadays, businesses large and small are using the power of video to connect with their customers and clients. But what are the stages of shooting a successful, informative, and eye-catching 3-minute* video, specifically when filming an external subject?

*This time can vary depending on client brief, however, three minutes matches our Teamwork task list and deliverables.

Step 1 of the process

The video specialist should arrange a date and time with the client for the filming to go ahead.

Step 2 of the process

The video specialist should research the topic, subject, or main focus of the video so that shooting can run as smoothly as possible.

  • If it’s an interview, research the questions you may ask
  • If it’s a talking head (aka direct talk into the camera) you may want to research what the subject is like (their characteristics) in order to best capture their personality on screen

It’s also important to research the equipment and set up you’re using. We recommend conducting a recce beforehand. This involves visiting the location shoot so you can test the lighting, space of the room, and if any props are in the way e.g. tables, large pot plants, televisions, etc. Failing this, a photograph of the room may suffice.

We also recommend using a camera/camcorder as opposed to a mobile phone for filming.

Step 3 of the process

Ahead of filming, the video specialist should provide their subject with a script, pre-planned questions, or brief. This will help map out how the flow of the shoot, give an approximate length of timing, and also provide the interviewee with time to pre-plan any answers. The last thing you want is for them to decline a question mid-interview because it doesn’t make sense or it’s too sensitive.

If you’re adept in shooting video, you may even want to create a shot list with camera positions, takes, and frame width.

Advise your subject(s) to wear non-patterned and preferably non-branded clothing; striped shirts or ties have a ‘zebra’ effect during the editing process, so make life easier for yourself and think ahead.

Step 4 of the process

To set up the tripod, you’ll need to first adjust the height accordingly with the shot you’re about to take. You can adjust the tripod leg height using the two black clips located on each of the legs; simply unclip these and pull towards the ground. Make sure you keep an eye on the tripod’s spirit level bubble to make sure the tripod leg’s height is evenly spread. Remember, you want the spirit level bubble to be in the centre of the circle.

It’s important to remember that you should set the tripod’s leg height before you mount the camera on top. This is incase the tripod tips or becomes unstable.

Once the tripod’s height is adjusted accordingly, you can then mount the camera. To do this, unclip the camera shoe/mount from the tripod and screw it to the foot of the camera using the hole provided. Slot the shoe back in its original position and reclip it in.

Step 5 of the process

Having set up your camera, lighting, and removed any potential obstacles, the video specialist may want to do a film and soundcheck just to make sure everything is working.

If so, go ahead and shoot your video, making sure you’ve got multiple takes of each question or ‘stage’.

It’s also good practice to have a small break between each question or ‘stage’. You can do this by starting and finishing the recording after each question/’stage’, and time stamping when you start a new one. This makes the editing process easier when it comes to stitching the film together or adding cutaways (not everyone is confident on camera so mistakes happen!)

Step 6 of the process

To shoot the video, switch on the camera by turning the button on the top towards on.

Make sure the dial on the top of the camera is set to P and automatic focus (this isn’t vital but would have automatic settings ready to film).

The detachable microphone on the top should automatically record sound - there are no wires involved! Adjust the slider and speaker positions accordingly (straight - one vocal point e.g. interview, 90 degrees - recording surrounding sound e.g. a concert, theatre, leisure centre).

The camera’s focus zone should automatically be set, but before you shoot a video, you may want to half-press down the shutter button (the button you’d use to take a photo) until the camera bleeps and green squares appear on the screen. This sets the focus and shows you where the focal point is.

Press the red dot button on the right-hand side of the camera. Your screen should say ‘REC’ with a flashing red light - this means you are filming. To stop filming, simply press the red dot button again.

Step 7 of the process

With filming saved on the video specialist’s SD card or device, it’s time to edit. Luckily, by thinking ahead, this should be a relatively quick and easy process. We recommend using Adobe’s Premiere Pro software to edit your video (if you’re unsure there’s plenty of simple demos on YouTube). 

Make sure your video has beginning and end credits, and a BabelQuest watermark should also be added to the right corner of the screen, either top or bottom. The beginning/end credits and watermark can be added in Adobe Premiere Pro, although the images itself will need to be gathered from our image database (e.g. company logo).

Step 8 of the process

The video specialist should send the video for an internal review (either the content strategist or head of content) as per any other piece of content.

Step 9 of the process

Once the video has been approved internally, the video specialist should send this to the client for review and approval. As per any other piece of content, we support a two-revisions policy should the client wish for any amendments to be made before they approve it.

Topics: Content Processes