How to produce a video in the middle of a pandemic
We’re all navigating everyday life in the midst of what feels like ever-changing restrictions on travel and gatherings. When getting everyday tasks or projects completed can feel like a challenge, pulling off a video project might seem impossible.
The good news is, it’s not.
A traditional video shoot with dozens of people buzzing around a set or location is very risky right now. But, as we’ve discovered over these last few months, there are ways to produce video that are safe and effective. You just need to consider your options and be willing to get creative.
Creative solutions for on-site or in-person shoots
COVID has changed how we capture footage and direct the shoot. It’s also pushed us to re-evaluate our video strategy in a time when in-person meetings aren’t ideal.
Earlier this summer we developed a concept for Wisconsin Lutheran College that didn’t require people to be on campus. Drone technology allowed us to get multiple angles, including a sweeping bird’s eye view, without having a large crew on-hand. And, since campus was empty, we were able to get some gorgeous shots without people crowding around, which has potential to be repurposed for other video or advertising projects as needed.
Another client of ours had a COVID-related problem for which video was the perfect solution.
For their annual company-wide fiscal meetings, executives would usually fly to each of their locations around the United States and Scotland, gathering hundreds of employees together for an hours-long event. Since their traditional meeting wasn’t possible this year, we worked with them to create a new type of meeting.
We created bite-sized videos that conveyed everything that needed to be shared quickly and safely. This not only solved their immediate problem, but also led to higher engagement and retention of the information they were sharing. This client is considering incorporating video into future meetings to create a better experience for their employees.
We’ve also shot interviews with extremely small “micro-crews,” where a videographer and producer are on-site with the subject, shooting from a distance and following COVID safety guidelines. Additional team members are able to join via video call to offer real-time feedback and direction. That’s also a great tactic for filming a conversation among team members for your video — just make sure everyone has a decent webcam, mic, and flattering lighting.
Take stock of your options
Some video teams are turning to stock footage in lieu of gathering footage themselves. We get it. You might feel a little hesitant to use stock. After all, it’s possible that the stock you choose may also be in use by others, or you might have concerns about the footage quality. But used wisely, stock can be exactly the right piece for your project.
High-quality stock footage is a blank slate that can be used to create engaging videos for your company. In fact, many times stock can tell your company’s story as well as traditional B-Roll.
Sure, stock can’t show off your specific facility and products, but it can show another impressive aspect of your company: the real-world impact that they have on people. Often this can’t be captured without considerable expense even in the best of times (think: travel, actors, wardrobe, location fees, and all the things that can go into a full-fledged shoot).
Of course, while stock can be a fantastic solution, it might not be the right solution for every video project. If you need to show off your facility, interview a person, or capture a specific process consider working with a crew who can film on site.
Do what’s best for your project
Every video project has its own unique needs, whether or not it’s being produced during a pandemic. Taking into account all your available options, following proper safety guidelines, and being in-tune with your comfort level are all important parts of getting a fantastic video project completed.
Our team is constantly exploring new ways to produce videos for our clients that tell their stories and create real connections with viewers. While it might be a lot different than the way we’ve done it in the past, we’ve never been shy about embracing a creative challenge before and we’re not going to start now.
Considering a video project in 2020 or 2021? Get in touch with us at email@example.com to learn more about producing it safely.
David Busse is our in-house Senior Producer and leads our video production department. He’s won several Emmy awards for broadcast spots CI Design created for the Milwaukee Brewers, and is an all-around nice guy.