Questions First Shoot Later: How to Commission Brilliant Online Video


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Over the years, lots of people have come to us for help making online videos. Swimming through the delicious spaghetti of our experiences, we began to notice some recurring themes. So we started scribbling down the most common questions, challenges, and insights we’ve developed. We boiled them down into 11 bite-size morsels which make up this handbook with one simple goal: to help you commission brilliant online videos.

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Questions First Shoot Later: How to Commission Brilliant Online Video

  1. 1. How to commission brilliant online videoWEAPONCOMMUNICATIONOF MASS
  2. 2. FOREWORDOver the years, lots of people have come to us for help makingonline videos. Swimming through the delicious spaghetti ofour experiences, we began to notice some recurring themes.So we started scribbling down the most common questions,challenges, and insights we’ve developed. We boiled them downinto 11 bite-size morsels which make up this handbook with onesimple goal: to help you commission brilliant online videos.You’ll come across many words in the pages to follow, includingtastemaker, trolling and Stringfellow. But there are a coupleI’d like to draw your attention to. Daring and playful.Keep them front of mind, as these words will certainlyhelp you blow your objectives out of the water.Daring to challenge expectation and thinking playfully interms of how you can communicate with your audience are keyingredients in the mindset of every great video commissioner.Now don your bravery pants, colour outside thelines, and bring YouTube to its knees.Mike CooperCreative Director, Republic Publishing
  3. 3. HelloAudienceBudgetFormatViralBriefAgencyMetricsStakeholdersTimescaleCrewWhyGlossaryAbout usGet in touchChecklist8101214161820222426283032343638CONTENTSREPUBLIC PUBLISHING LTDMANAGING DIRECTOR James DIRECTOR Mike DIRECTOR James CHAIRMAN Clive Delaney - Group EditorMike Browne - Group EditorMichele Lonergan - Financial ControllerJoseph Patrick - Video ProducerTim Bunn - Video ProducerNigel Brown - Managing EditorBen Sillis - Associate EditorAdam Bunker - Associate EditorPhil Barker - Senior Staff WriterBoc Ly - Deputy EditorJeppe Christensen - Managing Editor, USAMagda Voigt - Project ManagerAdam Fraser - ReporterJon Partridge - Editorial AssistantCREATIVE DIRECTOR Mike CooperEDITOR Joseph PatrickDEPUTY EDITOR Ben SillisWRITERS Tim Bunn, Joseph Patrick, Mike Cooperand James Beechinor-CollinsDESIGNER Stephen MellorPRINTERS Taylor BrothersPUBLISHED BY REPUBLIC thanks to Daniella Orsini and Stanley Chow.For all of our clients at Republic Publishing,without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.
  4. 4. Video is a very powerful medium. Itcan provide an immediate smack toyour senses, which is why it’s such apowerful way of connecting with youraudience, quickly and memorably.Just click, tune in and absorb.It continues to be a great way tocommunicate and captivate peoplethrough compelling stories. You can shiftand shape perceptions of your brand orproducts within a matter of seconds. Andthat’s precisely why it’s something worthgetting fired up about. So go ahead and getfired up, but please remember this: nobodygets attention without paying attention.Questions first. Shoot later.
  5. 5. This way, please.HELLOYou are hereTHE BEAUTY OF CREATING VIDEOFOR YOUR BRANDNext stop,Tinseltown8 REPUBLIC PUBLISHINGTake a deep breath. Glory is upon you.You’re about to do the best thing you’veever done. Even better than that time youdid Tequila slammers with Johnny Deppin The Viper Room. You’re about to makeyour very own online video. You’re like JerryBruckheimer in the 80s. You and your brandare about to bank-roll a masterpiece.You could make a 90-minute documentaryabout the amazing new vegetarian quichein the canteen. You shouldn’t, but youcould. Hell, if you’ve got the budget youcould even fly Kevin Bacon in from LosAngeles to quote Paul Daniels, on thetelly. The possibilities are endless.But remember this: There are rooms fullof people, all around the world, just likeyou - only not quite as attractive - doingexactly the same thing. In an age wherepeople are uploading 72 hours of video perminute to YouTube alone, it’s becomingincreasingly difficult to stand out.So if you do want to make a documentaryabout a quiche, it better be a dancing quiche.Someone in olden times once said, “To thevictor go the spoils” and a brilliant onlinevideo can bring you lots of wonderful spoils.Specifically, greater brand awareness andincreased audience engagement: peoplewill remember you, tell others about you,even give you money if you’re lucky.More specifically, a top-drawer online videocan bring you a massive Christmas bonusand a weekend at the CEO’s summer retreaton the shores of Lake Garda (excludingpeak weekends in July and August).Making video is fun. It’s exciting. It’s easierthan ever before... but there are some thingsthat you really do need to know beforeyou start. Like figuring out your budget,learning to manage ‘creative types’, andwriting the ultimate video brief for ’em.You’re about to climb Mount Excellence in pursuit ofonline video glory. There’ll be a bunch of checkpointson the way to guide you, but the first stop is base campwhere you’ll be briefed on perhaps your most importantlesson. Understanding your audience. Analogy milked.Photo credits - (Left) Keith Bell / (Right) Byron W.Moore /
  6. 6. 10AUDIENCEYOUR CUSTOMERS ARE NO LONGER YOURCUSTOMERS. THEY’RE YOUR AUDIENCETake yourseats, enjoythe showREPUBLIC PUBLISHINGAudiences. You might think they just sitdown, watch and go... but they don’t. They’rejudging you. An audience is a complexbeast. One minute they’re laughing andenjoying themselves, the next minutethey’re slagging you off to their matesand anyone else who’ll listen. Viewers arefantastically fickle and the line betweenpraise and criticism is incredibly fine.If you want to make a brilliant online video,it’s imperative that you know who it is you’remaking it for. So do some research, yeah?Even if you think you’ve got a good gripon who your audience is, you might besurprised: what they want can vary even bywhere they’re watching a video. Case in point:currently, seven of the top ten most-viewedvideos on YouTube are music promos, butVimeo’s top ten is dominated by timelapsephotography. People look for differentthings in different places.Do you have a farmyard full of Facebookfollowers champing at the bit for funnycontent? Ask them what they want to see.See what short links are triggering atsunami of retweets. Review the analyticson your company blog - see what peopleactually care enough about to share andmake more of it. Hell, why not go back tobasics and carry out an online reader survey(we use - it looks greatand is simple to use). It’ll give you instantinsight into how your audience think.The better you know your audience, thegreater chance you have of tailoring yourvideo content to appeal to them. It’llalso help when you’re trying to developthat killer idea because you’ll have aspectrum of audience traits you’ll be ableto learn from. That said, don’t let thisfrazzle your Creativity Bacon™- the bestideas are often the unexpected ones.FRANCO, 32Model-maker fromChicago, IllinoisLikes: Facebook ‘banter’Dislikes: Any formof actual humaninteractionCARL, 18Full-time farmingstudent from IpswichLikes: TrollingZ-list celebritiesDislikes: SorbetsFELICITY, 25Office internfrom CatfordLikes: Nyan CatDislikes: Laughingout loudEDNA, 58Assembly-line workerfrom Stockton-on-TeesLikes: Deal Or No DealDislikes: Noel EdmondsRAJESH, 31Pharmaceutical rep.Mumbai, IndiaLikes: Long walksalong short piersDislikes: SwimmingDraw up a simple penportrait of your idealviewer. It’ll make it easierto decide if an ideawill work. Or not.DO!
  7. 7. 12BUDGETSHORT ANSWER NO.LONG ANSWER NO.HERE’S WHY...Paying by the minute issadly not a realistic way toquantify the cost of video.It’s as simple as that.Anyone can turn on awebcam for five minutesand bang on about howmuch they love theirnew superphone. Butthe meticulously craftedfive-minute video abig brand produces, towalk you through itsnew product, can takemonths to engineer.That’s not to say that bothtypes of video don’thave their place - theyjust don’t cost the same.You see when it comes tofilm, TV and video, costis inherently linked tothe attention to detail ofthe production. Take RedStripe’s recent hacking of acornershop ( which they created anorchestra from productslittered throughout theshop - triggered when anycustomer pulled a bottle ofRed Stripe from the fridge.Although shot in a fly-on-the-wall, rough and readystyle, the preparationwork involved to createsuch a charming andengaging experience wasclearly labour intensive.Behind this 1m 55s videothere were countlesshours and many weeksof pre-production.Consider the time it takesto arrange filming insuch a public location,or the out-of-hours setup time, the rehearsalsand choreography of themusical products, theengineering involvedand the direction of sucha theatrical live actionexperience. All of theseindividual facets requirea great deal of time, andmoney, to get right. Asevidenced by Red Stripe’ssupporting making-ofvideo ( I pay bythe minute?DOnt!Underestimate thepotential complexity ofwhat might at firstseem like a simpleproduction.REPUBLIC PUBLISHINGAll about theBenjaminsHOW MUCH WILL IT COST?How long is a pieceof Stringfellow’s hair?Grab your rulers andlet’s get measuring.Though perhaps ametre stick mightbe more appropriatebecause making videois a bit like buying around of drinks atthe theatre - it canget pricey.So you’ve decided that yourlatest online video offeringwill be presented by a fiveyear-old. We’ll treat it likea spoof cookery show, butthe little nipper won’t bemaking chocolate browniesfor his teddy bears, he’ll beshowing your viewers howto assemble your latestproduct. Let’s start costingit up. We’ll need to pay thechild actor. But it’s a 12-hourshoot and legally childrenaren’t allowed to workfor more than four hourswithout an hour’s break. Sowe’ll need to hire twins.That’s £200 per hour foreach twin. Pro-rata thatmakes them the highestpaid people on set. Bothtwins will need a chaperone,which can cost anything upto £300 each for the day.Oh yeah, then there’sthe license. We’ll need aperformance license fromthe local authority - we’llneed the twins’ agent tosort that. There’ll be a feethere. Brilliant. We’ll needa Location Manager tofind a nice little kitchento shoot in. He’ll need toperform the relevant riskassessments. And thisis all before we’ve evenswitched the camera on.The point here is that videoproduction can be extremelylabour-intensive. It ofteninvolves jumping through alot of hoops, made from thereddest of tape, and bringingtogether many differentindividuals and agencies. It’stime-consuming and there’sno yardstick to measurecost by.But that doesn’t meanyou can’t have video.Getting a simple, qualityproduction out doesn’tneed to cost the earth.Time is money, so be sureto set clear deadlines. Keymilestones to considerare concept approval,completion of the first edit,and delivery of a final cutthat’s ready for upload anddistribution through activeseeding. Work backwardsfrom your final deliverydate and agree on timingsfor the other milestoneswith your agency.Everything is scalable. It’smost important to have arealistic budget and evenmore important to stick toit. Don’t be afraid to open upto your production companyabout what’s in your chequebook. Remember, theywant to make somethingbrilliant too and willalways be looking to giveyou exceptional valuefor money.
  8. 8. InternalaudienceExternalaudienceAbove the line marketingBelow the line marketingThose little identsat the beginning ofCoronation St thatlet you know whenyou need to stop Sky-plussing throughthe advertsThat magic thing whereyou point your phone at anewspaper advert and itmakes a video play!“Secret shopper”research videoConferencecoverageCEO addressto staffStaff inductionDVDTeam-buildingexerciseVideo trainingguideBehindthe scenesSeasonalgreetingsCompany Christmascards are dead - whateveryone wants is avideo of themselvesdancing to dub-stepdressed as an elfViral video! *The one where the iPodcomes smashing throughthe screen and bounces offthe floor without breakingLet’s have a little chatabout viral video >>*The bits before thetrailers, before the filmA sneaky peek at whatgoes on behind the bigvelvety corporate curtain.Whether it’s a PR event,product launch orphotoshoot - peoplewanna see that stuff!The lineAugmentedreality videoassetsFeature-lengthdocumentaryScrolling tubeadvert30-secondTV advert90-secondTV advert3-secondTV teaserTV sponsorbumperCG productshowcaseStop-frameanimationMinidocumentaryReaction videoMakingof videoEvent coverageHands-onproductshowcaseCinema spotTime-lapsevideoFORMATWhat type ofvideo do I need?Now that you understand your audience inside out,and have a solid picture of your budget and scale ofambition, it’s time to explore what format of video willbe most effective in helping you meet your objectives.Don’t forget your internal audience either - yourcolleagues are among your brand’s greatest advocates,so inspiring them with video and including them inexternal facing videos can be a really smart move.
  9. 9. 16VIRALCan I have a viral?ONLY IF YOU PROMISE NEVERTO USE THAT WORD AGAINEmbrace the unexpectedREPUBLIC PUBLISHINGYouTube Trends Manager, KevinAllocca, says that when it comesto online video, “The audiencedefines the popularity.” It’s thatsimple. The average uploader isfree to upload whatever he or shelikes - and it’s that freedom whichcan often hold the key to creatinga super-massive monster hit video.Allocca says the most popular onlineviral videos adhere to three simple rules.They encourage tastemakers (celebrities,journos, bloggers with their fingers onthe Earth’s pulse) to share the contentwith friends, fans and followers. Theyinspire audience participation (peoplerecord their own pastiche versions ofpopular videos, they comment, they calleach other’s mums naughty words andthey engage). Thirdly - and perhaps mosttellingly for a brand - the most successfulvideos are completely unexpected.As a brand, you can’t force celebrities to talkabout your product - especially if they ain’tgettin’ benefits for it. And you can’t forceviewers to engage with your content. But youabsolutely have the power to surprise people.Bodyform reacted brilliantly to a facetiouscomment on its Facebook page recentlyfrom a ‘disgruntled’ Richard Neill. Neillmoaned about how Bodyform had “lied” tomen “for all these years” - he proclaimedthat Bodyform’s portrayal of a “joyous,adventurous time of the month” withparachuting and rollercoasters is misleading.In the response video ( afake Bodyform executive apologises to Neillbefore taking a swig of that all too familiarblue liquid and telling him that he just can’thandle the truth. An internet frenzy followed.So the answer is yes. You can have yourblasted viral video. But you need to be brave.You may have to shake off the shackles ofthe Brand Book and embrace the freedomof the Internet. Give people something fromyour brand they’re not expecting and they’llshare it. But, to get things moving you’ll needto make sure you have a good distributionplan in place (for the tastemakers) and thatyour video contains the right components forusers to create their own versions. Easy, huh?Now, if you overhear anyone in the officeusing the phrase “go viral”, tell them to jog on.
  10. 10. 18HOW DO I WRITE A BRIEF?Brief Encountersof the Word KindBRIEFDESCRIPTIONKEY POINTREPUBLIC PUBLISHINGThere’s no need to be scared.A brief is nothing more than a fewchoice words in a document, simplyoutlining what you want from yourvideo. That said, those words doneed to be carefully considered andneed to cover a few specific things.If this is your first time commissioning avideo, then writing a brief will be an alienexperience. A tight, concise brief is crucial toyour video’s success. It also gives your videoagency the best possible understanding ofwhat it is they need to create and achieve.To create a bulletproof brief there arecertain points that you must cover off asa minimum. It’s important to rememberthat the more explicit you are with whatyou want to achieve, the tighter yourbrief will be. Here are seven key pointsyour brief should definitely cover:If you can’t express your objective in asingle sentence, your video will fail.What are they and how would you like them presented?Clearly state who your target audience is. Thiswill help focus the creative response.Include one. Being upfront will help give your agency anidea of how ambitious they can be with their response. Ifyou don’t want to mention numbers then use somethingfamiliar as a guide. Ford Fiesta, not Ferrari. Or similar.When does this sucker need to go live?State where your video will reside online and if there areplans to promote it, and how. Will it live on your officialYouTube channel or greet people on your global homepage?Clearly defined, please. Whether it’s “Deliver one billionviews on YouTube” or “Increase page impressions onthe product page by 2,963%”, it will have a bearingon how your agency will approach its creative solution.Oh, and if you’re going for views, ask to see the details fromYouTube Analytics. If there is an overabundance of visitorsfrom small Asian nations, you may have been sold a pup.ObjectiveKey messagesAudienceBudgetDeadlineDiscoverabilityMetricsDO!Ask lots of questions.Video might not beyour forte, so if there’sanything you’re unsureof, speak up.
  11. 11. 20AGENCYHow do Iselect a videoagency?SLOW-MOTION SWAN DIVEINTO THE TALENT POOLOkay, so you’ve written your shiny new brief;you’ve had it laminated; you’re carrying itaround in your top pocket and your mumthinks it’s the best thing she’s ever read -but who are you going to send it to? Thereare so many different options available toyou now, that it’s worth doing a little bit ofresearch to find your video agency valentine.Put your feet up and watch some telly.Spend your lunch break eyeballing videosof cats burping on YouTube. See what youlike and find out who made it. Find outwhat you don’t like and avoid it. If you’relooking for a super-slick TV advert withtopless men doing slow-motion roly-poliesinto a waterfall you’ll want to speak to ahigh-end ad agency. Someone like AbbottMead Vickers BBDO or Wieden + Kennedy.Alongside the big hitters there are somecracking small and lesser-lauded agencieswho can compellingly communicate yourkey messages in the art of the moving image.The majority offering greater value. Granted,some are better at delivering certain typesof video than others, but don’t be afraid toask the agency you fancy if they can workoutside their comfort zone, as this is oftenwhen the magic happens. So if you want aheartfelt short film, don’t discount an agencyfamed for their music videos. Likewiseif your favoured agency is renowned forcreating flagship product launch videosfuelled by the midnight oil, don’t shy awayfrom letting them loose on a daring spoofvideo. They’ll often surprise you, deliverthe unexpected, and that’s the idea.Remember to ask your team and folk inother departments for their thoughts andrecommendations. They’ll often have seencool online videos that flew under yourradar, or they might even have a trustedvideo agency they turn to regularly, ordetails of others who they would like to use.There are a lot of people, agencies andindividuals, doing some clever stuff forbrands. Take the work Casey Neistat didfor Nike, for starters. He’s brilliant. Nikegave him money to make a movie abouttheir #makeitcount campaign. Insteadhe took a round-the-world trip with hisfriend Max and filmed it ( were very happy with the results.The point is there’s some great talent outthere, and if you’re willing to let your agencyact outside their usual typecast restraints,you could inspire a flash of pure genius.REPUBLIC PUBLISHING
  12. 12. 22Creating metrics isn’tjust a way of makingsure your agency hasdone its job, they’re ameans of measuringthe success of yourproduction andmay even shape theapproach you takein the first place.If your key objective is todrive more people to aproduct page, then yourmeasurable should be atangible reflection of this:“The video will increasemonthly unique pageimpressions on our productpage from 10,000 to 20,000.”This target may manifestitself in the video with aclickable call to action at theend via a simple YouTubeannotation, taking folksstraight to your desireddestination page (mindyou, only if your companyhas a Brand Channel, asyou can only link to otherYouTube videos and not toexternal sites on a regularaccount, boo, hiss).You may want to encouragemore people to engage withyour brand through socialchannels such as Facebookand Twitter - if so, breakdown the numbers foryour agency, tell them youwant “15,000 more Twitterfollowers before the endof Q3”, and they may needto adapt the treatmentof the film accordingly.It might simply be a case ofexposure, benchmarkinghow successful you wantthe video to be: “The videomust gain 100,000 views andbe picked up by at least fivekey influencers globally.”Targeting key influencerswill instantly focus theapproach you take to yourvideo - you’ll be craftingsomething that is bothpalatable to experts and themasses, and creating positivenews cycles as a result.Ensure your video agencyis plugged into relevantinternal teams or existingagencies to get the mostout of syndication.Choose an agency that isexperienced in activelyseeding content to give thevideo the best chance ofmeeting your objectives.Making videos isn’t justabout ‘the experience’ orhaving ‘japes’ on set. You’redoing this because youwant to achieve something.You have an objective. It’sno good rolling up to anagency and saying: “Wewant to make a funny videolike this one that our directcompetitors did, because it’sfunny and it made us laughand wish we worked forthem and not us.” Chancesare the makers of that videogot your attention becausethey’ve taken the time tothink about the purpose ofthe content - what they wantto get out of it and why.Ooo, that all got a bit seriousdidn’t it. Let’s wiggle thosefingers and loosen up again...23THIS IS OFFICIALLYWHERE THE FUN ENDSHow do Imeasure itssuccess?METRICSREPUBLIC PUBLISHING
  13. 13. 24Who’s thedaddy?STAKEHOLDERSWHEN SHOULD I BE INVOLVED?Creating a brilliant and exciting video isa lot like childbirth. That includes all thebits that we don’t like to talk about. Thekey to a successful video production isplanning, commitment, teamwork andlovemaking. As the representative ofyour brand or company, you need to workeffectively with the agency that’s helpingyou deliver your video baby into the world.But at the end of the day, YOU are thedaddy. You’ve decided you’re ready for alittle video of your own. You’ve jumpedin to bed with your chosen agency andtogether, you’ve nailed the perfect ideaand had it signed off (you have, haven’tyou?!). Before the big day of the shoot you’llneed to be on hand to help out, adviseand support your video-bearing agency.You don’t need to be completely immersedin the process. Trust your chosen partnerto incubate the project and oversee itsgrowth. Work with your agency to defineclear and concise milestones for theproject - you can then establish whenyou’ll be required to input and feedback.“But why? Why do I even need to be involvedat all?” you may ask. Well, there are certainthings that will require your expertise,your access privileges and crucially, yourapproval. Your agency may need you to helppin down a date in the CEO’s diary for a videointerview, or lean on your insider knowledgeof the brand to get a rude word past Legal.It’s your video at the end of the day, youshould want to be involved. Plus, beingon location means you’re not in the officeand you absolutely can’t have your phoneswitched on when you’re on set - youdo the math. A sensible and productivecourse of action would be to outline keymilestones for your required involvement.Involve anyone within your companywho needs input from the very beginningso you don’t get any nasty surprises.Video production is a time consumingbusiness, and if you’re new to the processthen don’t underestimate the amountof additional work that you may havecommitted to. And remember, you can’tfix everything in post production.REPUBLIC PUBLISHINGDont!Act like a diva.No one will ever wantto work with you again.Look at LindsayLohan.
  14. 14. 26Ever wondered why anyproject worth its salt goesright to the wire? Ever beensat at home in your pyjamas,waiting for a file to upload,so you can forward it to thesales bods in Japan beforetheir 9am presentation?Yeah, us too. Why is that?It’s because the scope of aproduction should alwaysbe scaled to the deadline -and maybe just a little bitto the budget, too (see page12). It should be scheduledto maximise your time andsqueeze every single secondout of your chosen agency.Say you want to commissiona behind-the-scenesdocumentary of yourcompany’s annual tradeshow, but that’s in a week’stime. Your agency will nailthat deadline, but they’llwant to make the most ofevery single second: givethem free reign, an all accesspass, and be prepared tosign off the final edit an houror two before it goes live.That doesn’t mean you needto push things right to thewire though. If you don’tthrive on the pressure ofan impending deadline,let your agency know. Tellthem you want everythingwrapped up a week beforeyour boss wants it - so youcan take that well-earnedtrip to the Lake District.Each project will haveits own idiosyncrasies,challenges and personality,but you need to plan forthe unexpected. Giveyourself and your agencya bit of breathing roomwhere possible. Who couldpredict that the head ofmarketing hates Helvetica?Or that the name of yournew product means “hamsandwich” in Flemish?The bottom line is: don’t letthe production guide thedeadline. Let the deadlineguide the production.No-one likes a rollingdeadline. It’s dishearteningfor everyone involved. Thegreat thing about taking ona new project is the sense ofcontentment and closure atthe end, so don’t be afraidto put your foot down.How long willit take?REPUBLIC PUBLISHINGTIMESCALEAS LONG AS YOU NEED IT TO TAKE
  15. 15. 28CREW28 REPUBLIC PUBLISHINGThere are often many people involved in a video shoot. Film sets can be very busy,shouty, hectic places. So before you show up for a set visit, it’s worth familiarisingyourself with the size of production you’ve commissioned - especially if you’vepromised to buy ice lollies for everyone.What does a film crew look like?Camera OperatorThe one who operates the camera.ProducerThe one in charge of hiring people and spending the money.Sound RecordistThe one who records the sound.DirectorThe one who is responsible for every last pixel of the final video.ResearcherThe one who raids the archives and checks the facts.Director of PhotographyThe one who makes the magic happen with the lights and the lenses.1st Assistant Director (1st AD)The one in charge of the schedule, always with their eye on the clock.Clapper LoaderThe one you hear shouting, “Marker!” and clapping the clappy clapper board.Focus PullerThe one who adjusts the focus on the camera, to make sure everything is in focus.“DIT”The one who is responsible for backing-up all of the digital files from the camera.Helicopter PilotThe one who flies the helicopter with the camera hanging out of it.StuntmanThe one doing all the play-fighting in tights with swords.Pig WranglerThe person in charge of the pig you wanted in your advert.Product previewTalking headMini documentaryShort filmTV advert
  16. 16. 30AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?So, why is videoimportant again?WHYREPUBLIC PUBLISHINGTelevision took 13years to reach 50million viewers.Internet video tooktwo years. Drink thatdown for a second. Theway people consumemedia is no longerchanging. It’salready changed.Xavier the video guy isn’tjust sat in his darkenededit suite watching clips ofrats on cats on dogs - he’smaking history. Onlinevideo reaches everyone.Over four billion hours ofvideo are viewed per monthon YouTube alone. That’smore than half an hour forevery person on the planet.Video is an infinitelyshareable medium. A recentsurvey by Digitas found thathalf of the people that watchan online video posted by afriend will share it with threeor more people, if they like it.Having video on yourown website matters too.According to ForresterResearch, a webpagecontaining video is 53 timesmore likely to appear onthe first page of Googlesearch results than onewith purely text content. Branded video comes inmyriad forms. Short and longform online video ads arepowerful tools for hitting amass audience of people whomay have never heard of yourproduct. In fact, short formonline video ads have provento be 27 times more effectivethan banner advertisingfor click throughs.But, branded video goesmuch further than onlineadverts. Product showcaseswill enhance your productstory and offer potentialcustomers deeper insightduring their onlineresearch. Getting expertsfrom within your businessto offer opinion throughvideo will create a deeperconnection than any advert.And combined, these typesof videos are incrediblysharable, when done right.Getting your video sharedthrough social networks,blogs and news sites willexpand your reach anddeliver increasing volumes ofvideo views. This translatesdirectly to your bottom line.Instead of paying per viewfor a short form video ad,you can leverage the networkto drive views. With a setproduction cost, each viewserves to decrease the costper engagement. Doubleyour views and you havehalved the cost per view. Unlike TV, where you needto front production anddistribution costs, brilliantlyexecuted online video givesyou an opportunity toproduce content at a muchlower cost, and rely on theInternet for free distribution.It isn’t just how we consumevideo that’s changed. Gomake some history.DO!Stay in close andfrequent contact withyour agency so thatthe production canrun smoothly.
  17. 17. 32GLOSSARYARRI ALEXA (noun)A high-end digital motionpicture camera used to shootTV shows like Law & Orderand films such as Skyfall.BEST BOY (noun)An assistant to the headof a film’s electricalor ‘grip’ department(see also Key Grip).CODEC (noun)A computer plug-in thatconverts a video into aformat suitable for playbackon various platforms(see also Encode).DSLR (noun)A type of camera thatis designed to be usedprimarily for takingphotographs, someof which can be usedfor shooting video.ENCODE (verb)The act of converting andcompressing your finishedvideo/film into a format thatis suitable for delivery, i.e.Uploading to the Internetor burning to DVD.FILE FORMAT (noun)The form your finished videowill take. Examples includeFlash file (.flv), Movie file(.mov) and MPEG (.mp4).GRADING OR ‘THEGRADE’ (noun)Once the final edit of avideo/film is finished it canbe sent for grading. Thisinvolves a Colourist sittingthrough each and every shot,adjusting colours, to makesure they are consistentthroughout the film (seealso White Balance).KEY GRIP (noun)The person on a video shootwho is responsible for allof the camera equipment.MOTION GRAPHICSOR ‘MOTION’ (noun)Computer-generatedcontent within a film orvideo. These assets canrange from onscreen titlesto dancing dinosaurs.POST-PRODUCTION (noun)All the stuff that happensonce we’ve packed thecameras away. Editing,motion graphics,sound design, grading,uploading, etc.PRE-PRODUCTION (noun)All the stuff that happensbefore we’ve even turned thecameras on. Idea generation,scriptwriting, storyboarding,scheduling, etc.RED (noun)A brand of digital videocamera that is used in awide range of productionsincluding TV showsand music videos.RENDER (verb)The act of finalising or‘rendering’ all of a video’sfootage and motion graphicsbefore encoding. Everytime a change is madeto a video, it needs to bere-rendered. So be sure togive all of your feedbackat once and not in bits.TASTEMAKER (noun)Celebrities, journalistsand bloggers are allconsidered tastemakers.They have influence overtheir fans and followers.TRANSCODE (verb)To convert digital footagefrom the camera to ensureit is suitable to use inthe editing process.TREATMENT (noun)A document that details howa video will be approached.Generally outlining thetone, style and length.VIMEO (noun)Video-sharing site. Similarto YouTube with a leaningtowards short films, artisticproduction techniquesand motion graphics.WHITE BALANCE (noun)The colour white mustremain as consistent aspossible in each shot ofa video/film. The tone ofwhite can vary considerablydepending on whetheryou are shooting inside, inartificial light, or outside,in daylight - this camerasetting helps keep thewhites whiter than white.YOUTUBE ANALYTICS(noun)Analytics that detail theperformance of your video.GlossaryREPUBLIC PUBLISHING
  18. 18. 34About usABOUT USWE’RE WORDY, WEBBY,CHATTY AND VIDEOYWe do otherstuff tooREPUBLIC PUBLISHINGEDITORIALWe write great stories thatcaptivate readers.They share and discuss them.Your brand’s reach explodes.Our content engages readers on their pathto sharing and buying. Our experiencedjournalists provide the core fuel that powersRepublic and empowers brands. Our passionfor words and language and our ability tolook through readers’ eyes establishes lastingcredibility for you in a transient world.SOCIALWe amplify your advocates.They engage the detractors.More people will love your brand.We define a brand’s social strategy, as wellas deliver, moderate and report on socialengagement. Our social audits will help toalign and amplify your messages. But wedon’t believe the hype. We take a differentapproach and champion the champions,amplifying advocates, engaging scepticsand giving brands worthwhile encounters.VIDEOWe produce compelling online videos.They tell powerful stories about your brand.You gain a significant audience.Our editorial principles flow through ourvideo work. Best in class videos that trulymatch a brand’s needs, creating a potentand articulate voice for its audience.We take away the pain of the entireproduction, engaging key stakeholdersonly when necessary. In video we’re thebest people you’ve never heard of.WEBSITESWe create and manage delicious websites.They are playgrounds of content.More visitors will love to explore them.We build the website a brand needs - whichmay not be what they think they want. Weare responsive, but like all our work we putthe visitor first. Our websites are packedwith content for visitors to explore. Weprovide a complete build solution that istotally device independent. We’re groundedby our experience but never shackled tothe past. We’re moving with technology.We are Republic Publishing. We create stories for brands andengage with audiences online through world-class editorial, video(surprise!), always-on social activity and delicious websites.Some of our brand partners call us their digital comms agency, otherssay we’re their content marketing agency, but most just call us byour first names and like what we do. We mostly do this stuff...
  20. 20. 38CHECKLISTVideo productioncrib sheetREPUBLIC PUBLISHING1. Engage your boss and key stakeholdersGive them a heads-up on what you’re planning,gather their requirements (if they have any), andlet them know when their input is likely to beneeded. The four key stages for their involvementare brief approval, budget sign-off, conceptgreen light and final sign-off. Establish somerules of engagement to ensure their expectationsare measured and they’re fully onboard.For more see page 242. Finalise objectives, key messages & metricsOutline what you need to achieve with the video andwhat needs to be communicated. And determinehow you’re going to measure its success.For more see pages 19 & 223. Research your audienceThis gives you the best opportunity to connectand hit them with the unexpected.For more see pages 10-114. FormatThink about where your video will live online,and what type of video will best serve yourobjectives. This isn’t about nailing an idea, it’sabout determining the scale of ambition for yourvideo project. This will inform the next step...For more see pages 14-155. Finalise your budgetFor more detail see pages 12-136. Write your briefFor more detail see pages 18-197. Select your agencyFor more detail see pages 20-218. Get sign off for the conceptYour agency should provide you with a conceptin the form of a treatment or a few slides, thatoutlines how the video will broadly play out. Getthis signed off before moving to the next step.9. Enter pre-productionYour agency will be busy doing all sorts.Writing the first draft of the script and shot list.Logistics, timings, crewing-up (bringing onboarda Director of Photography, for example). Yourrole here is to co-ordinate or have a member ofyour team help co-ordinate any requirementsyour agency may have in terms of gainingaccess to locations, people or products.For more see pages 28-2910. Script and shot list sign-offIf your video doesn’t require a script - forexample if you’re shooting a documentaryor an informal talking head video - you’llstill need a shot list of who and what you’reshooting and what needs to be covered off.11. The shootCome along and be on hand. Enjoy it, watch it unfoldand be there to support your agency and anyonefrom your brand who may be involved in front ofcamera. But don’t attempt to become the Director.12. Post production beginsSo it’s a wrap. First, your agency will spend timetranscoding all the footage captured on the shoot,selecting the best takes and assembling a roughcut for you to look at. By now there shouldn’t beany surprises - this is your chance to suggest anytweaks before a more refined first edit is completed.13. First edit and feedbackAssemble a first edit to share with your stakeholders.Compile all the feedback for a single revision.Feedback on factual and objective matters,rather than subjective and stylistic. Your agencyshould challenge some changes - if they’renot, you should ask them to, as their creativeexpertise is valuable and this is their craft.14. Final cut and sign-offA final edit is called the final cut, and is basedon the feedback and recommendationsgathered previously. Time to get yourstakeholders involved for the last time.15. Upload and distributeYour agency will output the correct format forupload to YouTube or other platforms. They willwrite the description, add tags and tracking, thenhit the publish button when ready. Then it’s time toroll out the active seeding program and watch asthe tastemakers pick up on your creation, spreadthe word and watch your video become a mega hit.Every video you commission willbe different from the last, butthere are some consistent thingsthat need to happen every time.Here’s a simple cut-out-and-keepchecklist for you to pop in yourback pocket for emergencies.Granted, sometimes you needto get a video out there fast. Ifthat’s the case, and you need toskip a few steps, make sure youat least pay special attention tosteps 1, 2, 5, 6, 13, 14 and 15.
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