Q: A corporate video showing our manufacturing facilities would be useful for our business development team when meeting clients or for international trade events.
We would like a UK video production company to produce this for us, as we are looking for a very high standard of communications.
We are located in Riyadh. What are your recommendations?
A: The first corporate video any company produces is often an enjoyable but challenging experience, as everyone in the company wants to pack so much information into one (relatively) short corporate marketing message.
My experience of corporate video in Saudi and the Middle East (which started in 2006) makes this doubly so, where projects can tend to run over time and budget.
Here are some corporate video tips you may find helpful.
Like any manufacturing process, corporate video production is developed in stages, each with their own milestone approvals. It’s crucial that these key production stage approvals are met by everyone in your company.
For example, the video script should be written and approved before the video storyboard is developed.
And the storyboard should be approved before the filming begins, and so on. This is the way to successful corporate video production.
If these key stage approvals are ignored, or you wish to make late changes in your corporate video, then problems will arise.
For example, a common last minute request is “One of my managers suggested this: Can we change this sentence here, and this sentence here, and also add these two points into our corporate video?”.
While everything is possible, last minute requests like these will lead to unexpected time and budget over runs. They put pressure on the corporate video production company, and on your own deadlines.
So while formal approvals may sound like an an administrative detail, it is very much in your interests to ensure that everyone who matters in your company approves the each stage of your corporate video.
Your producer will guide you in this.
Here is an introduction to corporate video and the different services involved
Filming in Saudi Arabia and Producing in the UK
This is not as difficult as it sounds.
The corporate video director who manages the shoot will arrange for video crew (camera operator, sound recordist if rqd), who may be sourced locally, but may also come in from neighbouring states.
We’ve used professional crew from as near as Dubai and as far away as Morocco.
Producing corporate video in different languages
The first draft of the corporate video should be in English, as:
- The UK video editor will have no problem understanding the story
- The commissioning client will also understand English
Here are some tips for foreign language video production
Once the English version is agreed, your corporate video can be translated into Arabic, Mandarin, Parsi and any other language required.
Use of Graphics, Captions and Special Effects
Graphics look great in any corporate video. And as the technology has advanced, the tendency in 2010 is to increase the use of creative graphics. I expect by 2012 that all graphic videos will become much more common.
So do use special effects if they’re tasteful, and serve the message of the corporate video. Video special effects now includes audio and music effects, not just visuals.
Captions (text animation) present the most problems. This is because translating and animating video captions into different languages is costly.
So where possible, avoid captions and keep costs down.
For the same reason avoid using presenters, and stick to voiceover.
Your corporate video may be viewed more than once by your audience so it has to look really good.
Plan for different delivery media
While DVD or laptop-playable mp4 files may be your first choice of presentation media, you should consider web video versions of your corporate video, which might require a re-edit to be produced as a few short films, rather than one long video production.
You’ll need these for your website, youtube, vimeo, facebook, other web television sites, and anywhere you wish to broadcast your message online, such as social networking sites, or even local commercial tv advertising. Provide for this.
Producing a corporate video for a Saudi company is pretty much like producing a corporate video for any company.
The points made above highlight key differences I’ve experienced,
- Keep to key stage approvals
- Source video crew from anywhere suitable
- Produce English first
- Minimise the use of animated text and captions, if possible.
- Use many media platforms
I wish you a successful production of your first corporate video.