Q: Our aim is to produce a corporate video interviewing two senior Arab personnel.
We need head and shoulders interviews followed by a few minutes of corporate footage.
How can this be done from the UK? What do I need to know to prepare for the production?
London & Home Counties
A: Producing corporate video in the Middle East from the UK is relatively easy, partly due to the low cost of airline fares, and partly due to the increasing compactness and transportability of video shoot equipment.
Here is a corporate video filmed in UAE and produced in the UK
Combining these two elements – low fares and portable kit – means that Emirati (Abu Dhabi, Dubai) clients can fairly easily gain access to superior UK corporate video production styles.
A third element is skype webcam (now bought by Microsoft)
Making videocalls with skype webcam allows scripts and storyboards to be developed “face to face” across the internet, in a way that a few years ago was only achievable with complex and costly teleconferencing equipment.
And skype is free.
Producing the video interviews – 1
There are two ways to produce your two interviewees as part of a corporate video.
The first and most obvious is to develop a Questionnaire.
The Video Director on the shoot can ask the questions to the interviewees (as an unseen interviewer), and they reply.
This style is called “fly on the wall”.
The video editor creatively edits the responses in the studio to form a single coherent flow – the perfect on-camera response – or “credible illusion”.
Producing the video interviews – 2
On the other hand, a more direct style of camera address may be preferred by one or both of the interviewees.
In this case I’d suggest using a teleprompt, so they can deliver a prepared script.
7″ portable teleprompts can be used. They’re designed for travel, and can be assembled quickly by the camera operator.
It works like this:
> Have each interviewee speak the prepared script to camera a few times in different tempos and styles, reading from the teleprompt (sometimes called autocue)
- Then take key sentences from the script and have the interviewee repeat these these from memory, speaking direct to camera – without using a prompt – memory only. These can be filmed in different locations for increased interest and visual dynamics.
- You now have a mix of both teleprompt speech and natural “ad-lib spontaneous” speech.
- Edit these both together with some locally filmed footage and the net result will be impressive talking heads to camera.
There is the option to film the subjects against green screen or white screen backgrounds.
It depends on how much authenticity is required in the final video. Green screen can be used very creatively by dubbing the interviewees against animated backgrounds.
But a natural location has an authentic feel.
In any event, use a 16:9 True 1080 HD camera with a suitable wide angle lens and the results will look great.
Finishing the production
No corporate video production looks right today without lots of cool motion graphic elements, animated captions and smart post-production video effects.
These add a layer of intelligence to what is being said.
And older speakers can be cosmeticised to look younger.
Add to this professional audio and music editing and you have a polished corporate video production you can be proud of.
I’d ask how long is the video’s intended life. Is it meant to last past 2012? Should it last until 2014 or 2015?
Then adjust the production style according to the expected longevity of the video, ie, from highly topical to items that won’t easily go out of date.
In a shrinking global marketplace, promotional videos can be filmed in UAE, and scripted and edited in the UK.
Decide on whether to take a questionnaire approach, or mix teleprompt and natural speech.
Your corporate video production company will show you creative examples of both styles to help you make up your mind.
Likewise, your video producer can show you different post production styles suitable for a corporate presentation.
With today’s equipment, UK-produced corporate video production is feasible in any part of the world today.
© Studio Rossiter 2011