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Q: I’d like to produce a client testimonial video with the following spec:

1. This is something that would be shot most probably at a customer site in North England.

2. We envisage the video being about 5 to 10 mins long (if even that).

3. There would be just one client testimonial – focusing on a few different aspects of their business and how our product makes their business more accessible and more productive.

We’d also like to highlight the system’s remote working capabilities, so footage at a remote worker site away from the main customer site would also be needed.

Marketing Manager
Communications Products Company

A: Testimonial videos are a terrific idea. We frequently shoot them. They give a lot of bang-for-your-buck, as they lend great credibility to the claims you make in your business proposition.

As well as producing an end-to-end video to show to your clients, I could suggest splitting the video up into key clips of 1-2 minutes runtime which can be played on your website.

Small video clips are also useful for including in powerpoint presentations, where a brief-but-telling endorsement can carry much weight.

None of this will add significantly to your cost, but will ensure a wider audience for your valuable client endorsement.

Typically the shoot time is spent with:

> 1-2 hours with the Client

> A few hours shooting at the site to capture footage that can be dubbed over to illustrate what the Client is saying.

It’s important to shoot further footage to dub over your Client is saying.

This is because anything over a couple of minutes of the Client talking to camera can look boring without addition footage to pep it up.

Dubbed footage will also illustrate key points that the Client is making.

I might suggest using a couple of actors to show your products in use, as well as client staff. It’s possible to use your own or the client’s staff, but the danger is that they look wooden or unattractive as they’re not trained to appear on camera. Or they might have unfortunate spots or crooked teeth!

I could also suggest that some of the Client’s senior staff also speak to camera. They will raise useful tech & detail points that the Client may overlook as he’ll be focussing on telling the story as he sees it from a CEO standpoint.

Technical or support staff often have complementary stories that complement the Client story, such as implementation, fascinating tech details, and such.

And they’ll provide a breather from seeing the Client’s face all the time. Complementary speakers will provide visual relief.

You may well need some graphics or animation to illustrate the concepts behind your communications products, which can be shown while the Client is discussing these points.

It’s often difficult to plan graphics exactly in advance of the shoot, as you never quite know what your Client Chief Executive is going to say.

To workround this, establish an order of budget for graphics in advance, then the graphic work can be developed later to fit what the Client is saying, without running into cost or overspend problems.

One last point: I’d work towards keeping your runtime as short as possible, getting the maximum message out of the shortest possible runtime.

This will deliver most benefit to your audience, and make best use of their (and your) time.

In short then:

> Shoot additional footage for dubbing

> Consider using actors

> Budget for graphics

> Consider including other client staff to add breadth to the presentation

> Keep the final programme as short and punchy as possible

> Make short clip versions for use on the internet and PowerPoint type presentations.

Click for further general info on shooting testimonials of clients, or VIPs and CEOs

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