Creating a successful brand film takes time and planning but most of all it takes that oh-so-important injection of creativity and imagination to make it really stand out from the crowd.
However original your ideas are on paper though, so many brand films fall over at the last hurdle by getting the production process all wrong. Make no mistake, shooting a professional looking brand film is a big undertaking. Your brand’s image will be at stake and depend on everything looking and feeling slick and accomplished, from lighting and audio to camera angles and visual effects.
Successful brand films should grab your audience with a distinct character and vibrancy that embodies your brand, whilst avoiding coming across like so many generic brand videos (a bit like the one below).
Below are some of our tips on getting the core elements of the production and filming process right.
The more expensive the lighting you use, the more customisation features and control you’ll have over the way your film is lit and ultimately the ability to get the look and feel perfect. There are plenty of cheaper models on the market though, which can deliver high-quality performance.
The right lighting will allow you to create a mood that matches your intended atmosphere. This can be achieved through either the post-production stage or on set with dimmable lighting, which can affect the overall colour and feel of the video. Using a lower contrast can make your setting appear warmer and more inviting.
Lighting is important, even if you’re shooting outside. To give the impression a scene has natural lighting, you still need to manipulate artificial light to get your desired look. This is because lighting can – and often does – appear different to the human eye in real life as it does on film. For the best natural lighting, consider filming when the sun is low; otherwise known as the ‘golden hour’. This will give your subjects a more authentic radiance.
Shooting in the golden hour isn’t always appropriate though and the position of the sun can actually be a hindrance, causing glare or causing those in front of the camera to squint.
You should consider using a high-quality lighting kit to manipulate the natural lighting and change the colour or shade. This allows you to control the overall shape and focus of the lighting, creating more customisable effects. A good video lighting kit will come with CFL bulbs which will give out a softer and cooler light, as well as stands, filters and umbrellas to diffuse the light. Other lighting kits will have LED lighting panels or tungsten bulbs which are more powerful. Good lighting will also have ‘barn doors’ which are the movable shades around the lighting, which allow you to control light output for greater control.
The camera is also a key bit of kit when it comes to getting the perfect lighting for your brand film. Professional cameras are expensive but come with a ton of features, including manual focus and a wide aperture. They can also be fitted with filters, such as UV filters allow you to reduce reflections from surfaces such as glass or windows to help the picture quality.
Audio is equally as important as the look of your film and ensuring overall audio clarity sounds professional and slick.
Research and test whether your desired filming location has good acoustics to get the best quality sound possible. You don’t want to film where there might be interference from external noise, such as near busy roads or heavily pedestrianised areas.
There are a lot of amateur options out there for those not using expensive professional equipment (even iPhones can be upgraded with new accessoriesto get the best possible audio for your film).
Think about the type of mics you will use to capture the sound quality. Boom mics record audio from one direction which captures more cinematic styles, whereas dip mics are more suitable for interview style filming from multiple subjects.
Even though many sound issues can be fixed in the post-production stage, not all problems can be edited out or improved. Ensure you film multiple takes of each sceneso you will be able to choose the best from your selection, rather than being left with no option but to go with something substandard.
Filming and Angles
When filming, you will need to consider frame rate. The most basic way of doing this is shooting your video at 24 frames per second (fps) or 30fps.
Using different camera angles can convey a multitude of different meanings, and so it is important that each shot matches your goal. Here are some of the basic shots and what they represent:
- Low angle shots: When subjects are filmed from below, it can give the perception that the people in question are integral to the environment. This is also a great way to show the subjects’ reactions to information.
- High angle shots: This shot instead makes subjects look smaller and less powerful. This type of shot can work well if you want to show buildings and architecture with the subject.
- Frontal angle shots: These shots allow the viewer to be fully engaged with the subject, with their facial expression fully visible.
When filming your subjects, don’t just film from side to side or in front. Instead, use multiple shots as this will make it more interesting for your viewer when they’re stitched together post production.
Cuts are the process where one shot ends, and another begins. In the editorial process, you need to think about how you use cuts as a narrative device, as the cohesiveness of your film will make it easier, and more engaging for the audience to follow.
Finally, make sure you use shots where the subjects face is always visible. If they are talking directly to the camera, make sure they know where to look.
To find out more about how camera angles can help your storytelling, watch the video below.
Working with a Professional Video Production Company
Shooting marketing video for your company has never been easier, with a whole range of affordable options out there when it comes to lighting kits, cameras, mics and post production editing editing software.
However, creating a polished and professional looking brand film can’t be done on the cheap and nor should it be when it comes to ‘hero’ content like your big all-singing all-dancing brand film.
Buying or renting professional quality audio and filming equipment isn’t cheap and even if you do go for it, you need the requisite skills and knowledge to use it to it’s full effect. This is why many companies opt to work with a professional video production company, like ours.
Not only will brand film production companies, know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to shooting and editing your brand film, but many will also have experience in brand strategy, idea generation, scripting and storyboarding. They will also have the required insurance and legal permissions when it comes to filming in public places, which is extremely important, especially big cities like London.
Whatever option, you decide to go with, it’s important to get the filming part right first time so make sure to plan meticulously.