How to create a quality business video: Framing
A business video is an exciting and interactive way of communicating your company’s message to the right audience. In fact, according to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Many businesses, however, will have little to no experience of video production or how to use video to target their customer base. Smaller businesses may not even have the budget available to spend on such a marketing strategy. But with a bit of thought and care, a quality video needn’t cost the earth.
In my first blog about how to create a great business video I will talk about how, after developing a concept you love and making sure your equipment is ready to go, the first thing you need to think about is framing. Badly composed shots can be the quickest way to ruin a potentially great video and damage the reputation of your organisation.
The rule of thirds
There is a simple way of making sure you frame your shots consistently, the rule of thirds - a compositional technique which is used to create more interesting and dynamic shots. Imagine your shot is divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines and that significant compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Most cameras will have a grid across the lens of your camera to help you with positioning. You should make sure that faces and key features sit within the centre of the grid or, alternatively, make sure your subject’s eyes are level to the horizontal lines. This way, your subject will always be the main focus of the shot.
For professional looking framing you can offset the subject so that their face is aligned with one of the vertical lines. This also works well if you want to focus on more than just the person and include the background of a shot. Buildings and environments should be positioned in the outside sections of the grid.
Some cameras have a rule of thirds setting that make it easier to compose your frame.
Be aware of what is in the background of your shot and make sure it is free of any clutter that may contribute to an unprofessional image. You don’t want to look back at your video during the editing process and spot something offensive that will cost you time and money to correct.
It’s a good idea to add in objects that help portray your business in a positive light or compliment the topic of conversation. An award or certificate, for example.
It may seem like common sense, but never shoot directly into the sun as this will affect the final image through light bleaching.
Make sure you have variation by filming both close ups and shots that leave some space above the subject’s head. Play with how much of a gap is left between the top of the head and the top of the screen as this balances out the shot. You don’t want to leave a huge amount of space but there should be enough room for the chin and neck. The rule of thirds should help with this.
If a person turns their head to the left or the right, more space will be needed in the direction that the person is looking.
Always give yourself time to prepare. Be clear about what you want the viewer to see and remember the following:
- - Mastering the rule of thirds is key to capturing a professional looking shot
- - Always double check your surroundings before you press ‘shoot’
- - Playing with space keeps your shots varied and video interesting
James Hakesley, COO and co-founder of nideo