Video Standards Introduction
Consistency is very important when building a brand. That is why corporations like ours create standards and guidelines. With more and more communications being done using video, it is important to make sure that there is a brand approach to the videos we create. Following are guidelines that will help with creating branded videos.
To help ensure a consistent look to our videos, we have created standardized bookends that should be used for all videos created. There are two different set of bookends, one for the corporate/OEM audience and one for the Aftermarket audience. These bookends can be obtained by contacting Digital Communication Manager, Jonathan Mobily. Below are screen shots of the bookends.
People Finding A Better Way (Option Ending)
Music is an important part of any video. It helps keep the viewer’s interest as well as supports the theme and tone of the video. Though it is tempting, you should never use a commercial or licensed track of music. Yes, they are recognizable and may fit the message perfectly, but there are legal obstacles and costs to obtaining the proper approval and license to use such a track.
It is far better to use royalty-free music. Similar to stock photography, there are numerous royalty-free stock music sites that are easy to use. Once purchased, the music can be used without limit or additional usage fees.
The chosen music should complement the video’s theme and may be subject to corporate approval.
It is very important to avoid displaying the Dana Diamond on a visually competitive background (one that affects the Diamond’s ability to “stand out”.
Though it is tempting to animate and make the Diamond the star of the show, we must remember that this logo is the symbol of our corporation and reflects its people and products. Any movement of the Diamond should be simple and tasteful. The Diamond can be faded in or out and can within reason move on and off screen. Having the Diamond spin or build in segments is not permitted.
Display fonts can be used to support the theme of the video. These should be limited to titles and impact words or statements. These display fonts are subject to corporate approval.
Dana’s standard corporate fonts should be used for body copy, product features/benefits, names, and titles, etc.
How long should a video be? That is always a tough question. It should be long enough to convey your message but short enough to hold your audience’s attention. Here are some simple guidelines that can help.
Videos that explain a procedure or provide instructions on how to utilize one of our products should be no more than 10 minutes in length.
Three minutes and under is a good rule to follow for videos that work to convey knowledge or introduce a new product or idea. Remember, most television commercials are only 30 seconds.
When creating CAD renderings or using exploded views of Dana product, follow the same guidelines for show finishing products. These guidelines can be found under Product Finishing in the Trade Shows section.
Professional voice over talent should be used when ever possible. Though it will come at a cost, it will help the production run smoother and insure the proper level of professionalism for the brand. It is okay to use either male or female talent. If possible, it is recommend that you use the same talent within a series of videos or for videos that support one particular brand. This will help brand the videos even further as the voice will begin to be recognized as the voice of that particular brand or product.
While it may not be necessary to have a professional makeup artist on hand every time you shoot a video, having a simple makeup kit on hand can help. Mainly, the makeup should be used to dull down any shiny areas of the skin and to cover up any blemish the talent is uncomfortable with.
The subject matter of the video will determine what the on-screen talent is wearing. Here are some things to avoid:
– Fabrics that wrinkle easily
– Baggy clothes
– Shiny or noisy jewelry
– Fabrics with tight patterns (checks, stripes, herring bone and hound’s tooth).
– Clothing that displays brand names / logos (other than Dana’s)
– Deeply saturated colors, especially red
– Bright white or extremely dark colors
It is a must to use an external microphone when recording a video. You cannot rely on the camera’s built in microphone. It will not provide the quality of sound necessary for a professional video.
Which type of microphone you use will be determined by the type of video you are shooting and the conditions at the shoot. They can range from booms, to shotguns, to lavaliers.
Always make sure to frame your subject matter effectively. The best thing to do is follow the “rule of thirds.”
While looking at your subject through the viewfinder/lcd panel, visualize two sets of imaginary parallel lines dividing the image horizontally and vertically into nine zones. The four points where these imaginary lines intersect are key. Compose your video image so that objects of interest are on or near these intersection points. Don’t be afraid to get close. Video is a close-up medium. Frame an interviewee to create a “chest shot”, or move in even closer. How close can be a stylistic preference, but setting up the shot to see the whole person can be difficult to pull off, and can have the person looking distant and awkward.
Whenever possible, shoot with two cameras. This gives you the option to cut from one to another in editing to add visual interest.
Camera Movements/Steady Cams
When shooting any video, using a tripod is an absolute must. Video must be steady and pleasing. If a video camera cannot be locked down, then a device such as a steady cam must be used to insure an image that does not jump around. Pans and zooms should be used sparingly and only if being done by a professional videographer.
With today’s cameras, natural lighting is often adequate for many shooting situations – especially outside.
When shooting on-air talent (especially close-up), using the standard three-point lighting technique will ensure a visually pleasing outcome. This technique uses three lights: the key light, fill light and back light.
This is the main and usually strongest light. It is placed to one side of the camera/subject so that one side is well lit and the other side has some shadow.
The fill is placed opposite of the key and is usually softer, less bright and more of a flood light than the key.
The back light is placed behind the subject and lights it from the rear. This helps separate the subject from the background and provides a three-dimensional look.
Cameras and Lenses
What’s The Best Camera?
Though it may be tempting to use your smart phone to produce your next video – don’t. A commercial-grade video camera or digital SLR camera should be used when shooting video. They will provide the greatest range of function.
Chosing The Right Lens
When shooting an interview, most circumstances will be covered by using a 24mm or 35mm lens. Using anything wider than a 24mm lens is not recommended. When shooting on-screen talent at close range, a 50mm or 80mm lens will work best. For extreme product close ups, use a 100mm macro lens.