first corp vid advice please
Hello all, this is a piece from my first real corp video. I wanted some advice on what could have been improved on or did different. It was a SHORT turn around, 3 days to shot and edit. I took it as I am just starting out and need to build client base as well as experience.
Bryon Burch of Chumba Racing from dewan edwards on Vimeo.
There's nothing wrong with that clip, it works. Decently lit, good sound, shots composed. The hand-held thing turns some people off but for something like bike racing, it is not at all uncommon to add that feeling of youth, edginess, rough-on-the-roadness... and it wasn't at a nausea-inducing level, just barely there. If the equipment cutaways were stabilized, or shot off a locked tripod, I think that adds an air of "precision" to them in the semiotic sense. Those kinds of shots can look excellent on a slow dolly move. This is purely s subjective aesthetic choice on the part of the editor.
Something I might have tried would have been to change up the focal length on the guy talking, do snap-zooms that you then either use live because they look spontaneous, or if not, at least if they are done fast, they are easy enough to cover with more b-roll. Some b-roll of him in a wide or medium shot handling the bike in the shop or outside would have been nice but I'm guessing you would have used it already if you had it. Does he have still photos or home movies of him out riding it? Could montage in a little bit of that while he talks. But the discussion I would have in the suite with the producer then would be how much do we focus the story on him and his riding versus showing the merchandise, and I think you struck a fair balance there as-is.
In terms of the shot composition I would have liked to cheat his body or at least his head a little more towards the camera, I like two eyes very plain in the face in that kind of 3/4 shot, this one was a little bit too much into his ear, but I know you don't always get to control those things.
Finally, it is not a problem as-is, but I would have liked to either darken the area behind him or use depth of field control to throw the background more out of focus.
These are all minor nitpiks, it is good work as-is.
If they wanted you to add some more visual excitement, you could tint and layer some PIP of the interview and B-roll mechanical closeups. Been done before, a lot, so it is easy to get cliche' with that.
As far as getting the copy points across, what I took away from viewing was: unique niche supplier, custom high tech fabrication, dedicated, knowledgeable sales and service that's customer-focused. That's a lot to get across in one short clip. I think it mostly works. The guy's reserved manner and flat affect probably mirrors and appeals to the hard-core bike racer types. I am not this market, so I as a buyer may not respond to it as the target consumer would.
So how do you know if this works on the target market? I always tell clients to have a 5-question quiz in mind; after viewing, the first-time viewer should be able to answer between 3 and 5 questions correctly. If he can only answer 2 or less, go back and re-work the message. Sometimes that means you have to throw out the coolest part or the part you liked the best, well, save that for your reel, but don't be shy to cut the parts you love if it makes the rest of the piece stronger. Like fabricating the bikes, function and cost defines the form.
I'd echo everything Mark said...it's solid work.
The idea behind being 'loose' with your handheld work is to add that 'edginess' as Mark mentions... When I'm shooting something like this, I like to use that movement for motivation. Instead of holding an unsteady shot of the logo, why not pan onto it?...or snap zoom into it?...or rack-focus to it? Lots of edit opportunities created by those sort of movements, then the unsteadiness becomes a bit more 'intentional' looking...
Overall... nothing bad there...you could check out some Xgames/ESPN2 material and get some additional style ideas.
I agree, there's a LOT right with this.
My advice is a bit different, tho.
This is NOT a documentary. It's essentially a sales video. As such, you have two audiences you have to please. The first is the client. It's got to sell stuff. The second is the audience. They're giving you their time to watch this. Respect that time.
The talent (who is knowledgeable and looks great on camera) sometimes has a speaking style that gets in both his and the audience's way. He starts, hesitates, changes course, digresses, and clarifies as he speaks. From a purely informational point of view, the viewer has to weed out a lot of extraneous stuff to get to what he's saying.
Since, again, this is NOT a documentary - and his sole purpose is to tell his story about the product. I believe it's fair for you to help him do that as clearly as possible.
So I'd go in and RUTHLESSLY edit his speech for maximum coherence. Not change anything, just extract all the non-essential miscues where possible. If his recording is something like. "um - ah - well we... the thing is, it's not essential...but the Gizmo VX 5000 lasted when all the other gear got trashed." underestand that you DON'T NEED to keep all of that. A better edit is simply "the Shimano VX500 lasted when all the other gears got trashed."
You've got lots of nice b-roll to cover the resulting jump cuts.
Bottom line: Respect your audiences time.
As the editor, it's your JOB to cut out the distractions and help your audience get to the core of the message.
For what it's worth.
Can I say an Amen to Bill! Well spoken. For a first video, it is well done but as Bill pretty much says, to be a true pro, you have to sell the product first and foremost (so the client comes back to you) and please the client at the same time (the Texas two-step).
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