Posts Tagged ‘video interviews’

The Effectiveness of Testimonial Videos

August 18, 2014

Client headliner feedback: “The [first] video went over well at the convention! It definitely left the audience wanting more. We just did an email campaign around the [other two] videos … and our sales people love them!! The morning we launched the YouTube link announcement I got an email from a sales rep around lunch saying that it couldn’t have come at a better time because he played the videos in his presentation and they went over really well!!”

            — Marketing Manager Lauren Vellek, RICOH Americas

Beginning this summer we have been working with global technology company RICOH to produce a series of testimonial videos for their production print solutions — apparently with very promising immediate results. To fulfill the job requirements, we have been going to print shops that use RICOH production print systems to videotape owners’ feedback about the product.

Says the owner of a PIP Printing shop in northern New Jersey on camera: “When we tested the RICOH product, we brought some of our most complicated jobs. We were very, very pleasantly surprised that we got a lot more than we had anticipated with some of the extra features where we’ve been really able to put a lot more work, both black and white and color, than we ever have before because it’s just a much, much better product than we’ve had here in the past.

“… What came with it …was … a training program that didn’t only cover the uses of the equipment but also helped to foster a better business improvement program for things that we did here day in and day out for 20+ years.”

 

Says a metro Philadelphia area Sir Speedy shop owner: “The great thing with RICOH has been their service. We place a call and within in an hour or less, we get a phone call. I’m fortunate to have a fantastic technician that is assigned to this area and he goes above and beyond the call to help meet our needs and the needs of our customers.”

If these quotes stand out in written form, multiply that impression by many-fold when they appear in video. It is only common sense: seeing and listening to the sincerity and feeling behind impactful words spoken by an actual shop owner who was not obliged to make the comments goes a long way toward effectively making a sale or closing a deal.

Of course, this approach is not mutually exclusive of producing a more formal video ad for TV or online avenues using a script, actors and the type of sizable crew that such an effort requires. But in comparison to this more traditional commercial production, the budget entailed for short testimonial videos pales, and its results offer the promise of a resounding success.

Professional Videos Vs. DIY Videos

August 24, 2012
When Google bought YouTube in 2005, video on the web exploded, and sometimes it came in the form of pets walking across kitchen floors. For a short time, audiences became accustomed to amateur videos, which seemed to give license to uploading nonprofessional productions even as the face of companies and organizations. More recently, however, this impression has changed. Just as a DIY newsletter filled with grammatical errors and a disorganized presentation is not as effective as one created by professional writers, the viewing audience has come to appreciate the superior value brought by videos created by experts. There are several important details, often overlooked by amateurs, which separate a DIY video from one produced by a professional video production company.
new jersey video production, lighting, professional video production

The setup before our shoot with the Riverside Company

new jersey video production, lighting, professional video production

This is what the shot looked liked inside the camera

Lighting
Lighting is a delicate but crucial step in the interview process. Often shot in interviewees’ offices or corporate boardrooms, it is the Director of Photography’s job to “paint” with light, transforming a plain white room into an interesting and relevant interview space. For Curt Fissel, V&V’s seasoned DP with 30 years of experience, expert lighting is in his DNA. “I don’t like shots that are either over-lit or under-lit,” he says. “Poor lighting tenchniques will result in a longer time in post-production and even then may not yield the appearance sought.” Curt thinks proper lighting is often overlooked because today’s cameras can be so forgiving. Nonetheless, he believes lighting plays a vital role in separating a home movie appearance from a commercial video look.
Audio
When a video has good audio, most people don’t notice, but when sound is poor, it may be the most prominent aspect of the production that most people remember. While amateurs may become complacent with the abilities of editing equipment, professionals, like Curt, know a video is only as good as its audio. “Digital filters can help improve original audio recorded, but to ensure the sound is as pure as possible, it needs to be captured cleanly,” notes Curt.  This is the case whether one or multiple microphones are utilized on a particular shoot. To demonstrate the emphasis placed on audio amongst professionals, Curt recollected: “I went to a seminar years ago called Audio is more important than video, which I don’t quite agree with, but I do think they are close to being equally important.”
Depth of Storyline
The quality of an interview has a huge impact on the depth of the final video product. Writer and producer Ellen Friedland draws upon her journalistic background when preparing for an interview. “What’s crucial is to really understand the underlying concepts of what it is we’re videotaping,” Ellen begins. “If we go into a medical device company, I do a lot of research about that medical device. This way, even though I am not a scientist, I can prompt interviewees to share more profound points that will be reflected in the final piece.” Video production is, at its heart, storytelling.  Notes Ellen: “If the interviewer does not probe for a more multi-layered understanding of the subject, the story will have more of a superficial feel , often lacking a consistent thesis or message.“