Here’s a little something dug from my archives. It’s a script(*) I wrote back in the GDS days, riffing off an idea that it might be useful for the GDS creative team to make a video showing various dos and don’ts for making videos.
The idea was to show the thing - in this case, the things people often get wrong.
I can’t remember now if this idea ever got further than my laptop - but I do know that it never actually became a video.* – In my book, I talk about how scripts aren’t always a good idea. I still think that’s true, especially when your making a video about a team or a product or a service. But this video’s different. A script was helpful in this instance.
CAPTION (on black): How to make a video
CAPTION (on black): Top tips, dos and don'ts
FADE TO: Interviewee with window behind, their features too dark to see.
CAPTION: Don’t: put people in front of windowsVOICEOVER: If there's a brightly lit window behind your interviewee, their face will be in shadow, which makes their expressions hard to see.
FADE TO: (Interviewee well lit by daylight)
CAPTION: Do: use daylightVOICEOVER: Try to position your interviewee facing the window, so you can take advantage of the natural light in the room.
FADE TO : (Interviewee in terrible position, with very busy background scene)
CAPTION: Don’t: have busy backgrounds
VOICEOVER: Think about what’s behind your interviewee or speaker. Some subtle movement in the background is ok, but don’t overdo it.
FADE TO: (Interviewee in good position, with light/shapes in the background to provide contrast, and nothing more)
CAPTION: Do: keep things simple
VOICEOVER: A good background looks good when it’s blurred out, so think about large shapes, blocks of light and colour. A little movement is ok.
ZOOM IN on interviewee’s head and shoulders.
INTERVIEWEE (muffled, scratchy): This sound quality isn’t very good.
CAPTION: Don’t: use the camera microphone
VOICEOVER: Most cameras don’t have good built-in microphones, and even if they do, they will be too far away from the interviewee’s mouth to pick up good sound.
ZOOM OUT, as an assistant leans in to attach a lapel microphone.
INTERVIEWEE: Now you can hear me clearly. That’s much better.
CAPTION: Do: use a proper microphone
VOICEOVER: It’s worth investing in an external microphone that you can put close to the speaker.
CUT TO: Another interviewee in another place.
CAPTION: Don’t: include too many people
INTERVIEWEE 1: Because
RAPID CUT TO INTERVIEWEE 2: that
RAPID CUT TO INTERVIEWEE 3: makes
RAPID CUT TO INTERVIEWEE 4: everything
RAPID CUT TO INTERVIEWEE 5: sound
RAPID CUT TO INTERVIEWEE 6: disjointed.
FADE TO: Interviewee with lapel mic.
CAPTION: Do: talk to just one or two people
INTERVIEWEE 1: That way, you can tell a simple story. Without making things too confusing, or too complicated.
FADE TO BLACK.
Filed under: work
(28 December 2021)