If you’re putting a video online, you’re making a statement about your brand and its values. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “You only get one chance to make a first impression”, and any video you put online is that first impression. If the viewer is distracted by the bad composition or the incorrectly exposed image or if they can’t hear what you have to say because of poor sound recording, you’ve lost their attention and maybe even their potential business.
Smartphones have made capturing good quality video content as simple as pointing at your subject and tapping the screen, but viewers can still tell the difference between good production values and an amateur video.
The point of any video is to catch your audience’s attention and hold it until they have seen what you wanted them to see. We all are inundated with videos, images and text constantly, from buses, billboards and our smartphones and computers, we all can see many videos every day, which means we will only watch the good ones. A good video will have good production values.
The term “Production Value” is the way good experienced crew can add that something extra or “polish” to make your video great. Skills in cinematography (camera angles, framing and backgrounds) lighting, audio quality, directing, wardrobe and makeup are among the top list of talents that a professional crew brings to your production. If a video is described as having a high production value it generally refers to the quality of the work: The better the quality, the higher the production value. The value comes from the professional way in which the video is carefully crafted and produced. A video with high Production Value does not cost more, but just makes the best of every aspect of the production.
This doesn’t mean you must spend many thousands on a big professional shoot for every video, but you do have to make the best video for the budget you have. For example, shooting someone in front of a dull white wall maybe the exact same cost as shooting the same person with a more visually pleasing background.
There are many many ways good experienced video crew can add production value to your video. The value of great lighting is often over looked by non-professionals but it is the one of the main things that makes the person on camera or Talent look great. Great lighting will also make the area you are shooting look it best too, whether it’s done by adding coloured gels to lights to create a mood or just to add colour separation of the talent from the background.
Another major mistake made by inexperienced people shooting a video is the lack of good audio. Who is going to watch a video of someone talking when it’s hard to hear them?
Many times, any money you save shooting a video on your phone or iPad, is all spent in the edit to fix the issues that could have been avoided during the shoot with a good cameraman. Even the best editors cannot fix bad lighting in the edit, and when it comes to audio they can make small improvements but results still can be poor in the final video.
In short, the way we handle production value sets the professionals apart from the wannabes. It’s a clear indicator of experience, know-how and talent.
It’s important to remember that there are many aspects that add up to achieve a well-made professional video. Access to the gear is great, but there is just so much more to it than just pressing the REC button. Production Value is in all the details. The quality of images, sound, colour grading, graphics, lighting, composition, scripting and on and on.
Why does Good Production Value matter?
Your video is your brand and the image of your brand. Having a greater understanding of production value now will help you decide what’s the right approach to take for your next video production. Sometimes a very simple shoot is perfect for social media, but for the majority of times, it is best to get professional video crew.