Ask An Expert: Videography

With Jon Hyatt, KM4 Productions

Jon is a filmmaker, content producer and cinematographer. He’s created content for organizations, artists and not-for-profits of all sizes. His feature film work has been distributed throughout the world and profiled on many outlets including CNN, CBC, Variety, FOX and The Globe and Mail.

IF BROKERS WANT TO INCLUDE VIDEO IN THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA EFFORTS, WHAT SHOULD THEY KNOW BEFORE THEY START?

Don’t just jump into filming something—it’s important you do proper pre-production. Write everything out, say it out loud to yourself and to others and make sure your message is clear and concise. Always best to trim the fat and keep it interesting.

ANY GENERAL TIPS ABOUT FILMING TO SHARE?

Content is always key. Without great content, it doesn’t matter if the video looks great. Make sure to have the camera focused on what it’s supposed to be interested in, avoid lots of headroom—the space above people’s heads—and any distractions in the background. The camera is the eyes of the audience. It sees everything, so make sure the room is clean!

WHAT’S AN INEXPENSIVE WAY TO MAKE VIDEO CONTENT APPEAR HIGH QUALITY?

Make sure to focus on sound and lighting—without both, the video looks cheap. LAV microphones are great to keep the sound recording close to you, and a large light source is key. Put your camera in front of a large window if you have one, and overcast days are best to avoid hard light.

WHAT ARE COMMON MISTAKES YOU SEE PEOPLE MAKE?

The biggest problem when companies create videos is thinking that the longer the video and the more info, the better. Videos don’t need to inform customers about everything you do. It’s best to use the video as a hook to bring clients in, then fill them in afterwards. So keep it short and show off the exciting parts.

PARTING WORDS?

The best resource is your team, your friends and your clients. Make something. Test it out. Ask for honest feedback. When you start creating, it can only get better, and consistency is key. Filmmaking takes years to get good at, especially cinematography—so always best to hire a professional.

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VOLUME 21 | ISSUE 6