Culture Videos

July 23, 2013

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Lauren Hill


This is guest post #3 in a series of 3 from Volusion. You can also read Lauren’s tips on pre-production and production.

You’ve successfully made it past coordinating logistics, wrangling the talent and shooting your company culture video. Snaps for you – those are some pretty significant to-dos to scratch off your checklist.

Even if you planned every detail of your shoot, it’s easy to feel like many of the creative decisions up to this point have been out of your hands (remember when what’s-his-name wouldn’t strike a pose when you needed him to?).

Ready to take back control? Welcome to post-production. Don’t like that sound bite? Cut it. Stumbled into bad lighting? Brighten it up. Add in great music, make some sharp edits, and voila, you’ve got yourself an “about us” video that makes your office look as cool as Google’s.

Here’s a look at four tricks I learned while tackling the post-production phase of Volusion’s very own culture video .

Select a naming convention

What’s in a name? Well, a lot, actually. As you sort through your video footage, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to keep track of clips. I’d suggest creating a naming convention that can be used throughout the entire editing process.

Be sure to include important details like the date, location, and general summary of the footage. Here’s an example from my shoot:

Day 1_MarketingLivingRoom_WorkingonLaptops

Having a consistent label for all video clips will make finding the clip you were looking for that much easier.

Edit once (and then cut 30 more seconds)

The attention span of most folks browsing the Internet is already pretty short, so you’ve got to make an impact with the little time you have. Don’t allow your culture video to drag on, because you only have a couple of minutes to sell your story before viewers will bounce.

Tighten things up – if you can tell your audience something in 10 seconds instead of 20, then go for it, especially when editing through a video that’s essentially selling your company as a whole. I’d suggest keeping this kind of project around 1 to 3 minutes for maximum engagement.

Please don’t stop the music

I’m not saying that a company culture video can’t have dialogue, but the visuals are the most important aspect to consider for a video of this kind. You’re trying to give outsiders an exclusive view inside your business’s walls, so overloading the video with too much (or any) talking often takes away from the overall message, especially when your goal is to keep it short and sweet. I prefer my culture videos to be of the music video variety – fast, fun and entertaining.

And speaking of music, you’re going to need some! Check out sites like TuneFruit or the Vimeo Music Store if you’re on a strict budget.

Another option is to reach out to a local band looking to gain traction or a contract musician who’ll lay down a custom track to fit your exact needs. For bigger name bands, check out Greenlight Music, where agents will actually negotiate and gain the rights to tracks for you. Great music can help to make a video that’s just okay into a spectacular one that will stand out in viewers’ minds.

Color Grading

Brighten it up or tone it down depending on your shooting environment. Color grading applies a certain look to your video clips to help evoke a mood or tone. I use Final Cut Pro X when editing, so utilizing a tool like the color mask helps to make bright colors brighter and bold colors bolder, bringing attention to all the right places. Here’s an example of this tool in action via the Volusion culture video:

Notice how bright this blue is and how a simple change can really help to draw attention to the scene. You might not have FCPX like I do, but there are a number of free options out there like Windows Movie Maker and iMovie that can help you achieve a similar look.

Ready to tackle this last step? If you keep the above tips in mind throughout this final phase of production, you’ll be well on your way to serving up one killer company culture video.

Lauren Hill


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