Get in touch!

522 Video Questions No. 6 – Can I Change the Scope of My Video?

You can always change the scope of your video. Sometimes your team will be able to pull it off without a worry in the world. However, sometimes, it won’t be free and easy. The real factor is going to be how and when you decide to make changes. I’m going to get into a few different scenarios and how they affect your project.

Scope Change Before Pre-Production

It’s towards the start of your video project. Let’s say you agreed to do a lifestyle video. You want to have some voiceover with great b-roll shot over the course of two days… but you just got out of a meeting with the CEO. She feels that the best message within the video would be for your clients to hear her talk about the direction of the company – interview-style. A completely different plan than what was budgeted for and discussed initially.

Luckily you haven’t had any meetings with your video production company yet. No kickoff meeting and nothing has been booked. In this situation, you should be able to call your point of contact and have a scope discussion. Two things will come out of this – your POC should try to fit your new scope within your budget or will have to recommend a new budget based on your new requirements.

Outcome: This one shouldn’t be that big of a deal, because the work hasn’t really taken off yet. Hopefully you can figure out a way to settle it without adding dollars, but either way, at least you’re not going to be paying for work that isn’t going to be used.

Scope Change After Pre-Production

Let’s say you’ve gone through your concepting meetings with your video partner, you’ve developed a schedule, booked locations, etc. and NOW your CEO decides to make the change.

Well, this is when things start to get a little hairy. Your video team has spent time developing story boards or mood boards, figuring out the concept and spent a sizable portion of your budget. If you change concepts now, a lot (or all) of the work put in so far could have been all-for-not.

Outcome: Here is where your video team needs to get crafty. Maybe your Producer finds a way to shift funds from post-production into another round of pre-production or maybe you drop a member of the crew. However, most likely you’re going to have to put an addendum into place and add some work.

Scope Change After Filming

Well, as you can imagine, this is probably the worst place to have a scope change. As a team, we’ve gone through all of pre-production, booked and paid for a crew as well as equipment and now your CEO has decided that she doesn’t like the direction of the video.

Outcome: You have a couple options here. My biggest piece of advice – take the footage and figure out something you can do with it. You can set voiceover and use the footage as b-roll. If it’s already that lifestyle piece and you want an interview, then try to book a half-day shoot to just get the interview.

Long story shoot, put some of what you’ve captured to use. It’s always okay to add, just don’t throw it all away. If you’re working with a good company, you should be able to use what you’ve captured, even if you’re changing gears. Stay the course. You’ve come too far.

Scope Change During Post-Production

So you’ve seen the first cut of the video and decide that you don’t think it has what your audience wants. You start second-guessing your decision to go doc-style versus showing fast cars and athletes. My advice here – don’t second guess yourself. You made a decision for a reason. Stick with it.

Outcome: If you need some more footage added in, your video partner should have access to stock footage or have some things backlogged that they can add. Worst case scenario, finish up this video, add a couple of things here and there, and get started on another one while you find out whether or not your video is successful. You are probably overthinking it!

You Can Always Add

Don’t forget that you can always add on to a project. You want more camera angles, more interviews, more days of shooting, more cuts of the video, new cuts to the video. Just ask! Your video partner shouldn’t ever be too busy to do more work for you and if they are… well then call us!

A Producer’s Perspective: 3 Top Tips for Preparing for Your First Video project

So you’ve taken the first step and decided that you want to create a video. You’ve reached out to a reputable video production company and are ready to get started. Now what?

Managing your first video project can be both exciting and terrifying, exhilarating and confusing. In order to minimize the terrifying and confusing aspects, I will discuss my three top tips for preparing for your first video project. My hope is that by listening to these tips, you will enter your first video project feeling prepared and confident and will be able to work proactively, rather than reactively, throughout the video lifecycle, in order to help obtain optimal results.


1. Know your 5 W’s

You should ideally be able to identify these ‘5 W’s prior to the official kick-off meeting. Even though every kick-off meeting is different, based on the client and the type of project, below are some common topics that you should be prepared to discuss:

  • Who your primary and secondary target audience is: If possible, be able to describe a persona that represents your target audience, including age range, gender, income level, etc. We want to know as much as possible about the people who will be watching this video, in order for us to tailor the messaging so that the video speaks directly to and resonates with them.
  • What your primary objective is: It is important to differentiate between the objective and the method of achieving that objective. Another way to think of this question is to ask yourself what end result you would like to see from the video. Should this video persuade people to buy your product or service? Apply to work at your company? Donate money to your cause? Think about what action this video should inspire, and we can craft the video to be the catalyst.
  • Where you want to use the video: The reason for asking this question is that different types of videos are better suited to different channels. Is this video for an event where attendees will be in their seats watching a screen? Or will this video be used primarily for social media? If it’s the latter, you run the risk of losing viewers on the web who are easily distracted, in which case a short snappy video may be your best bet. If it’s the former, it’s more likely you can show a longer video — perhaps a documentary-style video — since the viewers are already in their seats and have their eyes on your screen.
  • When you need this video completed: Our project lifecycle is typically in the 8-12 week range; however, sometimes a video request is more urgent and needs to be completed within a month or even a couple of weeks. If you have a hard deadline, communicating that to us is crucial to our team so that we can be prepared to dedicate sufficient time and resources. If you don’t have a hard deadline but would like the video as soon as possible, let us know that as well, and we will work with you to identify a deadline and develop a schedule that works for everyone.
  • Why you want to use video to tell the story: Think about why you’ve chosen to use video as your method of communication. Why not communicate your message in an article or blog post, or in an e-mail or whitepaper? The answer should simply be that your message or story will be most effectively told through visuals, which leads me to another tip — when deciding what messages to include and leave out of the video, think about what information is essential to the visual story and what information can instead supplement the video through the written word. Focus on the visual story at hand.

2. Be prepared with examples

Think about videos you’ve seen recently — commercials on TV, viral videos on Facebook, movie trailers, anything — and ask yourself what specifically you liked (or didn’t like) about them. Did you like the tone of the music? Was the pacing too slow? Were there graphics that you found informative and engaging? Did you like the combination of still photography and video?

Most people know whether they like or don’t like a video, but few people are able to describe why. When preparing for your first video project, I recommend searching for various videos and then performing the same exercise as above. Be prepared to share a few different video examples and highlight features you’d like to see in your video. To get started, take a look at some of 522’s work on our website.

3. Anticipate next steps

After the kick-off meeting, I typically explain that the next step in the process is for the 522 team to discuss the information that we learned and use it to develop the Production Package. A common I hear from clients at this step is, “What can I do to help in the meantime?”

My advice is to 1) Communicate kick-off meeting notes to your team’s key stakeholders so that all involved parties are on the same page; and 2) Send as much information as possible that pertains to your company and the goal of your video — everything from your company’s brand guidelines/logos and background information on potential interviewees, to photos of potential filming locations and upcoming dates on which you’ll be out of town. To me, the pre-production phase is the most important because, as they say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”; the more time we spend communicating in pre-production, the more efficiently everyone will be able to work during production and post-production. Seriously — the more information we have, the better.

6 things to remember when developing your next training video

Whether it’s safety training or a specific process that you want to relay to your employees, you have most likely put a lot of thought into your training video production needs. You probably even have your training information in order and you just need to start shooting your video. But, wait. There are some things you should consider about the video production first. Many training videos fall short because some important issues are not considered during production.

Before you begin, don’t forget to consider these elements when producing your training video:

  1. Assess Existing Training Materials
    Assessing your employees’ training needs is usually the first step when developing a training video. Just because you’re developing a brand new video, doesn’t necessarily mean that the existing material should be thrown away. Before getting too far with concepting and script development, it’s important to do an analysis of the existing training materials. During the review, determine what is and is not useful.
  2. Relate to Your Audience
    One of the most important things about video is the ability to relate to your audience. And, for the most part, your audience is never a single person. So, don’t assume that your audience has limited knowledge. On the hand, don’t gloss over topics that may require explanation either. Overall, you should consider presenting your information in a way that is applicable to slightly different knowledge levels. If you find a large gap in the awareness levels of the audience, then you may want to develop different types of videos.
  3. Avoid Focusing on the Negative
    If people remember seeing someone doing something dangerous, then that’s what they will remember. This point can be crucial when producing a safety video. When improper techniques are presented at all, they should be followed by a clear explanation of what should be done instead. You want to emphasize the right way to do things, rather than what not to do.
  4. Cast Your Presenter or Speaker….Carefully
    Actors, narrators, and presenters can provide another dimension to your video and keep the information interesting. They can instruct employees on what to do and say, especially if you have a business involving regular face-to-face interaction with customers. Using actors is also helpful for safety training and for demonstrating interpersonal relations skills. At the end of the day, it is important to find a presenter or speaker who relates to the audience (see point #2 above).
  5. Use a Mix of Visual Elements
    Let’s face it. Training content isn’t always the most exciting material to cover. In addition, the audience normally expects a traditional approach. So, in order to keep the audience engaged, it can be helpful to integrate a variety of visual elements. Keep the video interesting by switching between text, graphics, on-camera talent, etc. Training material can be delivered effectively with a balance of contextual information, people interacting, and relevant graphics and statistics.
  6. Encourage a Conversation
    Don’t let everyone run out of the room as soon as the video ends. After a training video is finished, it’s important to follow-up with a conversation. An engaged audience has more to offer after an effective training video. Encourage viewers to share their own experiences and insights. If the training video is distributed online, then build a forum or share a blog post to enable comments.

So, that outlines some key considerations for beginning a training video. And, if you’re wondering how to get started with any type of video production, we’ve got you covered there too.

Now that you’re ready to make an effective training video, be sure to download our guide to B2B Marketing. This guide explores helpful tactics to take your business marketing to the next level.

New Call-to-action

10 Effective Marketing Videos Created by Startups

When it comes to raising awareness for your brand, video is a prime option. It can provide added flexibility and creative opportunity, often with an impact far beyond words alone. Video is one of the most engaging ways a brand can reach it’s audience; it’s quick, easy to consume and visually appealing.

Video is at the heart of our business and what we do — so it’s no surprise that we’re inspired by the way today’s brightest startups are using creative freedom to showcase their brands through video.

When it comes to startups, it can be difficult to thoroughly explain your company’s purpose and goals in an easy-to-understand “snackable” blog post; after all, especially if your product is based on a complex piece of technology. The more interesting you can make the product, the better. That’s where the power of the video comes in.

Why Video?

Here are some fast facts about video marketing, provided by Inc., to help explain why video marketing is a critical tool for 2016:

  • An estimated 84% of communication will be visually-oriented by 2018.
  • An estimated 79% of internet traffic will be comprised of video content by 2018.
  • Consumers are 85% more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video.
  • Posts with videos attract 3X more clicks on links than text-only posts.

Clearly, video marketing is an important and effective component of a marketing campaign. It can increase engagement and keep your brand current.

But not just any ol’ video will do! Here are a few startups that are making an effective imprint using video marketing:

June Intelligent Oven

June Intelligent Oven Blog Photo

First of all, the product really does speak for itself, I mean how cool is this thing? June did a fantastic job of showing a long list of their product’s functionalities in just over a minute – which is super tough. In video, not only is less usually more, but it can be the hardest thing to execute in a video project, and June executes it really well.


Zugata Blog Photo

Great use of animation to quickly explain their product. Better yet, the video is completely cohesive with the rest of Zugata’s brand if you check out their website. Also note that, just like June, their video is just over a minute long – short and sweet!

Fiscal Note

Fiscal Note Blog Photo

I have to give some love to our “local D.C.” startups. Fiscal Note does a great job of condensing a complex piece of technology into an easy to follow video. I love how, right at 1:30, they sneak in “the best part of Prophecy is that it’s on the Fiscal Note platform,” this gives them the perfect transition to touch on why their proprietary technology is the best out there and give more details on their company.


Luxe Blog Photo

With this video, Luxe showcases how it humanizes your parking experience. I love the touch of humor at the end with the confused man on the sidewalk. Notice again that the video length is under two minutes.

InVision App

InVision App Blog Photo

The InVision App uses a documentary style video series about “design disruptors” to pull you in. It’s a non-traditional approach that definitely leaves me interested in watching their full documentary and learning more about who they are (and how they got to interview so many influencers!). InVision took a risk here, but it paid off. Rather than focusing on their product, they are focusing on the experience of their audience. My favorite quote from this video? “Design is human.”


Headspace Blog Photo

Shameless plug – I actually use, and love, Headspace. Not only are the animations cute and the color scheme pleasing, but the voice over script is really effective and to the point. I also love the ending: “Who knows? Maybe if you treat your head right, the rest will follow.”


Eero Blog Photo

A great, short little video with humorous overtones. Eero uses a simple approach that communicates what their product is all about.


Moov Blog Photo

Great action video that leaves you inspired to get up and get active (while using their product!). MOOV does a great job of showing why their product is differentiated in the market.


Nest Blog Photo

A product demo/explainer video for their third generation Nest. Best line? “Programs itself, then pays for itself.”


TripCase Blog Photo

A snazzy video from TripCase. This video personifies the purpose of their app perfectly: to keep you calm, cool and collected through the stresses of travel.

Top Five Video Marketing Posts from Around the Web – April 2014 Roundup

If there’s been significant focus on your work, taxes, and a number of life’s other demands in the past month, it may have been a bit tricky to keep up on the latest news regarding video marketing. There’s been a lot happening! Catch up on April’s top 5 reports, which are summarized below. Continue reading “Top Five Video Marketing Posts from Around the Web – April 2014 Roundup”

Top Five Video Marketing Posts from Around the Web – March 2014 Roundup

March was a busy month for video marketers—industry leaders reviewed everything from the value of video marketing to outcome measurement, and one thing was clear: As marketers keep honing their craft to suit audience preferences, video is emerging as the preferred method of reaching customers. If you’re interested in utilizing video, these top five video marketing posts can help prepare your brand to tackle the rising demand for visual content. Continue reading “Top Five Video Marketing Posts from Around the Web – March 2014 Roundup”

Top Video Marketing Posts from Around the Web, February 2014 Roundup

In February, several companies published a wealth of information for both established and up-and-coming video marketers. From suggestions on where to post videos to how to promote video content affordably, February’s top video marketing posts from around the web provided tips and tricks to conduct video marketing tasks efficiently while increasing return on investment. Continue reading “Top Video Marketing Posts from Around the Web, February 2014 Roundup”

Why a press release is still valuable in video marketing

When you think of press releases, chances are that you think of major events such as the grand opening of a business or the promotion of a new CEO. The reality, though, is that press releases can be used for a wide variety of things, including video marketing. In fact, brands that couple press releases and videos see an incredible boost in ROI on both. Continue reading “Why a press release is still valuable in video marketing”

Understanding the reality behind decreasing video shelf life

There are many statistics that showcase the ever-shortening attention spans online, but many fail to grasp the larger implications. Aside from making a powerful first impression quickly, brands must also realize that shorter attention spans result in a shorter shelf life for all their marketing products, especially videos. Now, this isn’t to say that video marketing isn’t worth the effort and investment, because it’s undoubtedly one of the most effective forms of marketing! However, it’s important to understand how your brand can combat the shortened video shelf life. Continue reading “Understanding the reality behind decreasing video shelf life”

Why it’s important to have a transcript of your video

Whether you’re watching television or pop a DVD into your home movie system, Hollywood has made it easier than ever to understand what is being said on the screen. Subtitles allow the hearing impaired to enjoy video content just as much as the rest of us – and hardcore fanatics ensure that they never miss a word of their favorite programming. But did you know that subtitles aren’t exclusive to major Hollywood productions? Continue reading “Why it’s important to have a transcript of your video”

Wanna Chat?

Connect with us

Call. Email. Send Us a Pigeon.

We love talking video. Fill out a form. Shoot us an email.
Pick up the phone. We dare you to send a pigeon. Whatever it is, we want to know about what you’ve got rattling around in that noggin of yours.

Schedule a Meeting Get Started Now


Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news, industry trends, cool creative straight to your inbox.