A few weeks ago the owner of the company asked me to go on location to a local apple cider producer for our store and put together an interview-style video of the process of making apple cider. I have to say, I was a bit intimated by the idea of it. Up to now all of these types of videos have been made by an award-winning videographer who does incredible work for us. But after I set some expectations for everyone, I was excited to do this project.
Scouting it out.
The first step for any project like this is to scout it out. It’s important to get an idea of the following things:
- Location & Facility. Where will the filming take place? What different angles can be imagined? What are the limitations of the location? How many different operations need to be captured?
- Interviewees. Are they talkative? Do your questions need to be general or more specific to spur up the conversation? How many people should do the talking on camera? Are they flexible enough to go with the flow? Or are they annoyed that you’re there in the first place?
- The process. What is the basic process that you’re going to be capturing? How many steps does it take to make the product?
Filming the interview.
Even with scouting out all of the above, I still didn’t quite have a complete picture of how everything was going to mesh together. I knew I wanted to grab the interview first so it could guide me in how the process worked. Plus, I wanted to get out of the owner’s hair as soon as possible so he could get back to work.
I filmed with my Cannon Rebel T1i using a zoom lens close in on the face of the person speaking while my colleague used the camcorder mentioned in this post, to get the fuller body shots. His camera also captured the audio parts.
My choice for the location was just ok. I really liked that we captured the apple trees and the house in the background. I thought the house just screamed “local”. If I were to do it again, though, two things I would do differently are:
- Get a light reflector. It was a nice sunny day, but I really needed to get some light on their faces. The shadows really hurt the quality.
- Keep the cameras closer together. Really, I think the cameras should be from almost exactly the same spot so the person speaking is looking right into the camera. On this one I went with more of a side view with the zoom so the speaker was not looking directly into the camera. It still turned out ok, but I think it could be better.
Filming the process and facilities.
I really messed up here. I completely underestimated the amount of different footage I would need of the process and facilities. What I realized was that I was going to be really bored just watching a guy talk to a camera about a process. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it until I went back to the office to start editing it. When I went back I watched some of the videos produced by professional guy mentioned earlier and was simply amazed by how seldom we saw the person being interviewed. In his cuts, when the person being interviewed was on screen, it was literally for 1 second. Then we switched to something else – usually exactly what he is describing with words.
So, I called and asked to come back and get some more footage. Thankfully, the owner was gracious and let me come back for another half day the following week.
I’m still only using iMovie for these edits. That’s fine. I like iMovie. But I’m really starting to want something more advanced. I bet I’d be able to do alot more with a more professional software.
Like in my previous experience, the most difficult part was cutting. My 1st cut was almost 4 minutes. That’s just too long for the typical viewer. So, I started clipping out scenes. I was able to get it down to 2 minutes. I’m still keeping in mind that a commercial on the TV is only 30 seconds. I’m not sure how in the world I could get it down to that.
I’m happy with the way this came out. I think it accurately shows the process in an interesting way and genuinely helps both the vendor and our store.