One Video Shoot–Many Potential Uses

One shoot—many uses.

While video production can be expensive, if you amortize the expense over several projects it can be very cost-effective. A video can be specifically tailored for separate audiences as well as purposes. For instance, if you are videotaping an interview with a doctor about new research and its applications, one version could be for the media, another for the university or institution, another for investors, another for patient education and perhaps a version that could be used in continuing medical education or training for healthcare professionals. Plan for your next video shoot with many future uses in mind…

All the questions and comments for future projects could come from one interview session and one video shoot. And that shoot could become the start of your company’s video library. Now that we’re in the 16 x 9 HD world, it’s still worth archiving your standard definition video assets, but rather than keeping the tapes on the shelf, you need to think about digitizing them and storing them on digital media/hard drives. But keep the raw footage for future projects and to start on your own digital archive, if you don’t have one already. Scan any release forms and store them among the same assets, as well as any other graphics, illustrations or other digital assets (scripts, documents, etc.). I find it helpful to store still photos related to the project in the same area.

The advent of DSLR video is changing things rapidly. DSLR cameras are basically still video cameras that have enough storage to shoot video. While the video quality is quite good, the sound is not up to broadcast standards, so typically quality sound is recorded separately on a device like a ZOOM mp3 or preferably WAV file recorder. That means going back to the old movie days of using a clapboard to help synchronize the sound. You can also default to the old fashioned hand clap in front of the camera. Of course, there’s also an “app” for that too, which can be loaded onto an iPad or iPhone and used as an electronic clapboard. Although the files will be synchronized with the video, I also recommend storing these original files digitally separately. Often times, you can re-purpose these into audio Podcasts, if the purpose suits.

 The DSLR concept may sound radical, but to those of us old enough to have shot with film, it’s exactly the same approach we used to synchronize a Nagra reel to reel sound recorder with color negative film back 30 years ago. While the technology changes all the time, the visual language of film and concept of visual storytelling hasn’t changed much in the past Century. The tools change, but never let the technology itself get in your way; it’s there to help, not to make your job harder.