Video production values and UGC (User Generated Content)
Video production team Vs User generated content.
Film, TV and video production can be costly, so is that expense necessary and can you simply shoot it all yourself on a smartphone ?
There has been a huge amount of UGC content that we have seen used everywhere from news channels, documentaries, online shows, branded content, commercials and it is sometimes highly effective because it can feel authentic and create a sense of ‘communication between peers’. It allows consumers and the community to have a voice and particularly during COVID-19 it has allowed filming to be done in a responsible and innovative way during the pandemic.
So the question is can we simply film everything on our phones and do away with media agencies and tv and video production companies ?
The best place to start when working out what type of video production is right for you and your brand, event, company, communication needs, etc. is to consider what you want the take-out to be for the viewer, for the consumer.
1. What is your primary message and what values do you wish to convey when creating your film ?
2. What do you want the viewer to think and feel when they finish watching? This should then be the guiding light for your whole production process.
3. Time to start pre-production and do some planning. This really is where the creativity lies (possibly more so than in the production and post-production process).
4. Clarify who is your intended or key target audience.
5. Create an overview of the content that you want to create (in a couple of lines what is your ‘story’) – write it out so that you can discuss it with your colleagues. This usually creates some discussion over different ‘visions’ for the piece and one of your biggest money-saving exercises will be to iron out any differences at this stage to create a collective vision.
6. Then what is your ‘device’ to tell that story ? Drama / Interview / Documentary / Voice over / UGC / Animation / Reality ?
7. When you have decided the style, then create a storyboard and or a script and a shot list. Work it out on paper, so that you know how it will all work together in the edit.
Once you have gone through this process, it will probably become clear to you whether you want this content to feel ‘homemade’ or user generated or whether it needs to be more sophisticated. It may well be a combination of the two. Your brand values though, should be reflected in the style of content that you are creating and when using the ‘lo-fi’/ user-generated approach it must be done in a deliberate, creative and intelligent way so that the viewer understands why you have taken that route. Many UGC looking ads and branded content have been created to look like it was user-generated content, but in fact, it has been carefully scripted, produced, directed and shot by a team of people! So yes you can potentially film on your mobile phone, as the key to a successful film will always be about the craft of creating a compelling narrative and visual story. To decide what production technique and style is best for you, you need to decide what are the brand values you want to communicate, what is the story you want to tell? This is what will help dictate what is the best method to engage, captivate, inspire and motivate your audience.