7 Cardinal sins of video production

Video is an effective marketing and communication tool. But poor-quality video production can weigh down your messaging and even put off potential clients.

We see inexperienced video makers making seven critical mistakes on a regular basis – these cardinal sins should be avoided at all costs.

No plot

Whatever you are filming, it’s very easy to get gluttonous with your video. We see a lot of people filming a whole speech or presentation with no nuance or plot.

Very few people are interested in watching some irrelevant and seemingly endless speech. It will vary according to what you’re trying to achieve, but videos that are well edited, with clear progression from start to finish will almost always be better received.

Too much information

You know a lot about your industry. But while it might be tempting to share the full extent of your knowledge with your audience, too much information can be overwhelming.

Potential customers could end up ignoring the important takeaways and remembering less useful information. If you have a lot to say, think about commissioning a series of short digestible videos instead of one long and padded video.

Too technical

An overly technical script can alienate your off very quickly. It’s natural to have a sense of pride in your work, but too much jargon can make viewers switch off.

Find a balance when you write your script. Don’t dumb down technical product or procedures to the point of condescension – understand where your target watcher is at pitch squarely at them. If you aren’t sure, speak to customers and ask them to review your script.

Audio errors

One of the most notable differences between amateur and professional videos is the audio quality. If speech or other audio is recorded on poor quality microphones – particularly a smartphone microphone – this will really show when it comes to the final edit.

You also need to make sure that any music sets the mood for your piece and that any audio interacts well with the music.

Wrong length

Making sure that your video is the right length is very important. The perfect length will depend on what you’re using the video for and where you plan on publishing it.

On platforms like Instagram and Twitter, the average attention span is very short. Videos that are about 30 seconds in length are the most popular. On Facebook, videos can be a bit longer – around one minute – and on YouTube, you have a more captive audience willing to watch longer videos.

No preparation

We get it, you’re keen to get out there and make your directorial debut. But a lack of planning will really show after the final cut is finished.

If you just shoot without thinking about settings, script, participants, outfits, lighting and a million other things your finished article will never be as polished as if you take the time to think about these things. Think about how you want the final cut to look and put everything in place to get you there.

Jarring cuts

Well edited videos use cuts to keep the story moving. There are lots of different types of cut and transition that you can use, but one of the most common is a simple cutaway between shots.

If these cuts are used incorrectly they can be very jarring. For example, if you are filming somebody’s face and the video is cutting to this face in different positions it can be difficult to watch. You can try experimenting with more gradual cuts or using two cameras on the same subject so that you can switch between frames easily.