So, your commercial video production is underway. The crew are fully briefed and en route to commence a video shoot of your workplace environment, which will impress your clients and generate new business.
What do you need to do, apart from your hair?
First and foremost, make sure everyone is aware that today’s the day for filming. Even if they’re not directly involved, make sure everyone’s in the know.
Just for today, any weird or slightly unsavoury bits of your office life need to be smothered for the day. Don’t worry, you’ll be restored back to full bants-and-interesting-decor levels again tomorrow.
Take out the dead plants and the blow-up doll left over from Sharon’s wedding send-off. De-clutter. You don’t necessarily need to remove every vestige of personality from your office space, but certainly enough to leave a professional but creative look.
In truth, a bit of housekeeping can be a wonderful thing. We’ve worked in offices where a clean-up meant the re-discovery of files that had been missing for years, a pair of shoes that used to be favourites in a past decade and much, much more. Tidy room, tidy mind… Or if you’d prefer a handy bit of Finnish proverb; “Happiness is a place between too little and too much”.
Additionally, clean the windows. There’s nothing worse than a shot with a dirty, smeary window in the background. Make sure curtains and blinds are hanging correctly, and that pictures are hanging straight on the walls. Also consider taking down the Justin Bieber calendar – no one needs him stealing the spotlight.
Your office staff need to look their best. Consider hiring a makeup artist for the morning, not forgetting to keep some make-up back for touch-ups in the afternoon. Your staff will feel confident if they feel good.
Decide in advance appropriate clothing for the filming so that everyone is prepared. White shirts or tops can really wash out the colouring of the wearer, so may be best avoided (unless perhaps you’re a doctor or clinician). Lurid patterns can be very distracting to the viewer so also best avoided – after all, we’re hoping that the viewer will absorb the information in the video, not wonder where this guy bought his shirt!
Similarly, with tattoos and piercings – you have to decide whether these add something to the creativity of your workplace or are a distraction to the viewer. It’s not discriminatory, it’s just good sense to think about it.
Make sure that the noise level is appropriate for the image you’re trying to create.
If phones ringing non-stop is the norm and it makes your environment look and sound busy, then great. If your creative designer is doing a piece to camera, then take the phones off the hook – otherwise parts of the interview won’t be heard.
Think about traffic, coughs and sneezes, air conditioning units, radios… any noise that interferes with the sound quality of your film.
Make sure you have clean pop-up banners, posters, logos and signage in place for the day. This is a great chance to reinforce your brand and make your company message memorable.
Maybe select a consultation room or space to do your interview pieces – of course, it could also be done at the desk, but make sure you avoid the possibility of someone scoffing a McDonald’s in the background or something.
Make sure everyone knows exactly what’s expected of them. Prepare a script for anyone that needs to speak so they can practise their piece until it’s as natural as can be, but without looking stilted and rehearsed. The more comfortable people feel about what they’re going to say, the more natural they’ll come across.
If you find yourself with a bit of a script to practise, you’ll quickly find out if there are any tongue-twisters that need changing, or any parts that are continually stumbling points and need to be changed.
Make sure a timetable is written up for the day, so everyone knows when and where they’re needed. All of the preparation will save time, and therefore money.
If there’s any machinery or technology to be filmed, make sure you bring in the experts: the people who know how it works, how to operate it, how to make it seamless. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching someone trying to make something work when they really don’t have a clue.
The delays can cost time and money. So get the right people on the scene, even if they’re not the people you want in the film – make sure they’re there for their technical ability.
The weather is clearly key if you’re doing any outside shots for your video, but it can also be a consideration when you’re filming inside too.
If your office is at the top of a tall building and you have fabulous views from your windows, it could be a real shame if the view is masked by thick cloud or fog on the day of filming, and it will affect the lighting too.
Speaking of which, the video production team will bring lighting equipment with them but do make sure that your office lighting is in working order.
If your reception area has a lovely lamp or two, make sure the bulbs aren’t blown, and this applies to overhead lighting too. Make sure fluorescent tubes aren’t flickering or dead. Get some spares in. Anything to save time and to create the best look.
It’s not every day that you have a film crew (however big or small) filming in your workplace. Enjoy it. Have fun. Make sure that the staff are in on it and are relaxed. It’ll come across in the video and create the best atmosphere for the shoot, and viewers will soak up that ambience.
Looking into options for your next office tour video? We’ll happily chat through it with you – just drop us an email!