Video Production Tip For Do-It-Yourselfer -Tip #1 - Quality Sound
Lots of marketing professionals would love to hire a video production company but just don't have the budget for an expensive video production so they decide to go the Do-It-Yourself route. Unfortunately, video production is easier in theory than in practice. Every video production poses different challenges and opportunities and lots can go wrong.
At Rewatchable, we have scoured the web and seen it all from Do-It-Yourselfers. Amateur business videos (sounds funny doesn't it?) run the gamut from great to awful. The biggest mistake we see is the "video producer" does not pay attention to sound quality.
The reality is most consumer grade video camera equipment has awful sound recording capabilities. In many cases, executive videos are ruined because the sound is inaudible or it sounds like the video production was done in a giant auditorium filled with echoes. The problem is twofold. The microphone on the camera is of low quality and it is just too far away from the person being interviewed.
For your amateur business video production, you really have three choices.
If you are lucky, your consumer-grade video camera might have an "audio in" jack so that you can plug in an external microphone. You can then plug in a high quality microphone and move it closer to the interviewee. One of our favorite microphones is the VideoMic from Rode. The VideoMic produces a great sound and is affordable at about $150. There are also a wide selection of wired and wireless lavaliere microphones available that can plug into a consumer-grade video camera with "audio in" jacks"
The second choice is to get your video camera as close as possible to the subject. Play back your footage during the actual video production to see if it sounds half decent. If it doesn't sound good, cancel the video production and don't waste your executive's time and good will. Nothing will kill interest in future video productions more than when an executive says all the right things perfectly but you screw up the audio/video production.
The final option is to use a separate recording device to supplement the video camera's bad microphone. You can get secondary audio with a high-quality audio recorder like a Zoom H4N or even a Flip camera hidden close by. The Flip camera won't pick up excellent sound but it should be more than adequate as long as it is very close to the person being interviewed. The only problem with secondary audio is you will need to sync the audio yourself with video editing software like Final Cut Pro X or if you find that too difficult you will need to engage a professional video editing service like Rewatchable, Inc. You will pay less than you would have paid for a full video production but you will still need to budget for the audio synching and the end result can't be guaranteed.