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Project Planning

The key to executing a successful video shoot is proper planning.

Here are some best practices for you to do before, during and after the shoot.

Expandable List

Looking to create the best possible video? Set yourself up for success by planning as much as possible before your shoot. 

  • Brand assets: Use pre-existing video assets from the Brand Standards Resource Library when applicable. This includes McMaster stock videos, as well as animated logos for the beginning or end of videos.  
  • Location scouting: To ensure a successful shoot, it’s important to scout a location first. Ensure that the selected space helps create a compelling story and stays true to the McMaster experience.
  • Shot list: A well-prepared shot list can ensure you bring the correct gear and use your time effectively on set.  
  • Script: Prepare a script or list of questions for interviews to lay the groundwork for engaging and insightful dialogue.

On the day of your shoot, there are a number of things to do on set to ensure a successful video shoot. 

  • Collect consent forms: Have all individuals appearing on film sign consent forms prior to filming. Consent forms must clearly outline how the footage will be used and allow participants to express any limitations or preferences regarding their portrayal. 
  • Story awareness: Ensure everyone on set is on the same page by outlining the story being told and the purpose of the filming.  
  • B-roll footage: Film b-roll footage to add depth and richness to the final product, incorporating elements discussed in interviews to bring narratives to life visually. 
  • Shot variety: Film various shots for each scene, capturing wide, medium, and close-up options to provide diverse visuals for a more dynamic final product.

You’ve planned your video. You’ve filmed all the content you need. Now it’s time to tell the story.  

  • B-roll footage: Incorporate appropriate b-roll footage alongside interviews, voiceovers or scripted text to visually enrich the narrative. 
  • Music selection: A good backing track can make or break a video. Be sure to select music that aligns with the tone of the story you’re telling. 
  • Authentic visuals: Maintain authenticity in the choice of colours and images used in the video to keep the content relatable and accurate. 
  • Captions: Accessible video is a priority at McMaster. All video must be captioned to comply with AODA standards.

If you’re conducting an interview, preparing a script or list of questions ahead of time and sharing them with the people appearing on camera can help lay the groundwork for an engaging and insightful conversation. 

  • Shallow depth of field: People are central to the Brighter World brand. Shallow depth of field helps bring this to light by highlighting the person being interviewed and adding an aesthetic flare. 
  • Lighting:  Appropriate lighting plays a huge role in telling a visual story, so always confirm the person’s face is well-lit and colour-balanced, and that the background is not distracting.
  • Colours: Adding a touch of maroon in the scene when possible, either in clothing or background elements, subtly integrates the university’s colours.
  • Wardrobe: The person being interviewed should be dressed appropriately for their role at the university. Clothes should avoid big logos and favour neutral colours, but encourage the use of maroon when possible.
  • Location: To ensure authenticity, the filming environment should be appropriate for the story and the person being interviewed. Additionally, the space should be accessible and ensure the safety of the individual being interviewed
  • Audio: Using a lapel or boom microphone helps capture clear vocal audio from the interviewee.  
  • Teleprompters: Sometimes people can be nervous in front of a camera. Using a teleprompter can help ease nerves and improve the interview experience.  
  • Answers: Encourage the interviewee to incorporate the question into the answer for context and clarity, especially if the interviewer’s voice is not included in the final product.  
  • Perspective: The direction of the interviewee’s gaze – towards or away from the camera – depends on the story you are trying to tell and can influence viewer perceptions.