Tips and Tricks for Shooting Industrial Video to Market your Business
I’ve had the opportunity to create, edit and commission hundreds of business-to-business videos over the years. I’ve worked with numerous videographers and editors to create industrial videos for my clients and employers. Many of these videos included complex machinery that demonstrate technical ability and design and are aimed at branding clients as leaders in their space.
If you are considering investing in video, then it is important to design a process, document it and follow the process. I always err on the side of having too much video, as you never know when you may need material for filler or what is called “B Roll” shots.
Sound and lighting are the two most important elements of video. Ensure that your video is sharp (in focus) and your lighting is appropriate for the subject.
Because lighting and clear sound (if required) are so critical, make sure you or your videographer source appropriate lighting and microphones to do the job.
Here are some other tips on shooting industrial video:
- Invest in a tripod with a good video head that supports fluid movements
- Pay attention to your background; it can be very distracting to see people or errant movements in the background. Consider purchasing or renting a light blocking backdrop and light stands in order to keep your backdrop clean – it really is that important.
- Back up your files to a company server and the cloud. If you keep raw source files, either electronic or tapes, protect a copy in a dry, clean place.
- Use a consistent file naming protocol for your video files.
- Consider using a database to organize your video files. I really like a product called “Portfolio” by Extensis. It lets you find video clips by key words.
If you are videotaping complex industrial machinery, here are some additional tips for shooting machines:
- Book the machine. Programming, repairs, and runs off are always taking place, so post a note on the machine telling informing about the video shoot, amount of time the machine will be required and your contact information. Most of the time we would shoot a machine video in off hours to make sure we didn’t have constraints and could capture exactly what we needed.
- Make sure everything in shooting area is clean and tidy. Accumulated dust and dirt are to be expected in a manufacturing environment, so make proper arrangements to ensure that the machine is cleaned up and looking its best and the area around the machine is free of stuff lying around.
- Record a long view. If your machine or system is long, get a far away shot in either a video or a picture. An autocad 3D view is also a good option to provide some perspective.
- If you’re a parts manufacturer or intend on showing processes, make sure that you have parts (or raw materials) to put through the machine.
- Use text overlays to call out certain processes if it is important to the viewer (Example: “Station 1.7 Laser mark tracking code on product”)
- Involve people in the video as appropriate, pressing buttons, removing parts, and operating the machine. People make video real and provide perspective.
- Secure some props like lab coats, clip boards, safety glasses, company branded shirts, etc. It’s a good idea dress up your people operating the machine. I often hired models for shoots; they are professionals and the whole shoot goes more smoothly and quickly when people don’t require instruction.
When shooting a video, remember you are telling a story. So make sure that you get several shots each of each process, from different angles so you can let the viewer understand how the machine actually works.
Have we remembered everything? If you have any other suggestions, please send me an email.
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