D.I.Y. or Go With a Pro? Video Tips for Plastic Surgeons
Shooting video can be immensely fun, especially at family events. All the laughs, the first steps, heartfelt speeches and spectacular vistas from the big vacations, so much great content captured for all time. Now what’s the feeling you get when someone else pops in a DVD of their great vacation or kid’s graduation? Dread. You know it’s going to be unedited with bad audio and all the emotional context stripped out as you sit around a living room or huddled around a computer monitor. That’s the difference between amateur and professional video.
In commercial terms, it’s the difference between the local Dodge salesman standing in the car lot hocking his wares in spitfire fashion and the national Dodge truck ad that sold a brand with emotion. They are both effective, but the local dealer needs the national brand commercials to begin the conversation. This is how you should think about your video efforts: key professional pieces that support a stream of an in-house content.
Laughing Babies: How to Make Effective In-house Content
There are scores of highly successful (viral) home videos on the net. A lot is content based, everyone loves laughing babies (this one has over 55 million view!), but their secret weapon is their brevity. And this should be the goal of all in-house content: brevity. The most successful testimonial videos we’ve seen are under 15 seconds, just long enough to say they love the staff, love their outcome and love their surgeon. Got an event coming up? All you need is 20 seconds to cordially invite your patients, provide an RSVP date and flash that charming smile.
The production does not need to be complicated, your smartphone camera will do. Here is what you can do to increase your production values:
• Wear solid colors, and use a solid color background, but make sure they are not too high contrast. Stripes and patterns look muddy.
• Use a bright, evenly lit room. You can also use two bright lamps set 45 degrees to the left and right of your face and equidistant from you. Do not shoot outside in direct sunlight, you’ll squint and look washed out. Do not shoot from shade into sunlight, again washed out. Do not shoot with bright light coming from only one side of your body, it’ll highlight skin texture or half your face will be blown out or underexposed.
• Use a tripod. Or clamp your phone to something that will not move. Shaky video is unattractive and distracting.
• Shoot from eye level or slightly above. Shooting from below is not flattering to anyone.
• If you are using a video camera with an optical zoom, zoom in some. Zooming in compresses objects and you will appear thinner. Conversely, wide angle, or zoomed out, expands objects. This is why the camera often “adds 10 pounds.”
• What if you are using a smartphone with a digital zoom? Because there are no changes in optics, there is no benefit from the zoom. Often, zooming in digitally results in loss of quality too.
• Use a backless stool, and sit with your face straight to the camera, but shoulders slightly turned. Position the stool so one leg faces the camera, sit with your feet on the rung to the left or right and square your body. Then turn your head back square with the camera. This creates an active body position that should help you remember to sit up straight, for a thin and flattering appearance on camera.
• Frame the shot from mid-chest to an inch or two above your head.
When to Go Pro
Professional advertisers and video producers should be brought in for anything more complex than short invites and testimonials. We are experts in pacing, we have advanced editing software, and we know how to work with audio.
Sound makes or breaks video production. We’ve all shot beautiful footage along the coast and all anyone can focus on is the wind whipping through the mic on playback. We’ve all recorded a conference presentation where the people next to you have starring roles as “the seat shifter” and “the paper shuffler”.
Beyond what you see and hear, we know the most important part of production – keeping the viewer’s interest through the entire video. If you want viewers to appreciate your brand and have an emotional reaction to your videos, give us a call.