Brand films are a deep and impactful way to connect with your audience and tell your business’ unique story. They showcase your brand and its core values in a way that is meaningful and leaves a lasting impression on your audience. This emotional connection opens up the possibility of turning viewers into paying customers that are also raving fans of your business.
While they have many benefits to offer, the process of making a brand film is more extensive than that of a brand photo shoot. Additional factors need to be considered when planning a film, such as sourcing music and editing the footage to tell a story. Here’s an inside look at the various steps that go into creating a brand film at Charuk Studios.
Step 1: Answer the Brand Questionnaire
When I am producing a brand film for a client, my first step is to send them a brand questionnaire. This helps me to gain a more in-depth understanding of their business and brand direction.
The whole point of a brand film is to sell the best features of a business to potential clients, so it’s important that it accurately reflects the business, is visually appealing and meaningful, yet strategic in its planning and approach.
Questionnaires help to uncover a business’ desired positioning strategy, identify their ideal client and find out what sets them apart from their competitors within the same industry.
Step 2: Create a Mood Board
Mood boards are used to plan out the visual elements of the film before shooting. This includes things like lighting, colour scheme, textures, location, props and action or movement shots. The photos included on this board will be used to guide the various scenes and visual elements captured throughout the brand film.
Mood boards also help to ensure that both the client and videographer are on the same page in terms of the overall visual direction both before and during filming.
Step 3: Plan the Art Direction & Shoot Details
Once the overall visual direction of the film has been planned out, the next step is to plan the specific details of the shoot, such as where the film will be captured, who will be cast in the video and what they will wear.
At this point, I also need to have an idea of what I want the model to be doing in the shot and what kind of movements they should be making. Hiring additional help or services must also be considered, including makeup artists, hair stylists, florists, models, or any other professionals that may be needed.
Step 4: Plan the Story Line
Brand films all tell a story. This means that however many scenes are shot, and then they all need to flow together in a sequential order of events that makes sense to the viewer.
Each scene should make a smooth, logical transition to the next. The story can also be fairly simple, so long as the flow of scenes makes sense. No matter how well-written a story is, a brand film will not be effective if it is just a collage of random clips thrown together.
This is also the time to plan out the message that you want to communicate to your audience. It is important to think from their perspective and write a story that is not only true to the brand, but also resonates with the audience.
Step 5: Create a Shot List
Once the story line and art direction are in place, I write out a list of all the shots I want to capture. This gives me a guide to follow and helps to organize and streamline the shooting process.
Once you are on set for the shoot, things can become fairly fast-paced, so having a shot list is helpful to ensure you capture all the necessary footage. The various shots can be fairly detailed, so it’s good to have a reference to look back to in case you forget any details or in order to check that you haven’t missed anything.
The shots described in your list should also be somewhat varied. It should include scenes featuring different aspects of the film, such as close-ups on details and shots focusing on the model, highlighting the product or service being described and capturing the scene as a whole.
Step 6: Capture Footage
The day of the shoot is when all the footage is captured, so there is little room for error. All the preparations leading up to this stage help to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
The focus at this point is to capture high quality footage, meaning the videographer needs to make sure that there is no camera shake, the transitions are smooth, scenes are in focus and that the correct exposure has been used.
While on set, I act as both the director and cinematographer and give the client or model in the film clear and purposeful directions. This helps to ensure that the shoot progresses smoothly and efficiently, as well as enhancing the overall quality of the recordings.
Step 7: Source Music or Record Voice Over
The visuals are only half of a brand film. Before the shoot, it must be decided whether the film will be set to music, a voice-over, or some combination of both, as any voice-overs will need to be recorded on the same day that the footage is captured.
Music can be sourced before or after the shoot, however, it needs to be well suited to the story and imagery in the film. The music or voice-over sets the tone for the brand as well as the overall mood of the film.
Music has the power to completely alter the mood of the film. It can make the story or brand come across as being upbeat and playful, somber and ethereal, or chic and luxurious, so choose wisely.
Step 8: Edit Video
During this final stage, the various components of the film such as the footage, audio and general editing must be completed. You will have a lot of footage from the shoot, so it all needs to be looked through and narrowed down to the best takes.
Once the top clips have been selected, they need to be cut and arranged alongside each other and any audio or music must be added. Then the footage has been edited together in the correct sequence, special effects such as filters or transitions may be added to give the film a polished appearance.
Finally, the brand logo and ending credits are added in and the finished video file is exported using the highest quality settings to ensure that the video looks sharp and plays smoothly.
Have any questions about brand films and how you can utilize them in your business? Shoot me an email and I'd be happy to answer them for you!
If you are planning a brand film or photoshoot download my questionnaire I use with clients to define their brand direction, this is the first step before I create an inspiration board! Sign up below to have the PDF delivered right to your inbox.