Over the years, we’ve put together many videos of our customers using our construction software on the jobsite with iPads and other devices. And, like I mentioned in my last blog post about how customers are now creating and submitting their own construction YouTube videos, I thought I’d provide some tips and the top 10 things you should do when creating a video on a construction jobsite. You will benefit from not making the same mistakes I made, and find that it's pretty simple and inexpensive to do!
- Get a HD camera. You don’t need an expensive one, either. I’ve used a HD Flip camera that costs less than $100. But, now with the most recent smart phone cameras being 8 megapixels and up, you can even use your phone. HD makes a big difference.
- Find a good ‘interview spot’ on your jobsite. Pick somewhere that is visually interesting if possible (with obvious construction behind the interview subject), but where there isn’t a ton of background noise (hard to do, I know). And, get close to the person you are interviewing (if you are using the microphone in the camera).
- If you are outdoors, put the sun behind you and the camera (not behind the person talking). Otherwise it will wash out your shot. You definitely don’t want to have the sun shining in your lens!
- Take a panoramic shot or two of the jobsite to kick things off, and so the video watcher knows where they are and understands the kind of project you are on.
- Come prepared with a set of interview questions you want to ask so that you can quickly get the interview going. And don’t be afraid to ask new questions as the interview goes on. Let it flow naturally.
- During the interview, hold the camera in your hand at or around your face level so that the person is looking at the camera. You want to make your interview conversational to put your interviewee at ease and to produce a better result. This camera position helps do that. Have them look into the camera though, not your face.
- Short responses are better than long ones for both editing and for viewing by your audience once the final video is put together. Your interview subject should keep responses under a minute if possible. Also, if they happen to mess up, no problem. Just do a re-shoot. But...and this is important, make sure you stop and start the recording to create a new clip for each “take.” Otherwise, you'll have one loooong editing job to do later. Lots of shorter clips are always better for editing later.
- During the interview, have the interviewee pause for two seconds before responding. Again, it's much easier to edit later because you will have a silent pause without you and the interviewee talking at the same time. You’d be surprised how often that happens during an interview, which makes editing much more challenging.
- Make sure the interviewee introduces themselves and describes the project at the beginning of the shoot. They might be camera shy and this helps relax them. I also recommend re-shooting this introduction at the end again now that they're more comfortable.
- Use a simple video editing software like Apple’s iMovie to string together your clips into an interview video. It should contain an intro title and exit title (like your company’s name or a place to get more information). You’ll probably need to boost the audio volume during editing, and may want to add some transitions between interview questions. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just give it a go and get your video out there!
These are some key points on recording and producing a YouTube video of a construction jobsite. When you do one, please let us know! We’ll post it to our Vela Construction Video Blog.