Watching video is the No. 1 online activity.
Red Bull is the second-most-viewed video brand, with over 5 million subscribers to its popular YouTube channel.
Here are four hard-won video creation and syndication tips courtesy of George Mays, an award-winning Los Angeles-based director and producer who works with Red Bull
Never go into production without drawing up the progression of scenes first. If you’re making corporate videos—especially if you might be required to show
your concept to the decision-makers—you need at least an outline, Mays says.
He recommends storyboarding your entire shoot.
“This gets the production team and client on the same page. It’s also an opportunity for the artist and client to deconstruct the story in a visual
manner,” Mays says. “All the ambiguity goes away so there are no misunderstandings later.”
Storyboarding is also a confidence booster.
“As a producer, this visual tool will ensure that you don’t forget a critical shot,” Mays says. “This is a horrible and hard lesson to learn when you’re
done with the shoot. Believe me, going back to reshoot because you missed an establishing shot can destroy your budget.”
His tips for effective storyboarding: “Each shot should at least be two seconds long. So if you’re creating a two-minute YouTube video, you’ll typically
want 20 to 30 shots. Each of those should be mapped out on a storyboard.”
Mays doesn’t use storyboarding software. Instead, he recommends finding a good storyboard artist like Mitt Seely.
“He’s great. His clients range from corporate and agency clients to networks and studios,” Mays says.
Register for PR Daily’s Jan. 21 PR University webinar “
Create Shareable Videos: How to Plan, Produce and Distribute Brand Stories Millennials Love
” to delight audiences and deliver results every time.
The Hollywood rule is to “never have bad sound,” says Mays. “Audiences will forgive a bad video, but not bad audio.”
He recommends Sennheiser microphones and headphones for best quality. Depending on the model, “it just clicks
onto the camera with a procuring strap and allows you to plug headphones directly into the microphone.”
Projects with bigger budgets might call for hiring a sound technician rather than adopting a DIY approach.
“There will always be a good sound man in New York City or Los Angeles,” Mays says. If you’re not in those cities, he recommends searching Production Hub.
Focus on editing.
This is the most important step in telling a successful visual story. “Editing is make-or-break for most films. If you’re constrained by budget, you can
use editing software like Avid, Premier or Final Cut Pro,” says Mays.
Final Cut Pro has fallen off in recent years, he says. “They make a prosumer version for consumers, but it’s not getting as much traction.”
Mastering the software is extremely time consuming, but the technical side of editing is only the beginning.
“There is a huge barrier to entry when it comes to the artistry of editing and storytelling,” says Mays. “It takes years to achieve true flow and
storytelling in the editing bay.”
That’s why he recommends working with an established film editor.
“You won’t find them on Production Hub,” Mays says. “Great editors are like unicorns—they’re hidden, and you
have to coax them out, so ask around for recommendations.”
4. Publish consistently.
Consistency is paramount if you want to compete for attention, says Mays. “Release your videos the same time and on the same days so audiences know when to
expect them and actively seek them out.”
The best time to drop a Vine or YouTube video? “Tuesday at 9 a.m. Pacific Time is far and away the best time to post a video,” says Mays. “The Monday rush
is behind us. East Coast viewers are at lunch and browsing. West Coast viewers are just getting to work and clicking on links.”
Mays says weekends are a terrible time: “Audiences are usually looking at fantasy football scores and other questionable content then.”
Brian Pittman is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager for PR Daily’s PR University. Red Bull Studios producer and director George Mays
will share more presentation takeaways in the Jan. 21 PR University webinar,
“Create Shareable Videos: How to Plan, Produce and Distribute Brand Stories Millennials Love.”