Thanks for the props on our new promotional video for our 4th generation B2B radio sales website. I had some folks ask how it was put together, so I thought I’d share the behind the scenes process.
Video production is not my forte, so I utilized tools that could get the job done professionally that I already knew how to use: Snapz Pro for screen capture (SnagIt is also great), Photoshop for slide creation (you can also use PowerPoint), Camtasia for assembling and editing, and Vimeo for video upload. I also uploaded to YouTube for SEO, but I like Vimeo’s clean player/skin for on-page presentation.
I knew I wanted the video to be short and sweet. Less than 2-minutes for sure. I decided to skip doing a voice over and opted for a music track (if I could find the right music). I visualized a mix of screenshots and text bursts to share its primary benefits; that being the revenue it generates and the attention to detail put into its design and development, which is why it produces the results that it does.
Step 1: The Music: 3-hours
I’ve used iStockPhoto for years and knew they had a large selection of audio tracks to choose from. There may be cheaper choices out there, but I had some credits and decided to use them up. I knew I wanted a rhythm track with a pronounced beat, which could give life to the visual elements of the video. I narrowed it down to five choices and had a pretty easy time picking the winner. The audio track was 1-minute, 15-seconds (perfect) and cost $26.00.
Step 2: Storyboard: 8-hours
Since I already had the concept in my head, I chose to storyboard after I picked the music. I listened to the track multiple times to figure out how many slides I would need to keep synchronized with the beat. It turned out I needed 60 slides. And the number got so high because there were two sections that called for rapid-fire slide presentation.
The next consideration was to figure out what to use in the two rapid-fire sections. I decided on the revenue the site generates for clients (17 slides in 17-seconds) and the attention to detail put into design and development (22 slides in 11-seconds). This left 21 slides to tell the rest of the story.
I jotted down the visual concept for all 60 slides on index cards. Then, took some screenshots of client sites, noted a few statistics that reinforced the benefits, selected revenue quotes from clients and finally, decided what dialogue slides I needed to support the primary elements in the video.
Step 3: Slide Creation: 4-hours
I created a 1280×720 image in Photoshop (HD video size), then went to work adding the content and images into Photoshop layers. You can do a lot in Photoshop, but I kept things pretty simple. As I was creating the slides, I realized the video was going to feel like a simple, clean PowerPoint/Keynote presentation delivered in 75-seconds. And I was cool with that. As I mentioned at the top, you can also use PowerPoint for this part of the process.
Step 4: Editing: 12-hours
I imported the music and slide images into Camtasia and went to work. Camtasia is great for creating video and screen share presentations. Professional video pros use tools like Final Cut Pro, but Camtasia has a much shorter learning curve and can produce very nice presentation videos for the rest of us. There’s a version of Camtasia for Mac and PC.
The Camtasia part of production should have only taken a few hours. But, like I’m know to do, I kept finding ways to change elements to make it as tight as possible. Again and again, I would watch the assembled video and decide to change this slide and that slide and another slide and another….and another. So it was an extra day of work to make the slides, music and storyline come together to the point I felt I had it as good as I could get.
Step 5: Video Upload: 1-hour and On-Page Embed: 3-hours
I uploaded the finished video to Vimeo in HD, tweaked the settings to my liking and copied the embed code. At that point, I turned it over to my developer to make it display responsive, so it looked great on tablets and phones.
And that’s the process. 30 hours for one-minute and 15-seconds of video. lol
…and here’s the final product