Free video optimisation checklist

Our process for the perfect corporate video

It’s often a leap of faith when choosing a corporate video production company.

There are plenty of great production companies, each with different processes – our focus stays firmly on delivering both great content and great service.

For every step of your corporate video production, our easy processes take out the overwhelm.

We know this isn’t your day job, it’s ours – so let’s get your corporate video started!

1. Your corporate video brief

Sound Images team lined up aganist a wall, all looking to central woman who is holding a clapper board

With corporate video so important for your business, it’s essential we understand what you want to achieve.

So we start with your brief.

Do you like to chat things out? Or take your time with a written brief?

However you like to work through this, your brief is where we get inside your head.

We can catch up face to face, book in a Zoom – or send you the link to our written brief – whatever works best for you.

The briefing questionnaire is our deep dive into who you are, who your audience is and the points you want to cover.

What do we need to know?

If you glance over our briefing questionnaire, you can see all the information we’ll ask you.

The shortlist of priorities includes:

  • A broad overview of what you have in mind
  • Your target audience
  • The most important point you want to get across
  • How this point benefits your viewer?
  • What other main points do you want to cover?
  • What makes you different to your competitors?
  • What do you want your viewer to do after watching the video?
  • Where do you plan to use the video?
  • Is there a deadline?

When you’re planning your brief and answering our questions keep one thing in mind.

It’s not all about you.

As you gather your thoughts, think about how your messages matter to the target viewer.

In what ways are you the solution?

Why should your audience care?

Once you’ve emptied your head, it’s over to us. You can relax, step back into your other projects and we’ll take it from here.

Title screen: For every main point you want to cover, look through the lens of your viewer and ask 'so what?'

2. Your video script

Woman's hands typing on laptop with Sound Images video script on the screen

Starting with a script will make a huge difference to the success of your video – and will also make sure we’re all on the same page before the camera comes out of its case.

The script shows you the structure of your video, any narration or interview questions and the planned vision for each scene.

Like building a house, your script is our set of plans.

What does a corporate video script look like?

Your script is divided into 3 columns and multiple rows. Each scene has its own row.

Video script example with left vision column and right audio column

The small left column is for scene numbers

We use these to ID scenes when we’re filming, plus they’re handy when you’re reviewing your script and want to direct us to a section you’d like to change or comment on. 

Small left column for scene numbers in a script highlighted yellow

The larger left column is everything vision

This is where we write scene ideas and any titles, graphics and logos.

Left vision column in script highlighted yellow

The right column is everything audio

  • This might be suggested interview questions (to be asked when we’re filming)
  • It might be a narrated voiceover 
    It could be a mix of both narration and interviews
  • If your video has a Presenter, this column will have what he/she will say to camera
  • If your video is music only, this audio column will only have a link to the suggested music.
Right audio column in video script highlighted yellow

If we’re sharing your messages through video interviews, the interview questions will usually be listed together. 

If there’s a narrated voiceover, I like to break this up into small chunks – hence the rows – so that there’s only one scene’s worth of vision against each piece of narration.

This makes it easier to see what vision applies to each section of narration.

If I’m writing to a specific video length – let’s say 2 minutes – the word count will be approx. 240. 

This is an average of two words per second which delivers a comfortable reading speed. (You don’t want your narration to sound like a race call!)

You sell to humans

Cartoon image of 3 characters showing them speaking in first, second & third person

To keep your script focused on what your viewers care about, I like to write in the second person as much as possible. 

This is using words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ more often than first-person words like ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘our.’

A ‘we’ heavy narration is an easy trap to fall into – but it’s not the best approach to connect with your viewer.

Note! You’ll probably find it impossible to avoid some ‘we’ language, this just needs to be kept in balance.

Title: Use word search to count number of times you and your and make sure this outnumbers we, our & us

The spoken word is different to the written word

How you talk naturally is how your narration should be written. 

This means breaking grammar rules. (So when you review your script, chuck all your English lessons aside.)

  • If it reads naturally, start a sentence with ‘and’
  • Break up long sentences into shorter sentences. (Don’t want the narrator running out of breath part way through that long paragraph)
  • Use contractions, like  ‘you’re’ instead of ‘you are’
  • Remove jargon and acronyms and simplify the language as much as possible

Your script outline

This is the structure for your video script; it’s how we’ll flow through your content from start to finish.

The opening scene

The opening scene should flag down the viewer. It could be the spot to put a strong first grab from an interview, a hero drone scene with a title that catches your viewer’s attention, or a music lift with scenes that spark curiosity.

The challenge or problem

What challenges or problems are your viewers facing? What do they care about?

Your solution

 Now we’re into the benefits your market will tune into. 

Why you?

What makes you different from your competitors? 

Your call to action

Don’t leave your viewer hanging! Tell them exactly what they should do next.

It should be one action only, any more and you’ve created a choice they have to make which is a barrier that will make them hesitate. 

Whatever you want them to do, be specific, be clear.

  • You might want them to go to a specific page on your website.
  • Enrol or register for a program or service
  • Book an appointment
  • Visit your store
  • Or click a button to schedule a call – just make sure this button is within eyesight of the video and tell them where it is.

If our clients need a different call to action for different platforms, we like to create multiple copies of the edit and change the call to action on each.

Extract from a video script
Extract from a video script
Extract from a video script

How long does it take to write your script?

Once we have your brief, I’ll usually have the first script draft to you within a week. 

When I have it ready, I’ll email you a link for you to review and provide feedback.

You can make comments or ask for changes directly on this script – or give me a call if you’d prefer to chat it through.

What’s the best way to review your script?

Focus on the right-hand audio column first. 

If it’s a narration, read this column straight down two or three times first. Preferably out loud and without jumping back and forth to the vision column.

Why should you read your video script out loud?  If you read under your breath, it’s easy to skip over words that are missing or incorrect – or pop in words your brain thinks should be there.

If you have interview questions in your script, check you’re happy with what I’ve suggested.

A heads up that if you add more questions yourself, make sure they can’t be answered with a yes or a no. 

One way to do this is to start each question with how, what, where, when or why – or something like ‘tell me’ or ‘could you explain.’

3. Pre-production for your video

Man and woman looking at paper video script, man pointing to script with pen

Pre-production is the planning and prep for your filming and editing. 

We break this planning down into what’s needed to prepare for filming and the behind-the-scenes work we do to prepare for your edit.

Filming pre-production

Your filming day or days are scheduled first. 

‘But what if it’s raining?’ I hear you ask.

Don’t stress, we’ll just postpone until the weather conditions are what we’re all hoping for.

With dates locked in, we start prepping. 

  • Where are we filming?
  • Who are we filming?
  • What are we filming?
  • What times are we filming each scene and interview?
  • Who will be our liaison person on the day?
  • Do we need to make travel arrangements?
  • Is there talent (models or actors) or props to organise?

Finally, to make sure we’re all on the same page, we email out a combined call sheet/run sheet with all contact details and the plan for the day.

Editing pre-production

If your video is narrated, we have the voiceover recorded

Your narration could be male or female, and we’ll discuss the pros and cons with you. If you want to choose the voice yourself, we’ll link you to demo reads so you can find your perfect match.

If there are graphic elements to be created, we’ll get this underway

We’ll ask for your logo and style guide (if you have one) to make sure we marry up your video with your branding.

We hunt for the right music, so it’s ready for the editor

You might like to choose from a shortlist of our suggestions yourself, or leave the choice to us. (You can always say yay or nay to the music in the fine-tuning stage of your edit.)

4. Filming your video

Sound Images camera team setting up camera and lights

When you think about having a corporate video produced, the filming might feel like the most daunting part of the process.

Once you meet and start working with our camera team, I’m sure you’ll feel reassured.

Your video production is filmed by our team of two super-experienced cinematographers. 

They’re great human beings, very down to earth and they want you to feel comfortable, especially if you’re on camera.

How long does filming take?

Filming times vary with the scale of your project, but the minimum time would be half a day. Most projects take between one and two days to film.

Where do we film?

Drone view of work vehicle travelling on outback road past Alice Springs sign

We film wherever you need us to be.

Even though our home base and main stomping ground is southeast Queensland, we’ve managed to film in every state this year, some states multiple times. 

What do you wear on camera?

Man in blue shirt talking in an interview in front of large windows overlooking tarmac and plane

If you’re being seen on camera, avoid really bold colours, reds, big or tiny patterns and narrow stripes. 

Pastels and mid-range colours look fabulous, especially cooler colours like purple or teal. 

Wear what you’re comfortable in and what you would normally wear if you were meeting a client.

  • For a creative industry, that might be jeans. 
  • For a lawyer, it might be a suit. 
  • On a work site, it would be hi-vis.

What happens in a video interview?

2 men sitting on chairs facing each other in an interview outside on a red soil cleared ground space being filmed by woman on video camera

Does the word ‘interview’ feel daunting? Let’s strike it out and replace it with chatting – cause that’s all our video interviews are. Casual chats. Conversation flowing.

With interview-based stories in corporate videos such a strong trend, it’s critical this type of content is done really well.

To nail it, you might be surprised that we prefer interviewees don’t get a copy of the planned questions beforehand. Not always possible, especially for top-level execs, but ideal. 

This is because the goal is sincerity, not scripted corporate-speak and jargon.

All questions are framed to avoid yes or no answers.

We also reassure our interviewees they don’t need to rush out the answer in one perfect take. 

It’s better to relax into the conversation and speak more naturally over a few takes.

We can then connect the best grabs from all starts and stops when we edit the interview.

How long does each video interview take?

For interviews, allow between 30 and 60 minutes for each person – plus (if possible) an extra 30 to 60 minutes to film background scenes that include the interviewee. (we call this B-Roll or cutaway footage.) 

This allows us to ‘colour in’ their interview, so we’re not just seeing a talking head the whole time.

How do we film someone talking straight to the camera?

Woman wearing green top talking straight to camera

I won’t pretend. Speaking to the camera naturally from an autocue is hard, even for practised professionals.

It’s not our preferred or recommended approach because it can easily come across as stiff and unnatural. This is why we prefer an interview to get your messages across – but if an autocue delivery is the right solution for your video, here are some tips:

  • Before the shoot, practise reading your script. Do this from your computer screen, rather than paper.
  • Good posture helps your delivery. If possible, stand rather than sit and use your hands when you talk, just as you would in a normal conversation.
  • When you practise, you’re aiming for a relaxed conversational tone, so have someone listen to you and ask them if you sound like you’re reading. (Or record yourself and play it back.)
  • Read slowly. Linger on words and sentences to let them sink in.
  • When you’re confident with the script, pick up the pace a little. (Don’t rush though!)
  • Be yourself plus 10%. Make your delivery and mannerisms slightly larger than real life.
  • Most important of all – smile. Minor stumbles become irrelevant with a smile. Take a breath and smile at each breakpoint. This makes you look relaxed, even if you’re faking it.
  • When you’re finally in front of the camera, practise again to get comfortable with the text size and scroll speed – these are both adjustable to your pace.
  • When you start reading from the autocue, whoever is operating its speed will keep up with your pace – not the other way around. So pause when you need to – it will sound more natural if you gather your thoughts from time to time.
  • Have a bottle of water within reach and take a sip between takes to avoid a dry mouth.

Our crew arrives with a van full of filming gear

Camera woman and man setting up video filming equipment outside back of white film van

Our camera team of two will arrive with a van full of everything they could possibly need to film, track and fly.

This includes backup cameras and drones in case of mishap (hello drone that went missing in the outback!)

We film in ultra-high-definition, so you and your brand look fabulous.

Why UHD? 

  • Quality to make you shine
  • Flexibility to use your video footage anywhere, including the largest cinema screen
  • Longevity – you can repurpose your footage even years down the track

How we protect your video footage

In a day of filming, we come back with a lot of footage.

Not all will end up in your edit, so it makes sense that this valuable resource is kept for future edits. 

Because we film in ultra-high definition, the file sizes are too large to back up to the cloud, so instead, we always have at least two – and at different stages three – back-ups.

Backing up your footage as we film

It would be a shocker to find you have a corrupted card and all the interview footage has been lost. Those precious words are gone forever.

The stress of re-shooting – no thanks. 

This is why we record interviews onto three sources as we’re filming.

B-Roll footage is recorded to two sources.

Backing up immediately after the shoot

When filming is complete, our day isn’t done. The priority is now transferring all the footage and audio files onto a laptop hard drive with a second copy dumped to a separate expansion hard drive.

We still have all the files on the camera cards at this point – these aren’t cleaned until we have the next office back-up completed.

Backing up video files in the office

We have 2 purpose-built servers in our offices, so the first step is transferring all files from the expansion hard drive to Server A.

When the files are confirmed on Server A, the camera cards are cleaned. At this point, we still have 3 confirmed sources of data.

Automatically and overnight any new data added to Server A is also copied to Server B (servers are in different physical locations).

Once data is confirmed on both Server A and server B, all other devices are cleaned. 

Your footage 12 months after your video project is complete

Your footage is removed from the servers and archived on two separate A & B archive drives. 

Metadata is kept for each project so the drives can be interrogated in the future. This means your video files can be pulled back into the main servers for future edits.

Who owns your video footage?

With your edit complete, be reassured this footage belongs to you.

It’s a valuable resource you can use again, so we keep it on file for you. (We have NEVER deleted a piece of digital data from our archives.)

If you want your own copy, we send it to you on a hard drive.

5. Editing your video

Female editor looking at edit suite screen

If you’ve ever sat in on an edit, you’ll know it’s like watching grass grow.

Second by second, it’s a slow and complex process with many layers to complete and finesse. The editor is not only focusing intently on technical stuff, they’re also drawing on their creative energy.

So as much as you’re always welcome to sit with our editor, most clients wouldn’t have the spare time, so the usual process is we create, you review, and then we fine-tune.

How long does editing take?

So depending on your own internal approval processes, allow a couple of weeks for this editing stage. On average, it would take us a week to produce the first draft of your video edit.

Once we’re happy with it internally, we send it to you for review and feedback. We then fine-tune until you love your video. 

Title screen: If you do get caught with a hard deadline we won't let you down

Step one - the offline edit

The offline edit is a first pass to compile the best scenes.

It’s where the editor will pull out the best versions of each scene and if there are interviews, string out the very best grabs.

If you want to select the interview grabs yourself, we’ll send you the stringout to make your selections from.

Step two - the online edit

The offline edit is where your video comes to life.

If your video has narration or interviews, these elements are laid down first to act as a guide track for each scene.

All the vision is added, including titles and graphics – then the music and any sound effects are added.

Following our structure for your video, we build in music lifts or other small tweaks to bring your audience back to attention.

Especially important if your video will be longer than a minute or two.

Scenes are then colour-graded so they look as good as they should – and so your brand looks as good as it should.

After an internal review with a fresh set of eyes, we’re ready with your first draft of the edit. .

6. Unlimited fine-tuning

Video editor and producer pointing to a scene on edit suite screen

Check your inbox – there’s the hightail link to download your video for review.

Until now, your video has been intangible, so your review is the first time you’re seeing it.

It’s your first impression. What if you can see things you want to change?

Don’t worry, you’ll find us very understanding and easy to work with – and you have as many fine-tuning rounds as you need. 

Not two rounds, not three rounds. As many as it takes until you love your video and can’t wait to share it.

When you have multiple layers of approval to navigate, you – and the boss – will love this reassuring guarantee.

7. Video versions, delivery & distribution

Man welding, wearing safety goggles and gloves

Your video production will be supplied in any and every format you need. 

Just tell us where you’re hosting, and we’ll deliver the correct file types.

For cinema or TV commercials, we take care of cinema conversions, television commercial approvals and distribution to cinemas and TV stations.

We’ll also edit shorter social media versions for you with compliments. 

Just let us know what platforms you’ll be using and the lengths you need.

What are your video distribution options?

With your video complete, there are multiple ways you can use it, so think big.

  • The most obvious is your own website. Learn how video helps your website rank higher in this blog post
  • YouTube is a dedicated video platform and the second-largest search engine after Google
  • Look at other video-sharing platforms like Vimeo
  • And of course, social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Just make sure you know where your audience hangs out and create shorter versions for these fast-scrolling platforms

You’ll find more inspiration in this 9 ways to help your audience find your corporate video post – and grab our video optimisation checklist to help more humans and Google find your video.

Lemonlight also has a great blog post on 20 places to post video content now that it’s done.

Title screen: Don't just upload your video - follow these checklist steps to optimise your video first

Your corporate video from script to screen

Let’s sum all this up!

Getting started with your corporate video starts with a chat. 

Well actually, you have to contact us first – and you can leave your details here if you’d like that chat and a quote.

We’ll give you a quick call and then figure out your quote. 

With your quote emailed across and accepted, we’re underway.

1. Your corporate video brief

The brief for your video is where we’ll need your input the most. If you like to get your brief down on paper, our briefing questionnaire is for you.

If you just want to chat and bounce ideas back and forth, then let’s catch up for a face-to-face or Zoom meeting. 

2. Your video script

Now you can relax and wait for your script to be written for you.  All you need do is review, give feedback and when you’re happy with it, approve.

3. Pre-production for your video

We’ll liaise with you to get your filming day or days organised.

If there are places and people to organise on your side of things – and you’d like to delegate this to us – just give us the names and phone numbers, and we’ll jump in to get everything locked in.

4. Filming your corporate video

This is where mega experience really counts.  And it’s not just our team’s technical excellence and creative eye that matters.

It’s equally important we make people feel comfortable. Especially if it’s your client we’re filming.

A touch of fussiness also helps – and the determination to never leave a shot behind and bring back loads of great footage for our editor to choose from.

5. Editing your video

Editing always takes longer than filming – plus, we’re fussy here too – so give us a week or two to get this important stage of your video production ready for your review.

6. Unlimited fine-tuning of your video

We’re different from most video production companies with our unrestricted fine-tuning process.

Part of this is our sole focus on working in the corporate space, so we understand the layers of approval your video needs to pass through.

But the main reason? What matters most to us is removing any stress points and keeping you as a client long-term.

7. Video versions, delivery & distribution

Once you’ve approved your video, we deliver all the versions and formats you need (now and into the future.)

Your footage is a valuable asset, carefully saved for your next video project.

Next step

Have more questions about our corporate video process? 

Here’s our FAQ page – or even better, take the first baby step to getting your corporate video started and get in touch here.

Whatever it takes to create a video you love, the answer is yes

Get a quote

Help humans & Google find your videos

Get step-by-step video optimisation tips and video case studies in your inbox.