Capturing testimonial videos during a pandemic
As a result of Covid-19, many brands have had to reinvent how they create video content. But video is still the most powerful and cost-effective way for companies to generate new business. In fact, with the cost of video advertising falling due to the pandemic, there’s never been a better time to invest in video.
Case study videos are one of the most effective ways for a business to harness the power of video to let prospects and customers know what their specialisms are, why they’re experts in their field and how they’ve helped their clients or provided a valuable service. Hearing a testimonial from a delighted customer is powerful social proof that a brand delivers upon its promise.
However, the only stumbling block is getting the video made. During lockdown it’s logistically difficult to send a large film crew to a place of business. Plus the fact that most people are working from home. So what are your options for capturing testimonial videos during a pandemic?
Well fear not, there are plenty of ways that you can capture testimonials from satisfied customers and use them to create high quality, entertaining and informative case study videos.
Bring to life a written statement
One way could be animating a written testimonial. This removes the need for any social contact, as everyone involved in the project can work from home. Creating an animated video from a written testimonial gives the animator a chance to be visually creative. Most voiceover actors have home recording studios too, meaning that a professionally sounding voiceover can also be captured whilst adhering to government guidelines. Although not seeing the speaker’s face could make the video feel less credible, this is a great option if you’re looking to create a testimonial video.
Record audio at home
The quality of audio recording on smart phones is good enough that it could be used as a voiceover to an animated video. Having the speaker’s voice would bring an authenticity to the testimonial. However, this does rely on the interviewee’s ability to record usable audio that isn’t too breathy and doesn’t have any “popping”. If this is of interest, we’d be able to guide your interviewees on how to record good quality audio on a mobile phone to ensure that the video sounds as good as possible.
Record a Zoom call
Video calling is an easy and accessible way for people to speak face-to-face. During lockdown, people became familiar with video calling software like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams. It’s possible to record a video call and capture both the sound and the audio simultaneously, which makes this a suitable and cheap way of capturing video and audio content when people cannot be in the same room. The quality can be poor, so it’s worth considering whether this might have an impact on brand perception or if you think your audiences will be sympathetic.
In general, recording a live stream will have better quality than recording a video call. There are apps that make it possible to record a live stream from someone’s phone, such as the iCam app which costs £3. DroidCam for Android is a good free option. Camo for iOS & Macs is a great solution. You’ll need to download and install the app on the phone, along with the Camo Studio app for macOS. You can use this with video conferencing software, such as Zoom, by going to settings and change the input device to Reincubate Camo. The free version limits you to 720p HD, but you can toggle between the rear and front-facing cameras. Although set up might be tricky, it’s a good option if you need material urgently.
Record at home
It would possible to provide an interviewee with the equipment to record their video at home and guide them through the filming process on a Zoom call. Sending a gorilla pod / Joby tripod means that they could support their phone on a desk, and a small LED light will help to make the shot look as flattering as possible. A small audio recorder might also be helpful to ensure the best possible sound quality. This would be relatively quick and easy to record and avoids human contact which is necessary during a pandemic like Covid-19. The only thing is that you’re reliant on the quality of the interviewee’s phone and their ability to frame and light the shot, however, if we’re present on a Zoom call we’d able to assist with set up. Unfortunately, the footage will always look like it’s been recorded on a phone, but this would be a good way to capture good video content and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Send professional equipment
If you’re nervous about the film quality impacting your brand identity, we could courier one of our professional cameras and a laptop to your interviewee. This would guarantee high quality video and audio, especially as we can stream the feed directly from the camera so we can keep watch on the lighting, focus, framing and background. Being present on a video call would also be helpful to guide the interviewee through set up and filming. Although this might be a relatively expensive and time-consuming option, it does guarantee a high quality video that has longevity beyond the pandemic. If your interviewee doesn’t feel comfortable adlibbing, there is also the option to send an autocue that the person could insert their mobile phone into. This means they could easily read the script whilst maintaining eye contact with the camera lens. All equipment would also be sanitised to ensure the safety of all involved parties.
Hire a studio
It would be possible to hire a studio close to the interviewee and send a camera and camera operator there. We’d encourage all parties to drive or take taxis to avoid travelling on public transport. We’d also provide a full risk assessment and method statement prior to filming; check the ventilation system in the studio to ensure that it’s a safe environment; and provide recommended PPE for the camera person. Using a studio would be preferable to another inside location, as there is plenty of space to maintain social distancing. Recording in a studio is also beneficial as it would result in superb sound quality. However, hiring a studio can be expensive and does require travel. A studio background can also sometimes feel inauthentic, but a few props could make the background feel livelier. If the interviewee is happy to travel, this could be a good option to record high quality video content that can exist beyond the crisis.
Film at the interviewee’s home
Filming at the interviewee’s house would also be an option. Wearing recommended PPE, we could send a camera and a camera operator to their home with all the necessary equipment to capture high quality video and audio. They’d be able to direct the interviewee and give them any feedback to make sure that they deliver the performance you’re looking for.
We’d provide a full risk assessment and method statement prior to filming and sanitise all equipment to ensure a safe working environment. We’d also speak to the interviewee about ventilation in the property and whether or not windows can be open. Although please bear in mind this does run the risk of having outside noise creep into the recording, so the location of the property might need to be considered when deciding if an at-home recording is suitable.
If the interviewee would be happy with filming at their home, it would ensure that the video has an authentic background that is both visually interesting and has a personal touch that lasts the test of time.
Film the interviewee in their place of work
We’re still able to film in offices and other places of work so if the most convenient and authentic location for the interview is in the person’s workplace we can send a single camera person or a crew of two people to attend the shoot. They will wear full PPE and observe all safety guidelines. The major benefit of this approach is that we can also film cutaway shots to show the person going about their daily routine. This makes for a more engaging film than just a straight talking head.
Capturing testimonial videos during a pandemic
So as you can see there are still plenty of options for capturing high quality case study films, even within these unprecedented times. We’re happy to work with you to determine the best solution for you and your interviewees in terms of safety and creativity. Please get in touch using the form below if you require assistance with your case study video creation.