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When to shoot it yourself

Over the last several years, I've lost some business to iPhone do-it-yourselfers. But really, in the end, what this has done is to create more video content out there, which in turn demands even more video. In some cases, those clients who opt to use their smartphone, or a DSLR to shoot their own video content--and even edit it themselves with iMovie or other consumer-friendly (but plenty powerful) editing software--come to me for the "big" projects. These are either projects that require more planning, shooting and editing than they have time to do themselves, or are very high-profile presentations, where some "sizzle" is needed. I have even happily worked with my clients on building their own shooting and editing skills, because in today's world of video content, immediacy and volume often trumps quality. And really, I'm down with that.

When deciding whether to shoot it yourself or to hire me, ask yourself (and your team) these questions:

1. Who will be watching this video? If it's coworkers, in most cases, shoot it yourself. If it's corporate muckity-mucks, hire me. If it's customers or potential customers, it depends. See the other factors below...

2. How will this video be watched? YouTube? In many cases, that's a do-it-yourself platform. It's evolving, of course, and you will find Hollywood-quality production values on YouTube, but audiences there think nothing of what is obviously an amateur smartphone video (piano playing kitties come to mind). On a large TV display or projected at an event or meeting? You might want to give me a call. It's all about expectations really. So think about that.

3. How do you want your brand reflected? Positively. Always. But, the idea here is that sometimes, your branding and specific messaging is conveyed best by a casual, spontaneous, user-generated feel. That is when you do it yourself. There are other messaging positions that require you to communicate professionalism, class, attention to detail... etc. That's the stuff I do really well. So, yeah, call me.

4. What is your vision? If you are documenting a marketing event, where you want to give the effect of immediacy and user-generated content, by all means use the iPhone. In fact what you really should be doing is Periscoping these events, then saving the video in order to chop it up and plaster it all over your social media apps. In fact, that's a great rule of thumb: if you see this video as going no further than social media, in many cases that's a sure clue that you'll be wanting to generate this content yourself (or better yet, enlist additional colleagues to shoot on their phones too for more content to work with). If your idea gets a little more complicated, like, adding interviews, titles & animation... in other words, a real production-- that's what I do. Now there will be times when you do have the time and desire to undertake a more complex project on your own. I say try it. But keep in mind those branding goals mentioned above. If you don't want it to look/sound amateurish, then you need to up your game (I can help with that).

5. Is there talent in the office? Chances are there is someone there with some experience shooting, editing, creating animation or other skill you need for your video. Give 'em a try. Just don't try to take on too much. It will most definitely show.

What I'm saying here is, think it through first. What is your goal?

When you need to create impact, emotion and leave a strong impression with your audience, or to communicate a very complex topic without putting them to sleep... well, that's what chrismackcreative is here for.

Don't hesitate to call me for free advice about the best way to approach your next video project.

Happy shooting!


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